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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Health Room, High School Boundaries, and Critical Reading-Feb. 16, 2016

Feb. 16, 2016

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:

I did my very best with the information I had.  I eliminated ovarian cysts as a reason for his pain but an Internet search coupled with my background knowledge could not conclusively diagnose his symptoms.  I had to remind him that my doctorate was in educational leadership, not medicine so he’d need to seek a second opinion.  I later got a bit more information about a very competitive basketball game he’d participated in at the family gathering Sunday and realized that his soreness likely had more to do with aggressive offense instead of the range of possible illnesses I’d read about on the web.  Just like at home, when students visit the Health Room at Sexton Mt., we do the very best with the information we have.  Just like the case with my husband, we sometimes don’t have all the information. I’ve asked our office staff to do their very best to contact families each and every time a child comes to the Health Room so that together, we can make the best decisions.  For those interested you can read more about our Health Room change below.

As I did my Internet research for causes of abdominal pain, the twenty-million possible sites (available in an instant) reminded me of the importance of critical reading strategies.  I thought about why I was more likely to look for answers at the mayoclinic.com instead of gutbliss.com.  How do we teach our kids to be skeptical readers or viewers?  I got to hear about some of the thoughtful planning our teachers do in order to elicit this critical thinking as our fifth grade teachers met this morning to plan for an upcoming unit.  They talked about citing sources and thinking critically as it relates to an upcoming project.  They also analyzed student work to learn what our students already know about this and how to nudge them to the next level.  I chuckled as they shared student work regarding the highly controversial subject of chocolate milk in school cafeterias.  Some of our students used fellow students as expert sources (according to Xxxxxx Xxxx, chocolate milk is like milk with a fun size candy bar included) while others cited information from articles and included the credentials of nutrition experts at the National Dairy Council.  If our ten year olds are able to write evidenced based claims, cite sources and make their work interesting by including examples, explanations, evidence, expert opinion and elaboration now, I would guess they will be ready to change the world in the future.  Thank you for having rich discussion at home about a wide range of topics so it’s easier for students to write about a wide range of topics in a thoughtful, concise way at school.

Several parents stopped me in the parking lot this morning to ask about the meeting tonight at Southridge High School regarding the High School Boundary Adjustments.  The homes in the Sexton Mountain attendance zone have been in the undecided location at times and assigned to Beaverton, Southridge and the new South Cooper Mountain High School at other times.  There is a meeting tonight,  -Tuesday, February 16th where public testimony will be heard.  Check out the map and public hearing information for the meeting on Feb. 16 at Southridge High School at 6:00pm for more information.  The process
www.beaverton.k12.or.us
This fall, the District will begin a process to redraw the District boundaries beginning with high school attendance areas. The process is expected to begin in mid ...


Our new phone system will be installed the week of February 29th. The new phone system will be operational on March 4th.  After the change over, we will have several new phone numbers and some new features.  When you call us, you will hear a new menu of options.  Thanks in advance for your patience as we make the transition.

With gratitude,

Dr. Teresa Clemens-Brower
a.k.a.  Mrs. C.-B.
Principal



Reminders:
·      Family-teacher conferences are coming up.  Thanks in advance for your flexibility as we work to accommodate so many different factors when scheduling.
·      Oregon has one of the shortest school years in the nation.  It is essential that students attend school when we are in session.  Kids should miss school only if they have a fever or are throwing up.
·      We try VERY hard NOT to interrupt classrooms with phone calls.  Every time the phone rings, instruction is interrupted for all students.  When there are changes in end of day plans, make sure they are communicated to your child’s teacher and office staff (Diane_Holste@beaverton.k12.or.us and Margaret_Zwetschke@beaverton.k12.or.us) early in the day.
·      Parents are encouraged to do weekly head checks for lice or nits.  Catching them early and interrupting the life cycle are the best ways to avoid big outbreaks. 

Appreciation
  • Thanks to Rikki Anderson and Sandy Goff for assembling bookmarks for us.
  • Thanks to all who helped set up and clean up chairs last Thursday for the program.
  • Thanks to the amazing OBOB team of volunteers.
  • Thanks to all who donated toilet paper and paper towels for the Help Center.


Wish List-These are things or jobs that make a difference to our kids, teachers or school. Send in items or let Mrs. CB know if you can volunteer.
  • Donations of a stuffed Spider Man or wrestling character will be put to good use in our student break room.
  • Donations of foaming hand soap containers (empty or full) will be put to good use.
  • Volunteers will be needed Friday night following the Talent Show to put chairs away.
  • Donations of gently used backpacks in the following colors are needed for a summer reading program-yellow, green, blue, red, white, black, orange.

Upcoming Events
Feb. 19- Talent Show @ 6:30pm
Feb. 29-Mar 4-Our school is scheduled to have our phone system updated this week.
Marc 3-4-No School-Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences
March 10-Kindergarten Orientation 5:30-6:30pm
March 11-No School-Grading Day
March 21-25-No School-Spring Break
March 28- No School-Staff Development Day

Health Room Change Rationale
As you know, we have a BUSY school office.  Mrs. Zwetschke and Mrs. Holste do a number of things*in addition to overseeing the Health Room.  Though we share a school nurse with several other elementary schools, our secretaries are responsible for dispensing medications, monitoring blood sugar levels for our diabetic children, comforting children when they have an ache or ouch, and making decisions about injuries and illness.  While they both hold first aide cards and have some training specific for schools, they are not nurses.  Between them, they have more than a handful of children so they also have a combined 60+ years of Dr. Mom experience too.  They both use their best judgment when it comes to how to treat sick or hurt kids.  They do their best to care for your kids.  They amaze me!
With so many kids coming to the office for a range of reasons each day, they prioritize to care for kids, communicate with families AND do all the other job requirements*.  We have always tried to contact home regarding gushing blood, head injuries, fever, vomit, or uncontrollable pain.   Most of the time, this has been sufficient, but sometimes it hasn’t.  Some families don’t realize their kids visit the office multiple times a day.   Some kids don’t express discomfort or pain as loudly as others so injuries or illness may not be treated the same at school as they are at home.  It’s our theory that contacting family when kids visit the office will allow families to make informed decisions about kids.  Our contact may come in the form of an email or phone call.  Most often, the contact will just be an FYI so please don’t be alarmed if we contact you more often than you’ve been used to.
*Other duties of office staff
  • Meet and interact with public and employees in routine situations.
  • Provide a variety of clerical duties involving all but the most complex matters.
  • Give information and interpretations of policies or procedures related to departmental or school activities.
  • Establish, maintain and monitor accurate, neat and efficient electronic and manual filing systems.
  • Sort and classify incoming mail and other information for efficient disbursement to appropriate recipients.
  • Prepare letters, memoranda, reports, bulletins, handbooks, questionnaires, requisitions and other materials from marginal notes, rough drafts, or verbal instructions.
  • Compile information from various sources on a variety of standardized forms.
  • Assist in the orientation and training of the substitute employees or volunteers.
  • Handle confidential information with complete security.
  • Gather and prepare appropriate attendance/accounting information.
  • Schedule and coordinate meetings.
  • Request monthly budget activity reports for program staff;
  • Assist with and log fire, earthquake and emergency drills.
  • Enroll and discharge students. Request records from prior schools, distribute school records.
  • Maintain classroom key distribution and record-keeping.
  • AND all other duties as assigned


Volunteers:
If you haven't already, please remember to fill out the new application to volunteer at Sexton Mountain.  This application is district wide and is REQUIRED for all volunteers.  If you filled out an application at the beginning of the school year, it is no longer applicable and a new one will need to be resubmitted.  It is required to complete the application and pass a background check in order to volunteer in the classroom, on field trips, for classroom parties or other activities at school.  Please fill it out in the next couple of weeks in order to have your background check completed by the deadline.  You can find the application at the following link:  https://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/depts/CCI/volunteer-engage/Pages/Volunteer-Impact.aspx 

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