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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Supporting Our Learners-March 15, 2017

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:

When a microphone died, the musicians repeated the music while Ms. Galante directed the performer to a different microphone.  Ryan, in his role as a big, bad wolf, adjusted expertly.  Mr. Hayhurst stealthily crept to the stage, grabbed the dead mic then raced to the storage room and replaced the batteries, all while Ms. George grabbed my keys and got batteries from Mrs. Holste’s desk. They had plan B and C ready to roll!  A verse or two later and Ryan had a working mic in his hand. 

It’s interesting to see the many ways that adults in our building support students.  Academically and socially, we try to give just enough support in order for children to build independence.  We know the confidence they build now will continue to grow over the years. 

At the Pre-Kindergarten Family Literacy Night, this looked like the four year olds leading the way to the classrooms while adults follow.  At the Talent Show, this type of support ranged from smiles and thumbs up from the audience to a mom calming a nervous performer by sitting directly in front of her on the stage and looking into her eyes while silently mouthing the words to a song from a Broadway musical.  At OBOB Regionals, this type of support looked like silent adults lining the room, being very careful about non-verbal signals that might distract the team during tournaments.  In the classroom, we try hard to make the invisible skills visible so that students know the steps they need to take in order to be successful.  We model thinking aloud so that children understand what steps they need to take in order to understand what they are reading at deeper levels.  During math, we model the steps children can take to solve problems in a variety of ways.

Recently I observed peers supporting one another with writing.  Children were assigned a writing prompt.  After students finished the assignment, their next step was to read the work of others and offer compliments or suggestions.  The specific comments of peers helped students revise their work.  Kids were motivated to refine and make their work more precise for their peers reading enjoyment.  In this class, the teacher had been careful to model they types of feedback expected so children were doing exactly as she’d taught.  They were positive and productive.

Thank you for sharing your children with us!


Teresa Clemens-Brower, Ed. D.

·      Early Release Starts Fall of 2017 - When planning for next year, please remember that the District will implement an early release model
·      Thanks for keeping the office informed of any updated contact information.  Thanks also for making sure your list of emergency contacts is up to date.
·      Make sure your coats and outerwear are clearly labeled with your child’s name.
·      All medication (including cough drops) must be signed in to the Health Room and delivered by an adult.
·      Because of the restoration of instructional time due to winter weather, Spring report cards will be sent home on March 24.  Spring conferences have been eliminated.  Parents should direct questions and inquiries to their teachers via email or phone call.

Upcoming Events
·      March 27-31-No School-Spring Break
·      April 6 Ready-Set-Read for Incoming Kindergarten Students 5:30-6:30pm
·      April 12 Kindergarten and 1st Grade Music Program 6:30pm
·      April 27 Jog-a-thon During Specials (Volunteers must complete Background Checks prior to the event-Do it today if you haven’t already--
·      April 27 STEAM Night 6:30-8:00pm
·      May 19 Carnival
·      May 26 No School Assessment Day
·      May 29 No School Memorial Day
·      June 1 Family Literacy Night at Beaverton City Library
·      June 2 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration
·      June 7 4th and 5th Grade Music Program at 6:30pm
·      June 16 Field Day (Volunteers must complete Background Checks prior to the event)

*Wish List-These are items we’d love to have donated.  If you have something on the list you’d like to donate, please send items to the school office.
·      Sidewalk Chalk will be put to use during recess time.
·      Whisk brooms and small dust pans will be put to good use during recess time.
·      Bilingual children’s books can be put to good use.
·      Donations of children’s books can be put to good use in classroom libraries. Our kids love easy to read non-fiction books about animals.  Additionally, if your child has outgrown any of the following series or authors and you’d like to donate the books to grateful readers, please send them to the “Book Donations” box in the office.
·      Piggie and Me
·      Ivy and Bean
·      Pete the Cat
·      Pinky and Rex
·      Henry and Mudge
·      Fly Guy
·      Who would win?
·      Rookie Readers
·      Bunjitsu Bunny
·      Anything by  P.D. Eastman
·      Anything by  Mo Willems
·      Anything by  Eric Carle
·      Anything by  Laura Numeroff
·      Anything by  Audrey (or Don) Wood

*Help Wanted-These are tasks with which we’d love to have help.  If you are able to help, email Mrs. C.-B. at and make sure your volunteer background check has been completed.
·      Book Shoppers-Do you like to shop for books?  Local GoodWill stores often have great books for less than a dollar each.  If you would like to shop for us (a great project for kids and families), please contact Mrs. CB.  We have specific titles, subjects and authors we are looking for as well a specific process for reimbursing.
·      Translators Wanted-If you are willing and able to translate school documents from English to Vietnamese, Korean, Russian or Kurdish we would love to have key messages translated in order to better communicate with our whole school community.
·      Declutter Expert or Organizer needed—We have one volunteer but need more in order to turn the Science Storage Room into an organized supply room for a future Maker’s Space. If you like to sort and tidy, this job is for you and can be done any time between 7:30am-4:00pm. 

Appreciation to:
·      Thanks to Ms. Risser and Ms. Galante for directing an amazing music performance.
·      Thanks to the Yoders and others who helped get all the instruments back to the music classes following the performance.
·      Thanks to all who continue to send in cans of soup, boxes of cereal and items for our Planting Seeds Food Pantry.  Thanks to the Planting Seeds team for doing such an amazing job of supporting our families. The team is thoughtfully planning how to meet the needs of students over spring break.  For those who rely on school breakfast and lunch, a week away from school can be especially difficult.

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