Central Linn District News

October 2023

5 Questions to Ask Your Child's Teacher About Their Reading Progress

If you are concerned, or even just curious, about your child’s reading development, it is important to partner with your child’s teacher to ensure your child’s skill development is on track.

Here are 5 questions to ask your child’s teacher to help navigate these conversations.

  1. What approach is being used to teach reading and spelling?

    Listen for the words “explicit” and “systematic” to describe the approach to teaching reading, spelling, and writing. “Explicit” means that the teacher is providing deliberate teaching of all concepts (what are the concepts that must be taught? Read on, this item is covered below!) related to the elements of language with continuous student-teacher feedback and interaction. The teacher does not assume that the child will deduce reading and writing practices from a print-rich environment. “Systematic” means that the organization of material follows the logical order of the English language. The sequence should begin with the easiest and most basic concepts and progress methodically to the more complex elements. Each step should be based on concepts previously taught. While you don’t want to see a list of random spelling words assigned on Monday with a spelling test on Friday, you DO want to see spelling instruction integrated with phonics instruction. As students learn sound-letter correspondences for reading, they should be given ample opportunities to practice spelling those same sound-letter correspondences. Spelling instruction is proven to improve reading ability; it is truly the gateway to reading.

  2. What elements are included in literacy instruction? You are hoping to hear:

    Phonology: the study of the sound structure of spoken words. Phonemic awareness should be addressed; it is the ability to segment words into their component sounds, which are called phonemes. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language. For example, the word “chip” has 3 phonemes, /ch/, /i/, /p/. This skill is essential to develop for both reading and spelling.

    Sound-Symbol Correspondence: Once students have a well-developed sense of the sound structure of spoken language, they need to learn to associate the sounds with printed letters. This association must be taught and mastered for both reading and spelling. Spelling is a more challenging task than reading and requires explicit instruction.

    Morphology: the smallest unit of meaning in language is called a morpheme. Instruction in these small units of meaning provides an important tool for students to gain access to the meaning of unknown words. Instruction should center around base words, roots, prefixes, and suffixes. For example, consider the word: deconstruction. It has four morphemes: de+con+struct+ion. De-is a prefix that means “of or from”, con-is a prefix meaning “with” or “together.” Struct is a root word that means “to build”, and -ion is a suffix that means “result of a process.” Deconstruction is the process of breaking something down into smaller parts. Having a good working knowledge of roots, prefixes, and suffixes gives students a huge advantage in figuring out the meaning of complex words. Even in early grades, students should be introduced to morphology.

    Syntax: Don’t let those sentence diagramming sentences of your middle school days haunt you! Those aren’t entirely necessary, but instruction in syntax does matter! Syntax describes the order of the words in a sentence and how words function in a sentence. Explicit instruction in syntax is important to develop students writing ability and reading comprehension abilities.

    Semantics: all of reading and writing has to do with meaning, and semantics is the specific aspect of language concerned with meaning. Instruction in semantics can include vocabulary, multiple meanings of words, making inferences, and reading comprehension strategies.

  3. How are my child’s skills assessed?

    Instruction should be tailored to both build on your child’s strengths and help develop areas that are weak. Your child’s teacher should have data to show you your child’s skill progression relative to grade-level expectations. Typical assessments you should ask for:

    Phonics (decoding)

    Encoding (spelling)

    Fluency (how automatically and effortlessly your child can read)

    Phonemic awareness (depending on the grade level. This is a skill that tends to be assessed more often in the earlier grades)

  4. How is progress being monitored and how will it be communicated?

    You can expect progress reports on the categories listed above at least 3 times a year. It is critical that if your child is NOT making progress in any category that this is both communicated to you AND that the instruction is either changed and/or intensified to meet your child’s learning needs. Continuing with more of the same will not magically yield change.

  5. How are students identified who need extra help, who works with these students, and what is the training of the teachers who work with these students?

    Identifying students who are at-risk early is crucial. We can’t say it enough. Giving a child more time for something “to click” just isn’t how reading develops in the brain. With the proper use of screeners, assessments, and progress monitoring, any child who is at risk for struggling with reading should be identified early and provided with intervention to match their specific needs. It is ideal if the teacher paired with these students is highly-trained in Structured Literacy (see the elements in question #2) and has had experience beyond being sent to a 3-day crash course the district funded.

Empowered with these questions, we hope you will partner with your child’s educational team to ensure your child is on a successful literacy trajectory!

(Article provided by Redwood Literacy)

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CLSD Is looking for volunteers who would want to participate in our new Oregon Routes Program

In partnership with the LBL/ESD, Central Linn is piloting a new program called Oregon Routes where driving volunteers are able to set their availability and to be compensated for transporting students. We are eagerly seeking staff and community members to join us as we navigate a new program.

This is a great opportunity to be paid while serving students not only within the Central Linn School District but potentially for other districts as well. For more information, please contact Erin Baston at oregonroutes@lblesd.k12.or.us.

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Thursday is a regular school day. Elementary parent/teacher conferences will be by appointment.

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Thursday is a regular school day for Jr/Sr High Students. Parent/Teacher conferences will be arena style on Thursday and drop in on Friday.

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Join us November 2nd for STEAM Night!

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Elementary Jog-a-Thon

Central Linn Elementary had its annual jog-a-thon back at the elementary school! The goal was to see how far you could go in fifteen minutes. All students went 1 - 2 miles. It was a fantastic day with everyone having fun and enjoying exercising. A huge thank you to all the family members who came out to support our students.
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Welcome, Mr. Walter, Elementary Music Teacher!!

"Odin the Scandinavian Viking" is teaching music part-time at our Elementary School this school year. The remainder of the year, outside of the Scandinavian Festival, Odin goes by Mr. Walter and is a semi-retired teacher with thirty years of experience teaching K-12. Most of his experience is in teaching music but he has also taught other subjects including a regular elementary classroom, alternative energy science, PE, and musical theater, and he was an administrator for a bit. When Mr. Walter is not a teacher, he likes to sing at concerts, travel, and work on his businesses. Mr. Walter runs a property development company and a historic cemetery located in Millersburg, OR. Tim is a family man with a beautiful wife, Peggie. They will be married for 39 years this December. Together, they have two adopted daughters, three sons, and three daughters-in-law, and six grandkids with one on the way. One of his grandkids is in his Central Linn Elementary Music class.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Tim Walter!

  • Fun Fact about Mr. Walter, he started his career in 1994 at Central Linn as a High School Music Teacher and after thirty years has chosen to return after retiring.
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Jessica Patterson and Sue Harte took several seniors to LBCC's Manufacturing Day earlier this month. The goal of the event is to highlight the CTE opportunities at LBCC and give students hands-on, in-person exposure. They shared earnings possibilities and information about job opportunities in the area. Many LBCC CTE students are hired in the field before their certificates are completed. Students who attend these events are surprised at what they find out and often do some follow-up research.

Activity for Life participated in the Horner's 3D Bow Shoot outside of Sweet Home as part of their archery unit.

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Congratulations, Jackson Duringer, on being chosen as the OSAA Athlete of the Week!

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Collage of Homecoming Fun

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The Central Linn Elementary School hosted its Second Mom's Night Out on Wednesday, October 11th.

We had potluck street tacos and so many other goodies, great conversations, connections, and just a great time. We had fifteen moms there who enjoyed adult conversations, making some fall crafts and then some decided to try some line dancing. We enjoyed our evening so much that we have an incredible mom who will teach some line dancing at the next Mom's night out. We just want our moms to come and enjoy an evening away, feel connected to other moms, and do whatever they feel like doing that evening. Our next Mom's Night Out will be on Wednesday, October 25th from 6-8 pm in the CLES cafeteria. Childcare is provided, but you must email chandra.evans@centrallinn.k12.or.us by October 24th to ensure enough adult coverage. Snacks are provided for childcare, but we ask that they have dinner before coming. We plan on doing a finger food potluck on the 25th. Come enjoy great company and connect with other moms in our community. We will have some more crafting available as well.

It takes a village and we have a pretty great one here in our community.

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Student Quote of the Month

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Helping Protect What You Value Most.... Your Children

Dear Parents:

Child Safe Kit is an easy-to-use identification kit, which could help save your child's life. It allows families to record and keep fingerprints, vital information, and a photo of each child. The kit is provided in a "keep at home" version or a mobile app. In the horrific event, your child is abducted or lost, you can get this information to authorities quickly.

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity to make the Child Safe Kit part of your sound family protection and planning, please pick up a kit at the district office or inquire through your building secretary and a kit will go home with your child.

Use this link for information about the Child Safe Kit.

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Coat Drive for Students

As the weather gets colder, Bryan's Woodshed and Jenna Stutsman of Hybrid Real Estate are hosting a coat drive until Oct 31 benefitting students in the Central Linn area. Do you have a new or lightly used coat lying around that you don't need? Have your kids outgrown last year's winter coat? Bryan and Jenna are accepting all sizes as well as cash. Drop-off is at their locations or in the Brownsville City Hall lobby.

Thank you, Central Linn community, for helping our students stay warm and healthy this winter!

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Oregon Health Coverage

Need health coverage or have questions? Please reach out to the number listed below. Representatives want to offer support to individuals and their families who have questions about health coverage. Their primary goal is to help all Oregonians find affordable health coverage that fits their needs.

Open enrollment period runs from Nov. 1, 2023, through Jan. 15, 2024. This is the primary time for people to apply for financial assistance and enroll in a health plan for 2024.
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Mental Health and Substance Abuse Announcement

Central Linn School District has partnered with Care Solace to support the well-being of our community. If you or a family member are looking for help with mental health or substance use Care Solace can help you quickly find treatment options matched to your needs, regardless of the circumstance. This is a complimentary and confidential care coordination service provided by Central Linn School District. If you would like to use Care Solace to help find a mental health care provider call 888-515-0595.

Support is available 24/7/365 in over 200 languages.

Visit https://www.caresolace.com/site/centrallinn and either search on your own or click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone.

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Report a tip online

Did you know we have an anonymous tip line located on the main page of our website? Through Vector Solutions, we offer SafeSchools Alert which allows a quick and anonymous report of safety concerns to school officials 24/7.

Link: https://centrallinn-or.safeschoolsalert.com/

NOTE: This tip line is not for immediate emergency response. Emergency situations should always go to 9-1-1.

All tips are analyzed and forwarded to designated personnel who can provide further assistance in resolving reported incidents. False or prank tips may be investigated by law enforcement (ORS 165.570).

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Central Linn School District

Serving the communities and surrounding areas of Brownsville, Halsey, Shedd and Peoria, Oregon.