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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Walk, Bike, Bus and Appreciation! May 3, 2016

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                     

May is Walk and Bike to School month.  For those students who live more than a mile from school, we hope kids will take advantage of bus service.  In the past, we’ve had less than half of our total student body get to school by one of these means (Walk 21%, Bike 3%, Bus 19%).  Students will be analyzing trends this month.  Will awareness of this special month change practice?    Safety is always a top priority and the elementary school years are the prime time for learning how to navigate safely.   When children are older, they will do just as you’ve modeled and practiced with them. 

Pedestrian safety is not the only type of safety lessons that should be practiced with your child during the elementary years.  Children are learning how to navigate information in a safe way as well.  At the grocery store Saturday morning, I noticed a youngster reading the magazine headlines and the adult with him thoughtfully sharing the importance of understanding that the author’s purpose was to sell magazines.  How do you handle all of the environmental print in your child’s world?  Do you have a plan for things you might encounter?  How are you modeling your approach to keeping your family’s values in your conversation? Just like with pedestrian safety, when children are older, they will do just as you’ve modeled and practiced with them. 

Did you read the White House Press Release about teachers last Friday?  I am including some of my favorite parts below.*  
“Our country's story, written over more than two centuries, is one of challenges, chances, and progress. As our Nation has advanced on our journey toward ensuring rights and opportunities are extended fully and equally to all people, America's teachers -- from the front lines of our civil rights movement to the front lines of our education system -- have helped steer our country's course. They witness the incredible potential of our youth, and they know firsthand the impact of a caring leader at the front of the classroom….  Our future is written in schools across our country. It is likely that the first person who will go to Mars is in a classroom today. Our students are our future teachers, scientists, politicians, public servants, and parents -- a generation that will steer the course we will take as a people and make possible things we have not even imagined yet. We look to the women and men standing in front of classrooms in all corners of our country -- from cities to reservations to rural towns -- to vest America's daughters and sons with the hard skills they will need to put their dreams within reach and to inspire them to dream even bigger. On National Teacher Appreciation Day and during National Teacher Appreciation Week, let us ensure our educators know how much we value their service in the classroom, how much we appreciate all they do for our students and families, and how thankful we are for their contributions to our national progress….NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2016, as National Teacher Appreciation Day and May 1 through May 7, 2016, as National Teacher Appreciation Week. I call upon students, parents, and all Americans to recognize the hard work and dedication of our Nation's teachers and to observe this day and this week by supporting teachers through appropriate activities, events, and programs. “
I invite you to write a note to your child’s teacher this week.  Heartfelt words are so appreciated!  If you have a few minutes and would like to do something to make a difference for your child’s classroom, here are some recently expressed needs and ideas for how to help.
  • Sharp pencils are always appreciated.  If you have a pencil sharpener at home, send a gallon sized zipper bag to your child’s teacher with a note that says, “Send me your dull pencils and I’ll send them back tomorrow.”  You might start off by filling the bag with class set of sharp pencils. 
  • Clean Sinks-Classroom sinks can always use a good cleaning
  • Vacuum Edges of Classrooms-The custodians clean up after 600 people daily so they don’t always have time to vacuum around the edges of the rooms or pods.  Check out a vacuum from the office and tackle the room when kids are out of the classroom.
  • Dishes in Staff Room-Teacher take turns cleaning the staff room and emptying the dishwasher in after school.  If you’d like to make someone’s day, stop by between 2:00-3:00pm.
  • Scrub Lunch Wagons-If you have 5 minutes, empty the lunch wagon, vacuum it, then scrub the inside with wipes or a wet towel.
  • Books for Classroom Libraries-Have your children outgrown books?  If you know the book was loved by your child during a certain grade and read it repeatedly, it’s likely a good fit for a classroom.  Feel free to donate books so our teachers can see happy kids reading.
  • Level books for your child’s teacher.  As we are moving from DRA to IRLA, many teachers have books that have a DRA Level but now need to have the IRLA level added.  If your child is able to take home X number of books a week by way of backpack mail for you to level using the IRLA/DRA chart then return to the classroom the next day.

While these are ideas that will support teachers, know that it takes a village to run a school.  From the first school people your child sees during the day (bus drivers, playground supervisors, crossing guards, cafeteria team, custodian) to the last, I am proud of how this group comes together for the greater good.  Thank you for treating them to such a special week with the pouring out of love in the staff room. 

With Gratitude,

Teresa Clemens-Brower

Check out these staff blogs!

Thank you!
  • Thanks to Toni Fisher for working so hard on the Jogathon.
  • Thanks to Leisel Jeck Buzan for working so hard on the Art portion of STEAM night.
  • Thanks to Lindsay Maher for working so hard on STEAM night.
  • Thanks to all who made Staff Appreciation Week so special.

  • Dogs-Service dogs only are allowed on campus.
  • After School Pick up—Please let the office know if BY 2:00pm if after school plans change or if someone not on your approved list will be picking up your child after school. 

Wish List-These are things or jobs that make a difference to our kids, teachers, school and community. Send in items or let Mrs. CB know if you can volunteer.
  • Red wagons will be needed for “lunch wagons” next year.  If you have a wagon to donate to our school, know we will put it to good use. 

Upcoming Events
May is Walk, Bike and Bus to School Month!
May 12 PTC Meeting @ 3:05pm
May 13-Carnival
May 19- Kindergarten and 1st Grade Music Program at 6:30pm
May 27-No School-Assessment Day
May 30-No School-Holiday
June 3-Field Day (Make sure you’ve completed the new online volunteer application and background check.) 
3rd, 4th, 5th -9:45-11:30 (volunteers arrive at 9:15)
K, 1st, 2nd- 1:00-2:45 (FD volunteers arrive at 12:30)
June 10-Volunteer Appreciation Celebration 2:00-3:00pm
June 11-Run with the Eagles 5K
June 17-Last Day of School

6 - 1st-5th Grade-First day of School
6 – First day for Half of Kindergarten-Kindergarten students with a last name beginning with A-L First Day (M-Z do not have school this day)
7 – First day for the other Half of Kindergarten-Kindergarten students with a last name beginning with M-Z First Day  (A-L do not have school this day)

Find links to the calendar for next year by scrolling down to the bottom of the page at the link below:

*Find the full White House Press Release at

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