- Jan 12 Spirit Day-Hat Day
- Jan 15 MLK Day- No School
- Jan 29 Student of the Month Assembly 7:50 am
- Jan 31 End of First Semester
- Feb 1 Teacher Prep Day- No School
- Feb 2 Grading Day- No School
- Feb 5-9 Dental 3 Week
- Feb 14 3rd Grade Field Trip to the Portland Youth Philharmonic
- Feb 16 Spirit Day-Jersey Day
Letter From the Principal
Happy New Year, Free Orchards Families!
I hope that the new year finds you and your family refreshed and ready to start anew.
With the new year comes some exciting things that I am eager to share with you. First, I am pleased to share that we are participating with the AmeriCorps program, which provides us with an AmeriCorps Member to provide tutoring services during and after school. Our AmeriCorps member, Lupe, has been working with small groups during school and will begin a computer-based after-school program for 4-6th graders that focuses on Math and Reading. Participation in this after-school program is by invitation.
Because we are able to offer our after-school programming through AmeriCorps, we are able to support additional programming as well. In addition to our Art club, Science club, and Battle-of the Books clubs, we can offer a craft club and a service leadership club with support from some community groups. We would like to offer even more opportunities like a gaming club, folkloric dance, chess club – you name it! – but we need adult leaders to run them. If you are interested and available to lead an after-school group, please let our office know.
Principal, Free Orchards Elementary
Character Trait of the Month
This month we are focusing on teaching students how to be flexible in their thinking. Being a flexible thinker is having the ability to change plans easily. In other words, we are trying to teach students the skill of "go-with-the-flow." Flexible thinkers also have an easier time with developing a "Growth Mindset" where they use challenges as a spring board to higher learning rather than as road blocks.
Often, and especially as children, we are asked to make changes in our daily plans when more important or urgent matters arise. For example, students may be asked to change their daily routine due to assemblies, fire drills, or substitute teachers. Some children experience difficulties when these types of changes are made and can act out because they experience discomfort.
As adults and as children, we are often faced with the unexpected and must adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Some adults and some children are able to do this with ease, while others have a very difficult time making changes. Children who have a difficult time with changes often tend to have a "Fixed Mindset" where they believe that their abilities and skills are fixed traits rather than skills that can be improved upon with hard work.
We teach the skill of flexibility in the hopes that as our students grow and mature, they will be able to easily adapt and change when faced with life challenges. Additionally, we want students to know that the abilities to face challenges and overcome roadblocks with a Growth Mindset will lead to higher levels of academic and social success for the rest of their lives.
Peace Planet News
On January 2, 2018 the Peace Planet began a program of presenting “Zone Changer” awards to students who have demonstrated that they have learned they can "change their zone" -on purpose! This is no small feat, since there are many adults who have not yet learned this skill! (We have all seen these people driving their cars in an unsafe way.) Self-control is one of the most important life skills in existence. If your son or daughter earns a “Zone Changer” award, please understand how important and special it truly is!
To learn more about the Zones Of Regulation, which is being implemented schoolwide at Free Orchards, please visit: http://www.zonesofregulation.com/learn-more-about-the-zones.html
“LIFE IS 10% WHAT HAPPENS TO US AND 90% HOW WE REACT TO IT.”
Wellness Center Instructor
First Grade News
Mrs. Scott and Ms. Spiegleberg
Third Grade News
Mrs. Rooke and Mrs. Brubaker
Fourth Grade News
Mrs. Niemeyer and Mrs. Thorpe
Fifth Grade News
Mr. Kish and Ms. Rider
Sixth Grade News
Mr. Davis and Mrs. Washington
From the Office
Please call when your child is absent!
Our office staff is very busy in the morning with parents and students who are in the office. Please use the hotline number rather than the school’s regular phone number when your child is absent. Your child’s absence will be noted shortly after the school day begins. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.