Bonny Slope Elementary
December 15, 2022
Dates To Remember
DECEMBER12/16 *Winter Parties in Classrooms / PJ/Comfy Cozy Spirit Day & Assembly
12/17- 12/31 NO SCHOOL - Winter Break
1/3 Staff and students back from Winter Break
1/5 OHSU COVID testing drop off - by 9 AM
1/12 OHSU COVID testing drop off - by 9 AM
1/13 NO SCHOOL- Staff Development/Workday
1/16 NO SCHOOL- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
1/19 OHSU COVID testing drop off - by 9 AM
1/20 January Birthday Lunch
1/24 Vision Screening K-5
1/25 Principal Chat 6:00 PM (Library)
1/25 BSCO Winter Community Meeting 7:00 PM (Library)
1/26 OHSU COVID testing drop off - by 9 AM
You can also view up to date calendar information in Parent Square.
Dear Bonny Slope Families,
We made it to Winter Break! The beginning of this year has seen much joy as we reconnect and build our community to support the learning of all. We look forward to Winter Break to relax, rejuvenate and prepare ourselves for 2023.
Thanks to BSCO and our staff for supporting our new Bobcat Academy. Bobcat Academy is a BSCO-funded after school program supporting our learners who are not yet up to grade level or have other learning needs. Individual students are invited to participate and we will start on January 11th. We are excited to be able to offer this support to our students!
Below is the video from today’s Principal Chat. Please take a few minutes to listen to it, as there are important updates and reminders about inclement weather, the school calendar and keeping us all healthy.
Thank you for your continued support and may you all find joy and peace during the holiday season. We’ll see you all when we return on Tuesday, January 3, 2023!
Warmest Winter Wishes,
ACADEMIC COACH'S CORNER
What can we do at home to help our child become a more confident, fluent reader?
Practice Makes Permanent
This holiday season was such a great time to gather extended family and truly catch up. My little sister is in the throes of raising two teenage boys and a second-grade girl, so finding a moment to whip together a holiday meal and love each other is rare. We finally had time to catch up and just talk.
My four children are in adulting phases, but I can still connect to the school and extracurricular activity madness years like they were yesterday. Like many of our Bonny Slope families, the pace of life catches up and we wonder where all the time went. Sure 20 minutes of nightly reading time seems reasonable, until that 20 minutes is added to the music lessons, sports practice, dinner and bath routine. Remembering the reading time often ends up right before bed and often turns into the tool that finally puts children to sleep. This isn’t really reading practice.
My niece, Natalie, is the third in the line-up. Sports are a major part of this family's existence. The entire crew plays on several teams which leaves little time for anything but feeding, laundering and transporting. My niece is in constant motion and has very little time in her life spent focused on her own reading. Not much time is spent practicing.
My sister and brother in law were aware that their third child wasn’t spending the time with books needed. Each day passed and they heard themselves saying, “Tomorrow we will sit down and carve out some time to focus for Natalie”. They found themselves the week of Thanksgiving at a school conference facing the reality of neglected practice. The teacher laid out the data, compared to typical second graders and it felt like a punch in the gut. Not only was my niece lagging behind her peers, despite two weeks of “reading camp” and lots of money spent at the book fair, the data showed no progress since last year. Those needling thoughts confirmed, their third child needed time and attention to reading practice.
The most dreaded part, Aunt Jenny, the Reading Specialist from Oregon, was coming for Thanksgiving. Cue dread music….
First of all, let’s just remember that there was a pandemic. All students experienced some learning lags due to the time away from a classroom setting, but a second grader is probably the most impacted by the instructional interruption. Our primary students had 1 ½ to 2 years of online time during very formative foundational instruction. Despite the herculean efforts of parents and teachers, individual time with students was not ideal when learning virtually.
Secondly, a child third in the sibling line-up, has many skills, this one in particular has honed excellent avoidance behavior, incredible “quietly looking very busy while doing very little” skill, and “sneaking off not bothering anyone, while I play with my many toys” abilities.
Third, and you all understand this, parents are tired.
I found myself asking my sister exactly the questions I go over with parents at Bonny Slope.
1. What does that data tell you?
2. What is being implemented at school to improve reading?
3. What is being done at home to improve reading?
Data. At Bonny Slope, our reading assessment is the IRLA: Independent Reading Assessment Framework. While no one assessment is perfect, in my LONG career, I have used several assessment tools and feel IRLA has the tools that have been the most diagnostic. We also use easyCBM, k-2 to screen for reading risks. After the general assessments are completed, we can look closer at students who may not be at grade level and administer other assessments to determine why that may be.
If you are wondering about your student’s reading level, please reach out. We have current data that will reveal exactly what your student needs.
In my niece's case, I determined that phonemic awareness was solid, phonics was strong but blending sounds into words was weak. The data told me that Natalie needs time reading out loud to an adult every day.
School plan. At Bonny Slope, we work hard to make sure each student is accurately assessed. Instruction is given by the classroom teacher and if there is a need for intervention it is a researched-based proven curriculum, or strategy complementing what is being taught in the classroom. Intervention data is shared every three weeks so classroom teachers are updated when there is growth.
If you are wondering about your student’s reading plan, please reach out. We have specific information and materials that will show exactly what your student is doing at school to meet their reading goals.
At Natalie’s school, she sees another second-grade teacher who works with students below grade level on targeted phonics instruction. She also works with an intervention team. The classroom teacher could not speak specifically about my niece’s strengths and weaknesses because she does not work with her personally.
I left my sister with specific questions to ask the teachers:
What curriculum and strategies are being used?
What skills are targeted being taught?
Is the intervention work complementing the in-class work?
Home plan. In most elementary schools it is typical for a classroom teacher to suggest 20 minutes of reading for pleasure each day. Some classroom requirements may include reading logs or some book chats. The honest truth is, to progress at anything one must be engaged in practice. Of course, this is easy for the child who already loves reading. That kid who is devouring books and can’t wait to see what the author did in the sequel, well, if you have that student you have not read this far in my blurb….there is no way around the fact that for our neurotransmitters to make a solid connection, we need to practice consistently. This is true for shooting hoops, your golf swing, driving a car, you name it. Practice doesn’t only make perfect, PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT. If one isn’t using the new skill, it will not improve, in fact, it will be lost. Reading is no different.
If a student is behind their peers in reading, that student needs to practice more than 20 minutes to expect to grow AND catch up to grade level expectations.
My niece was not practicing. No one was ensuring the 7 year-old sat down and read anything. Their school has an online app with a daily at-home requirement that no one had logged into (....gulp….), nor does she have any books at her level easily located in the Barbie, LOL doll, unicorn sparkle fest in her room.
Aunt Jenny has created a plan that includes my own special reading concoction, based on data, the schools reading app and her very tired parents enforcing practice. The high stakes bribe also attached was determined between parent and child :). Stay tuned for the results after six weeks of reading focus.
If you would like me to create an at-home reading plan based on your child’s most recent data, you should know it is one of my most favorite topics. Also know, I will ask you the following questions:
What does the teacher suggest for reading practice?
Is there ample time carved into your family life to dedicate for reading practice?
Is purposeful reading prioritized?
I am happy to share data and ideas.
Hello Bonny Slope Community,
You may be aware that respiratory viruses including RSV, influenza, and COVID-19 have been on the rise in our area. We are also seeing an uptick in illness-related absences at Bonny Slope and across Beaverton School District.
This is a great time to remember to keep the entire family up to date with school-required vaccines and other recommended vaccines like the flu shot and COVID vaccine. I would also recommend talking to your student about increasing their frequency of proper handwashing. Students can also decrease the spread of illness by choosing to wear a mask at school.
Most importantly, if your child is ill, the best place for them is at home. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with Beaverton School District's "Too Sick for School" guidelines.
If your student is ill, please notify the school and let us know what symptoms your child is experiencing. Please contact your health care provider about any serious illness or if you are worried about your child's health.
Thank you for your partnership in keeping Bonny Slope healthy!
Amelia Carnahan, RN, BSN
SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR
A huge thank you to our families for participating in the Book Fair last week! It was a great success, and we raised almost $4,000 through Scholastic that will benefit our school. If you would still like to shop, the Book Fair is available online until December 21:
SAVE THE DATE!
One of Bonny Slope's most anticipated – and delicious – events is returning in February. The 5th grade class will be hosting a fluffy-buttery-syrup-soaked pancake breakfast for the school and community to help fund Outdoor Science School adventures.
The breakfast will be held on Saturday, February 11th from 7:30-10:30 am in the school cafeteria. After Winter Break, look for communications about ticket sales and entry for raffle prizes. You'll also have the opportunity to "Sponsor a staff member breakfast" to reward our amazing staff members with the sweetness they bring to our kids each day.
If you would like to donate, provide sponsorship to the event, or contribute to our raffle please reach out to Erin O'Roak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonny Slope Elementary
Principal: Cary Meier
Assistant Principal: Betty Skundrick
11775 NW McDaniel Rd.
Portland, OR 97229