Sexton Mountain Newsletter

November 2018

Principal's Note

Time is flying at Sexton Mountain. We are now finishing our 10th week of school! Students have been working hard and learning is happening each and every day. This month the newsletter contains important information about the time change and what happens if it snows. Please look over Sexton Mountain's state report card. There are many areas to celebrate! We also know there are areas where we need to continue to work hard to support individual students. We strive daily to improve outcomes for all students. The district has a focus on attendance this year. At Sexton Mountain, we will recognize excellent attendance and most improved attendance monthly. Staff will follow up with individual families if a student's attendance dips. Please know we want to support students. Our goal is to find ways to help get kids here and learning. Of course, if your child is sick, they need to stay home.We will welcome them back when they are feeling better. Lastly, there is an article about a new feature in Snap chat. Keeping up with new technology and keeping our kids safe is a big job. I will pass on any information I come across that could be helpful.

State Report Card Results

School and district report cards for the 2017-18 school year are available at: (Select Beaverton in the District Selection drop-down menu). I welcome the opportunity to share this information with you on the progress we are making to improve academic achievement for each student in the District. We are making progress.

State report cards began fifteen years ago when the 1999 Oregon Legislature passed a law requiring every public school and district to receive a report from the Oregon Department of Education about how they are performing overall. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, replaces the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and affords states greater flexibility. ESSA encourages schools and educators to innovate and create systems that address local needs. As a part of this work, the Oregon Department of Education redesigned the School and District report cards to engage and inform families about their school’s approach to learning, academic and extracurricular offerings, and student performance. Reports cards also serve as an important tool for continuous improvement planning by local and state policymakers, in conjunction with the communities they serve.

At Sexton Mountain, WE are committed to using this information to help tailor our school improvement plans and academic programs to meet the needs of every student. During the year I will communicate with you frequently about student achievement and programs in place at our school to foster student learning and success.

If you have questions about our report card, please contact me.

November 4th-Clock Fall Back

On November 4, 2018, we set our clocks back an hour, making it darker earlier in the afternoon. With shorter days this time of year, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians need to be extra alert to see each other in low light situations.

Improving visibility means improving safety for all road users. Wearing light colors or reflective clothing is one of the simplest things pedestrians and cyclists can to do keep themselves safe.

Here are additional suggestions to help keep you safe while walking and biking:

  • Wear bright, reflective clothing and shoes when walking or biking.

  • Don’t wear headphones, text or talk on a cell phone while crossing the street.

  • Be aware of vehicles around you. Make eye contact before crossing in front of vehicles.

  • Don’t assume that cars see you or are going to stop.

  • Driving or biking…. expect and slow down for pedestrians in popular walking areas, around schools and parks, and near crosswalks.

When more people walk, bike and take the bus, it makes the route to school safer, less congested and more fun for everyone.

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Beaverton School District Inclement Weather Information

School closure or delayed start decisions will typically be communicated to media outlets and posted on the District website, Facebook and Twitter by 5:30 a.m. We encourage families to make transportation and attendance decisions for their child(ren) based on their own assessment of travel conditions at their location.

When all district schools and facilities are closed

 All daytime and evening activities/events on closure days are canceled.

When there is a 2-hour delay in opening school and buses are on snow routes

 All schools will open two hours later than regularly scheduled.

 The following classes/programs are cancelled:

o AM early intervention

o AM Preschool Classes

o AM Health Careers & Auto Program

 Terra Nova Program is canceled all day.

 There will be no bus service for Bonny Slope, Nancy Ryles and Sato elementary schools.

 Bus services will not be provided to McKinney-Vento students living outside of the district.

When school is on time and buses are on snow routes

 All schools operate on regular daily schedules.

 There will be no bus service for Bonny Slope, Nancy Ryles and Sato elementary schools

 Terra Nova Program is canceled all day.

 If the weather forecast calls for declining weather conditions throughout the day, the district will implement snow routes for PM dismissal.

When weather conditions necessitate an early closure of schools

 We encourage you to refer to the BSD website, SchoolMessenger and local media for more detailed information.

 All daytime and evening activities/events are cancelled.

Wednesday – Early Dismissal School Days

 The District will not have a 2-hour delay on Wednesday. The District will maintain a regular Wednesday schedule with Early Release or close schools for the day.

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Wednesday Early Release

When the students go home early on Wednesdays, Teachers switch gears from teaching to learning. This time is essential for teachers to be able to collaborate around the curriculum and craft plans on how to best meet every child's academic needs. In October staff spent time collaborating around Erin's law and the new Health materials.

School Board Resolution on Improving Attendance

The Beaverton School Board believes that regular student attendance is essential for ensuring our students are on-track to learn and succeed. We know students who routinely attend school are more likely to achieve academic success, graduate from high school, and be prepared for college and career.

On average, chronically absent students miss two or more days a month—the equivalent of 10 percent or more of the school year. Chronic absence is a leading, early warning indicator of academic trouble and later dropout. Improving attendance is essential to ensuring more equitable outcomes.

Beginning in 2012 attendance has been tracked for all schools and student groups and is a key element in the District Strategic Plan. The Beaverton School Board supports a data-driven approach to attendance improvement. Data helps us determine where absenteeism is most concentrated (by school, grade, ethnicity, geography, income, etc.) and allows us to identify the causes of absenteeism. Through a strong analysis of attendance data, educators and administrators can identify barriers to attendance and provide students with targeted support.

The Beaverton School Board believes everyone has a role to play in ensuring that Beaverton students understand the importance of regular attendance. We encourage parents and family members to monitor student absences and have pro-active conversations about the importance of attendance. Trusting relationships—whether with teachers, mentors, coaches, or other caring adults—are critical to encouraging students to pay attention to multiple absences and to seek help to overcome barriers to attendance.

The Beaverton School Board acknowledges that improving attendance is critical to student success. As a whole community of students, parents, family members, mentors, coaches, educators, and administrators, we can set the expectation that attendance matters, every day.

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Stay Healthy this Cold & Flu Season

Cold and flu season has already begun, but there are things you can do to keep yourself and your children healthier. Prevention measures include washing your hands frequently, getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Home is the best place for a child who is ill. The Too Sick for School informational flyer has guidelines to help you make the decision about when to keep your child home from school.

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Snap Map

Last year Snapchat introduced Snap Map, a cartoon-looking map with Bitmojis of users positioned at their real-life locations. At first, I thought this would not catch on because kids would know that sharing their location widely is not safe. I was wrong. The Snap Map function is used by most teens who use the app.

It goes one step further than just showing where the kid is, it also can virtually show what they are actually doing. A Bitmoji is selected by Snapchat to represent what the user is doing. If they are at a concert or listening to music, the Bitmoji might have headphones on. If they are at the gym or exercising, their Bitmoji might have exercise clothes and sneakers. If they are asleep, it shows them with little zzz’s or in a bed. There’s also a function called Map Explore that allows you to scroll through the map to see where your friends are headed. These updates are generated by Snapchat users moving around rather than typing in their locations. You can actually watch as your friend moves from one place to another.

The positive way to look at this is that some kids use the map to find their friends to meet up with them in real life, and encouraging real-life interaction is often a good thing.

But, in no uncertain terms, I want to say that I am concerned that so many of our kids and teens are pinpointing people’s exact location, including home addresses and street names. This raises a lot of red flags. As we know, the word “friend” can mean anything from a true bestie to a complete stranger.

Keeping our kids safe online is no easy task and Snap Map makes it even harder. It not only compromises the privacy and security of the kids using it, but it can also exacerbate feelings of being left out. Imagine you are at home using Snapchat and you see a group of your friends at someone else’s house on Snap Map. “Why wasn’t I invited,” you think. Whether it was intentional or not, the feeling of being left out is an immediate blow.

When you first activate Snap Map, you are asked if you want to share your location with all of your friends, some of your friends or remain private in Ghost Mode. If they have already started using Snap Map, they can change their privacy setting to Ghost Mode by going to the photo taking mode and pinching their screen to get to Snap Map. Once there, they click on the settings wheel and select Ghost Mode to turn off location sharing. They will be able to see where other people are but no one will see them.

I firmly believe that Snap Map has more downsides than upsides. The challenge is that many youths do use it. Therefore, when talking with your kids and teens about this, I suggest entering the conversation from a place of curiosity rather than a place of heavy-handedness. This will increase the chance that they come to understand that the downsides outweigh any upsides. It might be that you create a rule specifying Ghost Mode even if they disagree with it. They might not be happy at the moment, but chances are someday they will be thankful for the decision.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What positives do think there are with Snap Map?

  • What negatives do you think there are?

  • How is safety compromised if someone can see where you are and what you are doing? If someone can determine your home address?

  • Many kids and teens do indeed use the Ghost Mode (my two teens do) and do you think this makes sense for you? Even if they do not understand it at this point, you can tell them that you want the rule to be that they are in Ghost Mode.

Delaney Ruston, MD
Screenagers' Filmmaker

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November Dates

November 9-Grading Day- No school

November 12- Veteran's Day-No school

November 19-Fifth Grade to Biztown

November 21-23-Thanksgiving-No School

November 27-PTC Meeting @ 3:15

November 30-Picture Retakes