The Owl Newsletter
OTTO PETERSEN ELEMENTARY
"Backwards Day" at OPE!
Reflecting on the first semester at OPE,
Our first semester is coming to an end in a few days. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what we have done this first semester and then follow up next week with a look forward.
Highlights of my first semester must include an acknowledgment of the wonderful staff at Otto Petersen. I have watched teachers commit to building classroom communities that are accepting and welcoming to all students. Classrooms that are working to move from “the fog of Covid” back to striving for growth academically, behaviorally, and socially. I’ve watched smiles return, and even on those more challenging days - laughter and camaraderie are visible.
We have also had the opportunity to roll out several new initiatives this year. Our 6th grade Academy is up and doing really well. Not to say that it is flawless, but any issues have been addressed, and the 6th-grade teaching team has lots of ideas for next year. As I watch students moving from class-to-class, and learning to adjust to different teachers, manage materials, and keep to a “passing time” schedule, they really are starting to look like middle schoolers more every day. When the 6th-graders move onto 7th grade next year they should go with skills they may not have developed had we stayed with our previous program.
Another initiative this year was moving to a more inclusive model with our exceptional learners. It has not been without growing pains but the Special Education teachers and their grade-level partners have developed relationships, worked through issues, and maintained positive attitudes. This is always challenging during an implementation year because so much is unknown and unexpected things happen all the time, which require adjustment and flexibility - just what the SPED staff has delivered. I only see continuous improvement on the horizon.
Finally, we have a new system of Leadership Committees, comprised of a mix of teachers from every grade level, specialist, and, in one case, parents, that help me understand what has happened historically, research new ideas, and help elevate our school environment so that our teaching and learning will be optimized. Our Health and Wellness Leadership Team addresses how we are going to build capacity following the pandemic years so that we can focus on our primary mission of educating students. Our Climate and Culture Leadership Team is a data-driven team, that looks at discipline records and strategizes how to proactively take steps to ensure that classrooms are places of learning for all students and staff. The Academic Advancement Leadership Team is reviewing our Strategic Improvement Plan and helping to define, develop and implement action steps to improve academic outcomes for every student. Site Council, a committee made up of teachers, classified staff, and parents, selected a project that they felt would improve our state report card scores - so that what we (the district and the State of Oregon) see on the report card is a reflection of the amazing work that is happening within the school.
Next week, I will share some of the plans we have for our second semester. It is exciting to return to “normal” but even more thrilling to think of where we might be in a year. Thank you, everyone, for an amazing first semester!
Fuzzy Blankets, Stuffed Animals, and Pillows... Oh my …
When we think of those soft cuddly blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals, our thoughts turn to the warm coziness they provide. However, we would like to remind students and families that those items should not be brought to school. Sometimes teachers will hold “special” parties that allow those specific items - but in general, they should not be at school. Besides the distraction they cause and the chance that they might get lost or damaged, we also have to remember that those items are easily infected by nits and lice - which is not a pleasant thought, but, unfortunately, one of the things we must consider when making decisions about items coming to school. Here is a link to the district’s informational SSD letter - lice. Some students are using blankets instead of wearing warm winter coats. Please check with your student about this practice and reach out to our school counselor if assistance is needed to obtain a winter coat for your student.
Friday, January 27th ... Grading Day - NO School
Thursday, February 9th … OPPO (parent group) meeting, 4 pm, Library
Monday, February 20th … Holiday/No School
Week of February 27th - March 3rd … Staff Appreciation Week
Week of 3/27-3/31 - Spring Break/ No School
Shout out to Mrs. Bean's class for their flexibility!
Class in the pod while their window was being replaced. What rockstars!
January and February Focus is on “Communicators”
The character traits related to being effective communicators are; Respectful, Listeners, Adaptive, Culturally Responsive, and Expressive. We will be working on these skills throughout the focus period and relating this to our Positive Behavior Interventions and Support systems.
During morning meetings, we are focused on how to communicate successfully in all areas. Next week we will start the Readers with a Character book focuses for January: Red, A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall. Here is a link to a reading of the book; Red A Crayon's Story **Thank you to our parent organization, GWPO, for supporting this project!
PLEASE, if your child or your family is experiencing challenges, reach out to me for support.
Lorrie McKedy, School Counselor 971-200-8003 ext 3163
Fry Bread Cooking Class
We invite you to participate in a Zoom Cooking Class on the grading day. Join Jen Stearns and Cheyanne Heidt, from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, for a Fry Bread Cooking Class. The zoom link can be found on the Indigenous Community of Practice Flyer.
SOME STEPS MUST OCCUR BEFORE THE ZOOM; THEREFORE, PLEASE EMAIL JEN STEARNS FOR INSTRUCTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ingredients for Kevin's Fry Bread
1-pint boiling water
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 oz. of dry or instant yeast (approximately 2 packages)
1 cup raw or white sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
3 1/2 cups flour
32 oz. unrefined coconut oil
Hoop-a-Thon is coming!!! February 14 & 15th. There will be volunteer opportunities for making posters, counting hoops, and limo ride chaperones!
To keep costs down, we’d like to ask if any families have Trailblazer tickets that they’d like to donate as prizes; we’d greatly appreciate it! Please send info to email@example.com or call Chelsea Murphy at (503)680-9329
The next Meeting is Thursday, February 9th 4:00!
If anyone is interested in creating yearbooks for the school year, we’d love to hear from you!
Way to go Book Detectives!
HOW DO WE FIND BOOKS?: This week, we have been learning how the library is organized so we can find books on our own, and we are learning how to use the Dewey Decimal System! Over the long holiday weekend, I rearranged the library to make it a little more user-friendly, so now we have better tools, information, and locations for finding books! It has been great to listen to the kids help each other find books with little reminders of the ten classifications and how to find books by the author’s last name.
WAY TO GO, DETECTIVES: Thank you so much for all your work in finding all our overdue books–you guys are AMAZING! I really appreciate all the extra efforts that you have all given! We have found books that were due in 2021! Way to go–keep up the great work!
CURIOUS HOW TO FIND A BOOK IN OUR LIBRARY?: We have a cool tool called DestinyDiscover, and you can search our library to see if we have a title your child is looking for. Please let me know if you have any questions.
DISTRICT LIBRARIAN WEBSITE: I was encouraged to create an Amazon Wish List for books and supplies for the library, you can find it on our District Librarian Website or here is the link directly. You can also find the search tool mentioned above on this website at the bottom of the home page. Thank you so much for supporting our library!
Happy Reading! ~ Mrs. Nudo
Programs to help families meet their needs
Scappoose School District has a Food for Kids program where students receive food packages they take home for the weekend. If you would like to sign up your student for Food for Kids, please contact our OPE Counselor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 971-290-8095
"Spirit Days" are dress-up days but other days …
Just a gentle reminder about costumes at OPE
There are days that exceptional activities are encouraged - that includes our Spirit Days, some holidays, and the occasional individual or grade-level activity sponsored by teachers.
The bulk of our school days are not filled with costumes or dress-up.
This is a gentle reminder that students should not wear costumes, or parts of costumes, on regular school days. They might get dirty, damaged, or be too distracting for a classroom.
We appreciate your support in this area, and we hope you and your family look forward to those special days that help infuse joy into our school year.
Here is a list of all the Spirit Days for the rest of the year!
Friday, February 24th - Crazy Hair Day
Friday, March 24th - College & Career Day
Friday, April 28th - Decades Day
Friday, May 26th - Beach Day
Friday, June 7th - Field Day/Tie Dye Day
(Fridays are always Scappoose Gear Days)
All Scappoose schools have testing available for COVID19, both for rapid on-site testing and home testing. If you have any need for your child to test at school, we will need a signed consent in place. Here are the current consent forms for COVID19 testing in English and Spanish.
Feeling Sick? You are not alone.
A message from our nursing staff
Here is a message from the Oregon Health Authority.
We are in the middle of cold and flu season, and below are the recommendations from state health officials to help reduce the spread of infection.
Stay home when sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or with a tissue that you immediately throw away after use.
Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces, including doorknobs, faucets, chairs, countertops, and tables.
Regularly wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing into a tissue.
Get a flu shot and stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, including new bivalent boosters. There is no vaccine for RSV.
Consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces.
Sign up for Free and Reduced Meals Here
If you have not completed a free and reduced application, please complete it here https://www.ode.state.or.us/apps/frlapp
Oregon has expanded the free and reduced rules, and many families are eligible who may believe they are not.
Oregon EIG and Federal Income Guidelines can be found here:
My MealTime Breakfast and Lunch Accounts
Attendance Reminders & After School Change of Plans
Also, if you have to change your students' after-school plans, please try to do this one hour before students are released so that we have enough time to communicate with teachers and staff.
- Sue MacLachlan: email@example.com
- Jennifer Griffith: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mary McNabb: email@example.com
- Your child's teacher
We appreciate your support in making sure we know where your students are during the school day. Thank you!
Title 1 Information
Video explanation of this great tool that can help you understand how your student is doing.
ParentVUE is a web portal that allows parents/caregivers to access real-time information related to their student's education progress. Parents can view their student's attendance, grades, assignments, and more. Look for access links on the school and/or district websites. Here is a link to a video explanation of ParentVue developed by a teacher at OPE: ParentVue video
This form will help us to verify your potential eligibility to serve as a volunteer in Scappoose School District.
Have you thought of working for the school?
We are looking for some great people to work at OPE
Currently, OPE and other schools have openings for some special people who think supporting kids as they navigate the challenges of school is an exciting/interesting/rewarding job. No experience is needed, however, a kind heart is a plus! Interested? Please go to the district website and click on the “For Staff” tab. Under “Human Resources” you will find a list of open positions just waiting for you!
After School Enrichment ProgramOPE is excited to welcome the YMCA to campus this year. Through a partnership with the City of Scappoose, the YMCA is establishing an after-school program at OPE designed to serve K-6 students from all of the schools. This is a first-come-first-serve program so if you are interested apply right away!
Personal Electronic Device Policy
(Cell phones, Smart watches, Earbuds)As an upper elementary school, O.P.E. will align with the Middle School policy concerning electronic devices. A personal electronic device is defined by the district as any “device capable of electronically communicating, sending, receiving, storing, recording, reproducing and/or displaying information and data.” The new policy will ask that students have their devices “off and away” while on campus. A private warning will be given if a student uses the device while at school. A second infraction will lead to the device being turned into the office for pick-up at the end of the day. Parents will be asked to pick up the device after a third infraction. The school is asking for parent support with this policy as we focus on building a positive learning environment.