The Voice of Raleigh Park - August 31, 2018
Our knowledge and experiences inspire action that supports community needs.
What a week!
Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! As educators, we are not immune to the anticipation and excitement that accompanies the beginning of the school year. Regardless of how long we’ve served students, the first week is a truly humbling experience, as we are reminded you entrust us with the most valuable of natural resources: your children. There are so many exceptional individuals who are responsible for the magic that occurs here, each and every day. Yet, we know the success of your children starts with the support of parents who are actively involved in their education.
Mark Twain is quoted, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started." We are certainly on our way, as it is an honor and joy to witness the intricate process of teaching and learning that takes place within our walls on a daily basis. With a shared vision that esteems the needs of the individual learner in an environment of high expectations, I invite you to join us on a journey that will nurture and challenge your child.
Specific to a few “housekeeping” issues…
- Early release Wednesday's will begin THIS WEDNESDAY, September 5. Students will be dismissed at 1:30pm.
- Our school day starts at 8:25am. We appreciate your support in getting your child’s day started in a positive manner by ensuring they are at Raleigh Park promptly and ready to learn. Our school day concludes with two bells: 3:00 for K-2 students, 3:05 for 3-5 students.
- Please refer to the Drop-off & Pick-up Safety document included below. Whether you are new or experienced with the way things work at Raleigh Park, we ask you adhere to the procedures outlined for the purposes of keeping everyone safe.
Drop off & Pick up Procedures
The beginning of the school year is always a great time to review our procedures in and around the parking lot, before and after school. Of course, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Keep your eyes open, look out for each other and help everyone arrive to school safely. This means slowing down to 20 MPH in school zones and neighborhood streets (and much slower in the parking lot), watching for children and “listening to” directions from crossing guards. I ask that you review the Drop-off/Pick-up expectations below. Thank you in advance for addressing these points of emphasis so that we can do our best to keep all children safe!
It is important that students have a sense of comfort and independence as they navigate all that is expected of them as learners. One way you can support this gradual release of responsibility is by saying morning goodbyes in the front lobby and allowing your children to walk to class on their own. This small and often difficult step (for students and parents alike) can go a long way in encouraging your children to be confident, capable and resilient learners. That said, I know a gradual approach may be more appropriate for your child. In this case, I respectfully ask that you check into the office for a volunteer/visitor badge prior to walking through the hallways.
We had our first evacuation (fire) drill of the school year last Wednesday. We are required to conduct a drill within the first ten days of the school year, and every month thereafter. Teachers and students performed wonderfully, with a sense of calm and order…as expected!
Please note we will also look to conduct a “lockdown” drill within the coming weeks. While the situations that precede a live lockdown scenario are not always pleasant to ponder, it is in this practice and preparation that we can operate with confidence and situational awareness needed to keep your children as safe as possible. Please use the following link to learn more about the District's Standard Response Protocol. While our staff will have age-appropriate conversations with their students, I recommend you take a moment to do this as well. A resource you may find helpful is The Center for Parenting Education, specific to discussing traumatic events with children. We certainly do not want students to associate school and danger, but knowing how hard the school works to keep all students safe is important to know.
School Attendance (Asistencia)
In the Beaverton School District, we know that attendance matters. Starting in Kindergarten, research shows that chronically absent students (attending below 90%) can suffer academically. By middle and high school, many attendance and school avoidance habits have been formed. Meanwhile, chronic absenteeism is the leading warning sign that a student will eventually dropout.
We understand that some absences are unavoidable, but the important thing is to get your children to school as much as possible. Whether an absence is arranged ahead of time or not, absences still have a negative impact on students because they represent lost learning time in class, while "make up" work does not account for lost instruction, often giving families a false sense of security regarding what was missed.
In the State of Oregon there are three types of excused absences (ORS 339.065). They include:
- Illness/medical treatment of a student (temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, medical/dental appointments)
- Illness of an immediate family member
- Emergency/legal obligation
All other absences, even those that are prearranged, are noted as unexcused; a "reported absence" does not mean it is an "excused absence". To be clear: the school and District cannot stand in the way of a parent removing their child from school, but it is the school and District's responsibility to enforce attendance laws and expectations, particularly when it falls below 90%.
We ask that you avoid scheduling vacations during school time, while also avoiding activities that require your children to miss school for any amount of time (music lessons, athletic events, birthdays, etc.). An effort to coordinate vacations with the school calendar is appreciated, while early release Wednesday afternoons are a great option for medical appointments if at all possible. These practices only underscore the importance of good attendance in helping your children do well now, and in the future.
Please refer to the following links for information and tips for families on building good attendance habits:
Your cooperation in getting your child(ren) to school and on time is always appreciated!
When are students too sick for school?
As much as we want your child at school, there are times when it is appropriate to keep them at home due to illness. Throughout the year, we find that students with fever, vomiting/diarrhea, sustained cough, etc. are sent to school when they should be at home. Meanwhile, knowing the difference between a mild case of sniffles and something more significant can be difficult. Please refer to the flyers below to better help you differentiate. Keeping sick students home not only helps with rest and recovery, but it also keeps the ailments from spreading. Thank you!
Seen & Heard
Welcoming students on the first day with HOPE
Anxiously awaiting the first bell of the year.
Mrs'. Pazdalski & Piersma get to know their 1st graders
Kindergarteners jump right into some artwork on the first day...
...then go in search of Pete the Cat!
Mr. A's 3rd graders demonstrating mathematical reasoning
Wednesday's at Raleigh Park = Bowties
Ms. Davies' 1st graders using maps to understand how we organize ourselves
Mrs. Shaner's 3rd graders jumping into inquiry
3rd graders discover Math is all around us!
Joining Ms. Roberts' community circle to start the day.
Lost & Found: Before & After
A lonely sweatshirt has found some friends. Feel free to take a look to see if you see some familiar items.
DATES TO REMEMBER...
- 3 - NO SCHOOL - Labor Day Holiday
- 5 - Early Release, 1:30p
- 12 - Early Release, 1:30p
- 19 - Early Release, 1:30p
- 20 - Jog-A-Thon Kick-off
- 26- Early Release, 1:30p
- 27 - Back To School Night, 6:00p
- 3 - Early Release, 1:30p
- 5 - Jog-A-Thon
- 10 - Walk + Bike 2 School Day
- 10 - Early Release, 1:30p
- 12 - Picture Day
- 17 - Early Release, 1:30p
- 19 - Jog-A-Thon Awards Assembly
- 22 - 25 - Book Fair
- 24 - Early Release, 1:30p
- 24 - Parent/Teacher Conferences, 4:00 - 8:00p
- 25 - NO SCHOOL - Parent/Teacher Conferences
- 26 - SCHOOL CLOSED