Cedar Park Middle School - March 2019
Message from the principal
We began second semester setting new expectations for cell phones - what a difference that has made! Students are smiling more; they socialize (even play card games) during lunch, and there is a measurable difference in the number of classroom disruptions on a daily basis.
Lastly, we got our PSAT scores and are seeing great academic growth. The percentage of students meeting college and career readiness standards in math increased by 9% - more than any other comprehensive middle school in the district! Our ELA percentage increased by 1%, making Cedar the second highest performing middle school in BSD.
To what do we attribute this dramatic increase in student achievement? There are several key factors and focus points that are moving the dial: consistent teacher collaboration, accelerated math classes at all 3 grade levels, growth mindset approaches in math, parent support, and our approaches to assessment and proficiency through MYP. We will continue our focused work through June 17th, especially as we head into state testing season. We appreciate your support of Cedar and all our students.
In Ancient Rome, March 1st marked the beginning of Spring – new adventures and new beginnings. At Cedar, we choose to focus on the Learner Profile Attribute of Courageous Risk-Taker in March. Now that students have fallen into the routine of middle school, they are ready to branch out to something new. Since we have just finished conferences, this is a perfect time to set a goal about what new thing to try. Is it a new plan to organize your binder and study time? Is it a promise to try a new sport or club? Is it to take the chance to sit with someone new at lunch or on the bus? Whatever it is – we hope you try!
MYP at home connection - How to use resources: Middle School is also a time when students can practice advocating for themselves. This can feel like a big risk. Parents can help by encouraging students to send emails to teachers when they have questions, stopping by the library for help with their Chromebook, or asking for help when they need it.
Thank you BEF!
Also, thanks to parent Lianne Hoskins-Jarvis, another BEF grant has been approved for Cedar Park for materials to support the bridge project in science. In addition, First Tech Credit Union has agreed to match this effort dollar-for-dollar!
Emergency Supply Needs
BSD is committed to emergency preparedness and planning. We are equipped with our district level provisions, but we also know that there are many other items we need to be fully prepared for in the event of a catastrophic emergency. We have been working to supply our emergency shed to help us respond and support our school and community. If you are interested in helping supply our emergency shed, please see the Amazon wish list and consider donating. Thank you.
Is it Bullying?
Be aware of “silent bullying.” Some bullying is easy to spot, such as one student deliberately tripping another. But it can a be less obvious. A child might take another student’s belongings or threaten a classmate when no one else is around. Encourage your middle schooler to reach out to a classmate who seems fearful or withdrawn.
A simple “Hey, is everything okay?” could give a person who is being bullied the courage to confide in her.
Know when behavior crosses the line. Your tween may not realize that she is being bullied. Say a classmate repeatedly makes unwanted comments about her appearance—that’s a form of bullying. Let her know she can come to you if she feels uncomfortable with how she's being treated. Together, you could decide how to handle it (for instance, talking to her school counselor).
Head Lice Information for Parents/Staff
Head lice is a common condition and is not associated with lack of cleanliness. While lice are a nuisance, they are not dangerous. Please take care to check your child’s head for lice on a regular basis.
Educate your child on these preventative methods:
● Head lice are mostly spread by direct head-to-head contact. Lice do not jump or fly.
● Avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere such as sports activities, playground, slumber parties, camp.
● Less often, lice are spread via objects that have been in contact with a person with head lice, such as hats, scarves, hair ribbons, combs, brushes, stuffed animals or bedding.
● Do not share these personal items.
● Pets do not get lice.
What to Look for:
● Itching/scratching of head, especially at the back of the head and neck.
● Nits on the hair, close to the scalp. These are usually pearly-grey or brown in color and are tightly attached to the hair shaft.
● Dandruff is easily removed, whereas nits cannot be brushed or swept away.
What to Do If You Find Lice:
● Treat your child with lice treatment recommended by your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Follow all instructions carefully.
● Seat child in a well-lit area, check the hair in small sections looking for lice and nits.
● Work to remove nits by using a nit comb and/or pulling them off the hair shaft with fingernails and dispose of in a sealed plastic bag.
● Check heads of household members. Treat if live lice are found.
● Daily head checks are recommended for the next 2 weeks.
● Wash your child’s towels, bedsheets and recently worn clothing in hot water and dryer.
● Clean combs and brushes used by the child by soaking them in water at least 130°F, for 5–10 minutes.
● Place non-washable items, such as stuffed toys in a sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks. Hatched nits/lice cannot survive more than 2 days without a human host.
● Vacuum furniture, rugs, floors, and the vehicles where the child has been.
Note: Spending excessive time and money on house cleaning activities is not necessary to avoid re-infestation by lice or nits.
Do not use fumigant sprays; they can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through skin.
The school would appreciate notification if your child gets head lice. All information is completely confidential. Please contact your child’s school office or school nurse if you have additional questions or concerns.
Mindfulness for Middle Schoolers
Tweens face stress from daily activities like han- dling homework and navigating friendships. Being mindful, or present in the moment, may ease the pressure. Help your child practice with these ideas.
■ Create a “calming jar.” Let your tween fill a clear jar with water and sprinkle in glitter. Have her screw on the lid and shake the jar, focusing on her feelings as she watches the glitter settle. Point out that when the glitter is still, it’s easier to see
through the jar — much like being calm helps her see a situation more clearly.
■ Take a walk. Pay attention to what you and your middle grader feel, hear, see, and smell as you walk together. What sound do your feet make when they hit the ground? What does the breeze feel like on your face? What scents come from the homes you pass?
Pleasant Chats with Tweens
A: There are several reasons why your child may become easily irritated. At this age, they want to be more independent-yet they know they still need your guidance, which may feel annoying to them. Plus this age is dealing with hormones.
You might find that you have nicer conversations when you're doing something side by side, such as putting away groceries or shopping to find a gift for a relative. It could also help to talk when your middle schooler is relaxed like at bedtime or on a weekend afternoon while you're sitting on the porch.
Finally, you're more likely to keep the conversation upbeat if you ask about things they are interested in, perhaps what happened at drama club today or in the last episode of their favorite podcast.
Battle of the Books 2019!
Here are the last 2 teams for battle of the books:
And the Winners are:
Team Kiera! With 45 points and Team Shade 35
The following students will be representing Cedar Park at the 2019 Oregon MATHCOUNTS Region 1 Competition on February 23rd at Stoller Middle School:
Yusuf Arifin, Suyash Pandit, Sohan Clemons, Noah Unger-Schulz, Vikram Vasudevan, Roger Li, Yuji Rice, Willen VanVeldhuisen, Aneeq Chowdhury and Elliot Rea.
Vaping and JUULing
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration called the issue of teenage vaping an epidemic.
In a recent survey, 24% of BSD 11th graders said they had tried an e-cigarette or vaping product at some point. How did we get here? More importantly, as parents, students, community members and educators, what can we do about it?
First and foremost, we can educate ourselves and others. Vaping devices heat nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals to create an aerosol that is inhaled. Vaping is the same as JUULing. JUUL is simply a brand of vaping device. It is the most popular vaping device among teenagers and it looks like a USB drive. JUUL is popular with teenagers for several reasons. It is marketed via social media, billboards and magazines, often portraying vaping as hip and youthful. The pods are formulated with flavorings that appeal to young people.
Vaping and JUULing is marketed as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. It is important to note that "safer" does not mean "safe." E-cigarettes and vaping devices contain nicotine. In fact, one JUUL pod equals the same amount of nicotine as in one pack of cigarettes. Nicotine can permanently alter the brain. The brain is "under construction" until age 27, meaning the pre-frontal cortex is still developing. This means nicotine use can affect memory, attention, the ability to learn, memory, attention and can contribute to behavioral problems. In the survey, 58% of BSD students surveyed believe there is low to no risk of harm using e-cigarettes or vaping.
E-cigarettes and vaping devices like JUUL are not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has the ability to stop e-cigarette sales and mandate that producers go through a formal FDA approval process. So far, the agency has not taken this action.
This is why the Beaverton School District is taking action. In cooperation with community partners including the Washington County Public Health Department, Providence Health Services and the Rebels for A Cause student group, we are launching a District-wide anti-vaping/JUULing campaign. Throughout the next several months, you will see articles, posters, flyers and social media posts. We are also working to organize a town-hall event, a candid conversation about the facts of this teenage vaping epidemic.