November 2017 Principal Chat

November’s Principal Chat was short and sweet, taking place right before BSCO’s Special Session Community Meeting.  Here’s the lowdown-- nice and brief.

Semester Swap

Say goodbye to trimester grading.  All schools in BSD are now on semesters, meaning we won’t see a report card home until February.  This eliminates additional grading days (keeping our little cherubs in the classroom).  Concerned about your child’s progress?  Each week teachers are checking in with students and encouraging conversations with parents regarding class work.

Snow Bus Blues

Oh, yes.  Our very lovely BSD Inclement Weather Policy.  How could we forget?  For those inexperienced newbies that have never experienced the joy of a snow route day at Bonny Slope, allow us to enlighten you to the sixth level of Dante’s inferno.

When weather is dicey, BSD has a choice to cancel school, have a delayed start, and/or put their busses on snow routes.  Snow routes avoid areas dangerous in the snow and ice, like steep hills, elevation etc.  Makes sense, right?  Except…

EVERY bus route for Bonny Slope is considered unsuitable in the snow, meaning NO BUSSES SERVE BSE when Beaverton designates snow routes.  NONE.

Now, many of you are scratching your heads and thinking, “So we still have school, but the roads to BSE are considered too dangerous for transportation, but we’re all expected to drive our kids to school on those same roads?”

Yes, my friends.  Exactly.  And that is why snow routes stink at BSE.

We are not the only school in this predicament.  Nancy Ryles and the new Sato Elementary are in the same boat, but man that doesn’t make us feel any better when the crush of cars descend on our parking lot and we just want to get our kids home.  Prepare yourself to be patient when you are picking up on a day with no bus service.  Better yet, add all your neighbors as designated pickups, so your ‘hood can carpool.

So!  Things to know when Beaverton School District announces that busses are on snow routes.

  • If the weather report looks dangerous, then each family has to decide if they go to school
  • BSD will not provide transportation home when on busses on snow routes, even if those same busses took the kids to school in the morning (and snow routes were called later in the day)
  • BSD will tell parents by 1pm if there’s been a change of bus service

Spelling Switch

As previously reported, BSD has implemented a district-wide change to how teachers approach spelling. Gone are the spelling lists and weekly tests.  20 years of research has shown that those spelling tests don’t ACTUALLY improve a child’s spelling in their writing.

These days, students are encouraged to just go for it-- spelling as they hear it and more emphasis on the process of writing.  Teachers also use explicit spelling as visuals-- on the board and on the paper.  Word families are presented, allowing students to use association to find the right spelling.  Also, students self-select words they continually misspell, allowing them to recognize where they need help.

And FYI-- math is taught in a similar fashion.  No more regurgitating math facts.  It’s all about understanding concepts, gaining number sense, and thinking critically.

Dreambox Baby

Most parents have probably heard about BSD’s new online math tool, Dreambox, where all your math dreams come true.  BSD is encouraging teachers to use Dreambox within the classroom and not necessarily at home, ensuring that students aren’t getting an extra boost from parents “helping.”

The cool thing about Dreambox, as previously described in these chats, is that it’s adaptive, directing students to types of practice based on their time and accuracy.  That progress is monitored by the teacher.

If you are looking for online math tools to be used at home, have your little minion take you to their Technology module.  They can access Zearn, Khan Academy, and many other educational online tools from that portal.

And that’s a wrap!  Join us on Friday, 12/15 at 2pm for December’s Principal Chat.

BSCO Board Meeting Snapshot & Treasurer’s Report: November 20, 2017

In an effort to boost transparency between the BSCO Board and the BSE community, a monthly snapshot will be published of the various topics discussed at the Board's monthly meetings.  These are not official minutes or a detailed description, but rather a window into the discussion and voting results of the Board

November Meeting-- 11/20/2017

On the Monday prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, the board came together to discuss several topics.  DeDe Osborne, one of the Volunteer Directors, and Melissa Gatchell (Treasurer) were unable to attend.  

Ashish Gupta, President, shared progress on the preliminary science school plans for this year's 5th graders.  A 3-day/2-night science school experience, held at Mazamas Mountain Science School in February, would offer students an opportunity to enhance their science inquiry skills and learn about mountain ecosystems.  In order to safely cover the projected expense even after the student contribution and pancake breakfast fundraiser, BSCO has invited the community to vote on additional funding to support this year's 5th grade science school.  This community meeting to vote on $2500 budget increase will follow the principal chat on Monday, Nov 27th, 2-3pm.  [Update: The funding was approved at the community meeting.]

Per Ellen Rothery, VP for Fundraising, the final fundraising results from this year's Jog-a-thon were impressive at over $56k raised, which after expenses should net over $50k.  The matching funds are incremental to these numbers.  The school celebrated with an all school dance party and several classrooms celebrated milestone participation levels.  Ellen confirmed final plans to celebrate the community-funded gymnasium projector with a first ever family movie night on Friday, Dec 1.  Pizza Schmizza will have slices for sale prior to the start of the film.

Looking ahead to BSCO's 2nd fundraiser for the year, the board is excited to support the new auction chair, Lauren McCabe.  An impressive group of community members joined Lauren at the auction committee kickoff before Thanksgiving, where procurement, event planning and themes were discussed.  A collection of valuable survey responses from the community were also provided to the newly formed committee.  The board spent time brainstorming ideas for new school projects which could be funded with fundraising proceeds.  Both the date, Saturday, 4/21 and venue, the Tiffany Center, have been secured.  Mark your calendars for this adults-only community soiree.  

Holly VanderPloeg, Director of Committees, recognized the stellar work of many after a number of events including the Author visit, Staff Appreciation, Book Fair, Monster Mash and ongoing JAT classroom/all-school parties.  New to the BSCO budget this year, the STEM in Residence program kicked off alongside the National STEM day on November 8th and the sampling of student feedback so far is positive.  Over the duration of calendar year, each 2nd-5th grade student will be given 4 hour-long coding sessions, delivered by Saturday Academy.  All K-1st graders will receive similar lessons, designed for their age group.  With 2017-18 book titles announced and teams forming, OBOB committee planning is well underway.  

Per Jenna Dornblaser, Director of Volunteers, the classroom winter parties are scheduled for Wednesday, 12/20.  All party coordinators were provided training during the last month.  Volunteers are lined up for the upcoming student vision screening on 12/7.

Covering for Treasurer, Melissa Gatchell, Ashish reviewed the budget, YTD spending and current/projected reserves.  The community is invited to view the current financials below.

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Registration is Open for Bobcat Ski Bus 2018!

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The Bobcat Ski Bus is open to all K-5 students at Bonny Slope Elementary. There will be 5 lessons at Mt. Hood Meadows on 3 nights and one full day. 

  • Friday, February 2 - No school, two lessons during the day
  • Friday, February 9 - Friday evening
  • Friday, February 16 - Friday evening
  • Friday, February 23 - Friday evening

For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/view/bobcat-ski-bus/home, contact mike.vanderploeg@gmail.com or call (503) 888-6487

OBOB Update November 30th

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You may have heard from your child about the first tactic session meeting on Monday, November 27. Although it was a short meeting during recess, we covered a lot of information.  Please review the information with your kiddo(s) at home just in case they missed the Tactic Session meeting.

Handouts included:

Parents, if your child(ren) has(have) not given you a Parent Permission Form to sign, please fill it out and have your child(ren) turn it into the OBOB tray in the library.  There were many kiddos at the Tactic Session who did not have Parent Permission Form on file.

Next Tactic Session meeting is on December 7.  There will be a flash quiz on OBOB authors and title. 12 correct answers gets a ticket in the raffle for a current OBOB book during the Tactic Session meeting on December 19.

All OBOB info is on our website at http://www.bonnyslopebsco.org/oregon-battle-of-the-books/.

 

BSCO Special Session Approves Science School Experience

BSCO’S SPECIAL SESSION COMMUNITY MEETING, HELD LAST MONDAY, 11/27, FOCUSED ON THE FIFTH GRADE’S TRIP TO MAZAMAS SCIENCE SCHOOL EXPERIENCE.

Meeting Minutes
Slides of the meeting can be found here.

BSCO Special Session
Date: 11/27/17
Location:  BSE Conference Room

Attendance:  Ashish Gupta, Andrea Steyskal, Ellen Rothery, Currie Reese, Maureen Louie, Hannah Donohue, Jenna Dornblaser, Emily Holmes, Ali Montelongo, Janet Maza, Julie Gupta, Tami Kim, Hyeseon Jo, Holly Vanderploeg, Christopher Basham

Call to Order:  2:32pm

New Business

Mazamas Mountain 5th Grade Science School Experience ($2500 allocation)

Mazama.jpg

This year, the 5th grade classes are looking at attending a Science School Experience called Mazamas Mountain School near Government Camp.  It is run through Multnomah ESD and is a two-night science experience.  Two classes will go up at a time, with each trip taking place in February 2018.

Because BSCO’s next community meeting isn’t scheduled until late January, the special session and vote was necessary in order to secure our reservation with Mazamas and begin the necessary paperwork through BSD.

Janet Maza, principal, described the various steps needed in order for this trip to become a reality.  The first step is to approve funding.  If BSCO approves the allocation, then the necessary paperwork is submitted to BSD’s Risk Management. This trip is not a “done deal” yet, but today’s vote is a necessary step in the process.

Ashish Gupta, President, stepped through the various reasons for today’s special session.  First, the differences in cost from using the budget of last year's off site school and the proposed Science School were presented.  Various items make Mazamas more expensive, including BSD’s requirement that a BSD nurse be included in the trips.  The cost of the experience and transportation are also slightly more expensive than last year’s School.  

With the Board’s conservative estimates, an additional $2470 may be needed to fund this endeavor, depending on the number of students attending and the income from Pancake Breakfast.  Because of BSCO’s solid savings and the successful fundraising so far this year, the Board believes that this allocation is reasonable and prudent.

Parents asked several questions, including the inclement weather policy.  Bonny Slope will be billed after the experience, so if weather cancels the trip, no payment is due.  The students will be taking regular school busses to the camp.  The family contribution has been capped at $70/student, though there will be some sort of scholarship or sliding scale available, allowing parents to cover a portion of other students who need financial aid.  The camp itself has loaner snow pants and coats for those students unable to bring their own.

The motion was brought to a vote and passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned:  3:03pm

Announcing the BSCO 2018 School Auction!

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Bonny Slope Community Organization is thrilled to announce the 2018 Bobcat Soiree & Auction will be celebrated on Saturday, April 21st.  This year we honor the 10 Years of Excellence that Bonny Slope Elementary has achieved with a soiree and auction at The Tiffany Center located at 1410 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205.  

So please mark your calendars and book a babysitter! We can't wait for you to join the BSCO community to help support this event and raise funds to advocate for our school, our teaching staff and most importantly our students.  Donations raised at the event supply the programs that your students love and make our school stand out. Programs like Art Literacy, Artist In Residence, Bobcat Trail, Community Garden, Family Movie Night, Geography Club, Monster Mash, Oregon Battle Of the Books, Science Fair, and all the other wonderful community building events that occur through out the year are made possible by this event. 

If you would like further information about any of these programs or the BSCO fundraising efforts please contact Ellen Rothery, vpfundraising@bonnyslopebsco.org.  Donation and sponsorship info can be found at https://bonnyslopebsco.ejoinme.org/2018auction.

BSCO Special Session Approves Science School Experience

BSCO’s Special Session Community Meeting, held last Monday, 11/27, focused on the fifth grade’s trip to Mazamas Science School Experience.

Meeting Minutes
Slides of the meeting can be found here.

BSCO Special Session
Date: 11/27/17
Location:  BSE Conference Room

Attendance:  Ashish Gupta, Andrea Steyskal, Ellen Rothery, Currie Reese, Maureen Louie, Hannah Donohue, Jenna Dornblaser, Emily Holmes, Ali Montelongo, Janet Maza, Julie Gupta, Tami Kim, Hyeseon Jo, Holly Vanderploeg, Christopher Basham

Call to Order:  2:32pm

New Business

Mazamas Mountain 5th Grade Science School Experience ($2500 allocation)

Mazama.jpg

This year, the 5th grade classes are looking at attending a Science School Experience called Mazamas Mountain School near Government Camp.  It is run through Multnomah ESD and is a two-night science experience.  Two classes will go up at a time, with each trip taking place in February 2018.

Because BSCO’s next community meeting isn’t scheduled until late January, the special session and vote was necessary in order to secure our reservation with Mazamas and begin the necessary paperwork through BSD.

Janet Maza, principal, described the various steps needed in order for this trip to become a reality.  The first step is to approve funding.  If BSCO approves the allocation, then the necessary paperwork is submitted to BSD’s Risk Management. This trip is not a “done deal” yet, but today’s vote is a necessary step in the process.

Ashish Gupta, President, stepped through the various reasons for today’s special session.  First, the differences in cost from using the budget of last year's off site school and the proposed Science School were presented.  Various items make Mazamas more expensive, including BSD’s requirement that a BSD nurse be included in the trips.  The cost of the experience and transportation are also slightly more expensive than last year’s School.  

With the Board’s conservative estimates, an additional $2470 may be needed to fund this endeavor, depending on the number of students attending and the income from Pancake Breakfast.  Because of BSCO’s solid savings and the successful fundraising so far this year, the Board believes that this allocation is reasonable and prudent.

Parents asked several questions, including the inclement weather policy.  Bonny Slope will be billed after the experience, so if weather cancels the trip, no payment is due.  The students will be taking regular school busses to the camp.  The family contribution has been capped at $70/student, though there will be some sort of scholarship or sliding scale available, allowing parents to cover a portion of other students who need financial aid.  The camp itself has loaner snow pants and coats for those students unable to bring their own.

The motion was brought to a vote and passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned:  3:03pm

Staff Appreciation: Cookies for the holidays!

Thanks to all of you who helped PIE day be wonderful.  As always, the staff were wowed by the generous gesture. 

It's almost December and therefore holiday cookie time! It's a BSE tradition and rated at the top of the staff's "My Favorite Things" list (cue Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music).

Consider baking a dozen or two of your favorite holiday morsels to share.  BSE is growing and we have 75 boxes to make up as we include all teachers, staff, assistants and even bus drivers!  

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Baking not your thing?  Don't fret....we need helpers to package all the goodness and deliver around the school too.  

Tuesday, December 19th: Please have your goods to the volunteer room at school by 12:30 pm so packaging can begin at 1:00 pm.

Here’s the signup  www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0C4FABAB28A02-cookies

Thanks so much for continuing this Holiday cheer!
Stefanie & Sierra
Co-leads
Staff Appreciation Committee

 

Take Action! Support a BSE Family

In the Bonny Slope community, we like to take action and show we care! We will be supporting 15 Bonny Slope families by collecting and distributing gift cards to assist them over the holidays. If you would like to contribute, please bring gift cards to the office by Friday, December 15th. Below is a list of gift cards that we feel would be especially helpful. Of course, any cards will be appreciated.

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  • Fred Meyer
  • Gas Station
  • Target
  • Trimet Passes
  • Walmart
  • Winco
  • Other Grocery Stores
  • Ross
  • Dollar Tree
  • Powells
  • Barnes and Noble

Thank you, in advance, for your generosity during this holiday season.

The Bonny Slope Staff