Mustang Messages

Chehalem Elementary Newsletter- November 6, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Chehalem Families,

The biggest announcement is that the District has come to an agreement with Dorian Photography to be able to take photos in our gym. We scheduled it for the first week in December so that photos should be delivered to you by the holidays. More information to come later, but wanted you to know it is in the works.

The governor put out new metrics for students to be able to return to school. While Washington County and Multnomah County do not yet meet the metrics for returning to school, the school district is surveying families about their desire to return students to the classroom in a hybrid model, should we meet the metrics in the future. Watch for additional information in the coming weeks.

Please remember there is no school for students next Wednesday or Friday. Wednesday is Veteran's Day and Friday is a grading day. Some form of progress reporting will be coming from all grade levels, although it might look different from grade to grade. We hope to have information to you by November 20th.

Stay healthy and well.

Sincerely, Angee Silliman


Parent Conferences and Communication:

This year the calendar adjustments to accommodate remote learning have shifted how learning time is used. The District chose to keep student-contact days instead of setting aside two non-student learning days that normally would have been for parent teacher conferences at the elementary level. Weekly embedded Student Family Connection time in school schedules is intended to allow for regular opportunities for educators and families to communicate. Students do best when parents can support student learning through engaging in two-way communication with educators to support learning.

Book Bus Changes- Later Time and One More Stop Added

The Monday afternoon book bus continues to be a hit in the neighborhoods where it stops. Ms. Blanchard, Ms. Harder, Mr. Sanborn and Miss T. (our new counselor) all hope to see you soon at one of the stops.

Here is the link to the updated map:

The new stop is at 160th and Division!

COVID Resources - Community Counseling

Below are handouts for the COVID Community Counseling Program provided by Washington County Behavioral Health. It's a great resource for people struggling emotionally due to any issues related to COVID.

You may need to click on the images to see the full information.

November Word of the Month is Grateful

Tuesday and Thursday Meals for Kids

With the rains starting we have moved the meal pick-up location to be inside the cafeteria. Because all meals include a breakfast, lunch and supper, the amount of food gets hard to carry if you are picking up for multiple children. Please try to remember to bring reusable bags to get your items out of the cafeteria. We sometimes have boxes for people to use, but bringing your own bags is encouraged.

Food Menus

Children often have a hard time choosing their entrees if they don't know what the choices will be ahead of time. Follow this link to find meal choices for the month under the "Menus" dropdown.

School Playgrounds! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

The District's current position regarding school playgrounds is that playgrounds/fields are accessible at all times to families but it is at the family’s own risk. We do ask that people be respectful of teachers who might be teaching from inside their classrooms or meeting with families under the covered area.

The "Productive Struggle" and Not Helping Your Children Too Much

Dear parents,

First of all, I want to express my appreciation for the support and care you are giving your child(ren) during on-line learning. I am aware of the challenges that this presents for parents and students. While this is not what we would hope for, I appreciate how all are making the best of the situation. Teachers are working tremendously hard, students are engaging and trying to the best of their ability and parents are giving so much. It is a remarkable time in so many ways!

One of the many aspects of my work that I love is being in classrooms and watching children at work. The focus of our work with children is to engage them in thoughtful, rigorous work, hold them to high expectations and provide just enough support so that they can complete tasks independently. There is a sweet spot between offering too much and not enough help or support. As teachers, we have come to learn that when we step in to support at the first sign of struggle for a child, rather than giving them time and space to work through the challenge independently, we tend to limit their learning. In order for students to truly become independent learners, they need to believe in themselves and their ability to persist through the challenges they encounter.

We certainly do not want children to get the point where they feel frustrated and give up, but we do want them to experience success by working through tasks on their own or with a peer. When students make meaning on their own, ask questions for understanding and see that their hard work resulted in success then they not only feel better about themselves, their learning is far more durable. If the work is too easy or we support them too much, they may get the “right answer”, but their sense of self and the quality of the learning is not as strong.

This is part of our ongoing work, whether in person or on-line. As a school we continue to explore how to do this depth of work well. We invite you into this learning with us. If you see your child struggling, here are somethings you can do to help:

  • Ask leading questions to guide their thinking

  • Instead of asking what they don’t understand, ask them what they do understand about the task

  • Have them step away from the task and come back to it to give their subconscious time to wrestle with the work

  • Encourage your child to see mistakes as opportunities to learn

  • Praise them for their persistence

I am so proud of our teachers and students and all they have accomplished this fall. We have all been engaged in our own “productive struggle”. As always, do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns or tips for how we can help you support your child at home.

Supply Pick Up

In addition to picking up classroom materials or supplies from the office, Ms. Blanchard has offered to bring materials out to her curbside library book check-out times. We thought the evening hours might help parents who can not get to school between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00. This would include Chromebook and iPad pick-up as long as we know ahead of time so that the device could be checked out and ready to go. Call the office to arrange pick-up at 503-356-2060.

Tuesday and Thursday: 11-12 and 4:30-6:00

PTO Corner

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Scrip to Support the PTO

Please follow this link to get information on how you can support the PTO while buying gift cards for yourself or loved ones. You can use the app or order online.

School Calendar

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Sincerely, Angee Silliman

Principal at Chehalem Elementary