Sexton Mountain Elementary

November 2020

Dear Families,

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 understanding, 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 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.

Principal Reese

Good article

Good video: Exploring Productive Struggle or Productive Struggle

Big picture

Return to school

Governor Kate Brown announced that she is relaxing the criteria required to open school in a hybrid model (part in-school/part online).

Given current data, Beaverton School District does NOT qualify to move into a hybrid model at this time. You can find the full details in the Governor’s announcement. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be considering these new metrics and whether or not they will change our timeline for implementing a hybrid model. We continue to prioritize the safety of our staff and students while balancing the desire to bring students back on-site for in-person instruction.

Big picture

Child Care Subsidy

Washington County has secured a grant through the federal CARES Act to provide child care subsidies to parents/guardians. The Beaverton School District will be distributing approximately $2.4 million to families who are eligible and apply for these funds.

The application window is now open to apply online for money to help cover some or all of your out-of-pocket child care expenses:

If you don’t have internet access, you can pick up a paper application at your school or the District Office (16550 SW Merlo Drive, Beaverton).

If you have questions, call 503-793-0480 or email If you need translation assistance, call our Multilingual Department at 503-356-3755.

The funds will be distributed until they are gone.


It’s OBOB time! Just like everything, OBOB looks a little different this year – but it will still be an awesome literary adventure.

  • November 18: OBOB registration forms due

Registration form

So, what is OBOB? OBOB – or Oregon Battle of the Books – is an optional statewide literacy program open to third, fourth, and fifth grade students. Teams of four students read a set of 16 books and then battle other teams to answer trivia questions about those 16 books. The Sexton Mountain OBOB site has information about this year’s titles and authors, sample battle questions, and links to helpful forms. Or, visit our cozy bitmoji library!

So, what’s next? Talk to your child about participating in OBOB and attend an informational session. OBOB is a voluntary activity. Interested families should submit a registration form by November 18. Students can form their own teams or ask Ms. Kimball or Ms. Cassandra to help with team placement. Students do NOT have to read all of the books to participate. Print copies of all 16 OBOB books are available from the SME library as well as the Beaverton City Library. Audio books are available for most of the titles as well. OBOB battles will happen in February/March and take place over Zoom.

Please contact Ms. Kimball ( or Ms. Cassandra ( with questions.

Happy reading!

Big picture

Safe Routes to School

Important Tips for Traveling Safely This Fall

On Sunday, Nov. 1st, we lost an hour and it will be darker earlier. With shorter days this time of year, all road users should be extra alert to see each other. Here are some suggestions to help everyone stay safe on the road:

Wear bright reflective clothing when walking or rolling.

Don’t assume people driving will see you. Make eye contact before crossing in front of vehicles.

Be alert! Keep eyes and ears open, especially while crossing the street.

Cyclists should make sure to have lights and wear helmets – it is the law, and it helps people see you and keep you safe.

Driving or biking? Use extra caution and slow down in the dark and rain. Always be alert for people on foot or bike at intersections, crosswalks (marked and unmarked), bike lanes and in school zones. Do not text and drive – it’s against the law, carries steep fines and is unsafe for all road users.

Big picture

Option Schools

The Learning Options application is live! The deadline is December 11, 2020 at 4:00 PM.

Big picture


November 11- Veteran's Day- School closed

November 13- Grading day- No school for students

November 25-27- Thanksgiving Holiday

Big picture