BSCO Board Meeting Snapshot & Treasurer’s Report: October 16, 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

October Meeting-- 10/16/2017

The board met again in October with a number of topics discussed.  DeDe Osborne, one of Volunteer Directors, was unable to attend.

Ashish Gupta, President, reported all expenses related to the gymnasium projector (approved in last year's budgets) are now paid.  In celebration of this community funded project, plans are underway to host a family movie night at BSE on 12/1.  Family friendly, G-rated title TBD.  Ashish was also excited to share the arrival of the 2 new classroom projectors which will be set up and tried before roll out to all classrooms.

Informal feedback from this year's Jog-a-thon, Running Around the World, is very positive.  The international theme showcased the rich diversity that makes up BSE and students had an opportunity to gain some fun facts on their classroom's country/region.  The fundraising results are also impressive with envelopes still being collected and counted.  Final push happening this week to give all classrooms a shot at hitting classroom participation prizes and encourage participation at any amount.  Despite no leads identified, the auction fundraiser for this school year is not off the table even if it becomes an online event only.  The board continues to gather information from prior chairs, hold dates/venues and discuss other ideas on what this year's event could look like.  We are preparing a community survey to be rolled out soon.

Melissa Gatchell, Treasurer, has been instrumental in getting dollars/checks deposited from the the JAT fundraiser, as well as keeping our financial reporting up to date.  The full financials are available to review here.

Per Jenna Dornblaser, Director of Volunteers, BSE has reached an impressive 1,000+ volunteers in mVP.  Given such a large and valuable community, Jenna planned a larger number of sign-in systems in the office for JAT to ensure smooth and fast volunteer check-in and she plans to do the same for other busy volunteer days.  Unfortunately, the turn around time on background checks, which is handled by BSD in partnership with local law enforcement, is outside of our control and has occasionally trended longer than a few weeks.  Therefore, it is recommended to plan in advance if any member of the community hasn't already had a background check and wants to attend an event or help in the school at any time.  Recruiting party coordinators for all classrooms and scheduling the related training is a focus in the coming weeks.

The school calendar has been busy.  Holly VanderPloeg, Director of Committees, recognized numerous leads and volunteers on a variety of events/committee kickoffs which took place over the last few weeks.  October will close with Monster Mash (10/27), Book Fair (last/short week in October) and OBOB committee kick off.  The community garden is also getting some renewed attention after new sprinkler lines were installed last spring and classrooms are showing interest in contributing to its upkeep.    

Fall Book Fair is just around the corner!

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Dear Bonny Slope Families:

Our 2017 Fall Scholastic Book Fair is just around the corner and we need your help to make this a great one!

Our Scholastic Book Fair is a fun reading event that brings the books kids want to read right into our school. It’s a wonderful selection of engaging and affordable books for every reading level. Please make plans to visit our Book Fair and be involved in shaping your child’s reading habits.  Please note that the book fair is open Monday through Thursday this year, so plan accordingly! 

Book Fair Hours: 

    Monday, October 30th        8am – 4pm
    Tuesday, October 31st        8am – 4pm
    Wednesday, November 1st     8am – 7:30pm (FAMILY NIGHT)
    Thursday, November 2nd        8am – 3pm

We will host our Family Night on Wednesday, November 1st for the entire family to purchase books and enjoy a sweet treat.  Wednesday is also an early release day, so kids and families will have the entire afternoon, until 7:30pm, to come by and buy some great new books.  

No time to attend the book fair or you need a little more information?  Not to worry, we have an online Book Fair set up just for Bonny Slope Elementary.  
Visit – - to buy books, get more information about the fair and access the volunteer link.

We need your time and energy to make this Book Fair a success!  To volunteer, sign up at:

We look forward to seeing you and your family at our Book Fair! Remember, all purchases benefit our library and classrooms throughout the school. 

Melissa Gatchell and Cindi Otis
Book Fair Co-Chairs


Geo Club Check Day is Next Week (Thur 10/26)

Thursday, October 26th is the next Geography Club Check Day.

Don't forget to study those maps with your students.  The October map is Asia and Middle East part 1.

Maps can be found at:    

If you are interested in volunteering, check out our sign-up genius here:     

Thank you!!  


Jog-a-thon Envelopes Due Tomorrow, Tue 10/17

A friendly reminder that Jog-a-thon envelopes are due at school on Tuesday, October 17th.

  • Finish those donations--perhaps if you were waiting to donate based on number of laps run.  Donations by credit/debit card are made online at
  • All cash and check (made out to BSCO) donations that were not made online go into the Jog-a-thon envelope and get returned to the school office.  Lost your Jog-a-thon envelope?  Return in any envelope and include the pledge sheet.
  • If your employer offers matching contributions, submit the amount to them to have it matched.  More info here.


Thank you for your generous contribution to the Bonny Slope community.

2017 Jog-a-thon Sprints to the Finish Line


The 10th annual Jog-A-Thon enjoyed a beautiful race day last Friday, as students ran their little hearts out around the track to represent their classroom’s country/region.  To date, this generous community has already fundraised over $40,000, with over 350 students donating in some capacity. Once again, an all-school dance party is on the line as the school works toward the participation goal of 511 students, roughly 80 percent of BSE’s student body.  

Individual classrooms are also working toward their own participation rewards.  All classrooms who achieve 80% participation (donation at any level) earn a bingo party with popcorn.  As of yesterday, both Kang’s and Henely’s classrooms have earned that reward, with several classrooms very, very close.

For those classrooms able to achieve 90% participation, that bingo party includes donuts and Bobby the Bobcat.  

One very valuable member of the Bonny Slope community is our new mascot, Bobby the Bobcat.  Bobby was all over the field–-running, hopping, dancing, and at one point, swimming as the kids trotted by.  Bobby was beyond excited for his first Jog-a-thon experience, sharing, “As a JAT rookie, I can honestly say that I have some training to do before the next year if I have any hope of keeping pace with those kids!  Man, they can RUN!  Their hind legs hit the pavement and they ran their paws off.”

More than 82 parent and community volunteers donated their time on the day of the event.  This ensured the Jog-A-Thon ran smoothly, kids had a fabulous time and, above all, were safe through the corners. Bobby adds, “It was a great event-–there’s nothing I like more than cheering on my BSE Bobcats–-especially when they’re supporting an awesome cause like BSCO!”

Parents still have two ways to continue the momentum and join the cause.  

  1. Head to and donate to your favorite little jogger.

  2. Return cash or check (made out to BSCO) to the school office by Tuesday, 10/17.  Lost your Jog-a-thon envelope?  Return in any envelope and include the pledge sheet.



Current Participation Numbers:


Acosta 14/27 (52%)
Anderson  12/28 (43%)
Basham  11/29 (38%)
Breton 16/27 (59%)
Crannell 13/29 (45%)
Halgren  18/28 (64%)
Hammond  13/27 (48%)
Hastings  14/28 (50%)
Johnson   12/25 (48%)
Maxwell  18/28 (64%)
Osika   14/27 (52%)
Scoones  11/27 (41%)
Swardstrom  13/24 (54%)
Tanner  15/24 (63%)
Taylor/Oordt  15/27 (56%)
Traller 12/30 (40%)
Vanier  16/28 (57%)
Vaughn 13/30 (43%)
Watz 10/26 (38%)

Individual prizes:

  • $50+ Emoji Keychain

  • $150+ Reptile Man (plus keychain).  Scheduled for Monday, 11/13 before school from 7:40–8:20am.

  • $300+ Bowling and Pizza Party at Sunset Lanes (Plus keychain and Reptile Man).  Scheduled on Friday 11/17, from 10:30am– 1:30pm.

Classroom Participation Rewards (to be held during school):

  • 80%  Bingo Party with Popcorn

  • 90%  Bingo Party with donuts and Bobby the Bobcat


Author and Illustrator Nick Bruel Visits Bonny Slope

NY Times bestselling author and illustrator Nick Bruel visited Bonny Slope on October 11, 2017.  Best known for his Bad Kitty series, Nick has published over 20 books, with his newest title coming out in January 2018. 


He had four delightful presentations geared towards the grade levels he spoke to.  In the Kindergarten/1st grade presentation he read the original Bad Kitty picture book as well as a book he wrote with his Father titled “Otto and Bob.”  In the 2nd-4th grade sessions he read a chapter from one of his Bad Kitty chapter books.  In each of these three presentations he led an interactive activity with the kids where the group created their own unique short story through questions Nick asked them.  He taught the kids that the secret to writing stores is “Always ask yourself questions.” 


Nick also showed how he draws Bad Kitty and then focused on her eyes, explaining that you could change her emotions through her eyes.  The 5th grade session was a cartoon symposium as he explained that they had probably outgrown reading his Bad Kitty series.  He came up with ideas by randomly finding an entry in a yellow pages book and showed how a cartoon could be created in less than two minutes.  The 5th graders drew their own cartoon with their first subject being a dentist, next subject an animal and then combining the two.  The kids seemed to thoroughly enjoy Nick Bruel’s captivating presentations!

Autographed books will be delivered to classrooms next Monday.  


September 2017 Principal Chat... REVEALED

Our first Principal Chat of the year started off with Janet reviewing the rules of the game.  These sessions are a time to ask questions about school and district policies, decisions, and upcoming news.  Personal attacks about students and teachers are strictly prohibited.  So don’t be thinking this is some gripe session to vent your deep-seated frustrations.  Set up a private meeting with Janet and Ali if you need to voice serious concerns.

Moving on...

Security Secrets

Our front entrance remodel will be completed in November.  It’s hard to miss the new changes, which include more metal, more locks, and a new door.  These very obvious alterations are about 10% of the new security measures.  The other 90% of security upgrades will OBVIOUSLY NOT BE DETAILED HERE because sharing all your security secrets on the internet IS STUPID.  Just rest assured that our school has never been safer and we’ll all get used to the new decor.

No Way, Hallway

BSD has a new public safety officer and a brand-new mandate, one that has been a hard swallow for many of our faithful veterans.  Community volunteers are no longer allowed to use the tables outside the classroom when working with children.  All one-on-one or small group volunteering must now take place inside the classroom.  Yes, you read that right.  INSIDE the classroom.  Goodbye quiet space and lots of room to spread out.

But.... but… WHY?  Well, BSD has always had a “within sight and sound” policy regarding volunteering, but it has now been taken to the next level.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where not every volunteer is appropriate and kind.  Turns out the background check doesn’t cover if you’re actually good with kids.  Reports and instances district-wide of parents abusing this set-up have forced a greater policy enforcement.  

So… it’s a change and quite honestly, not a welcome one for many volunteers.  This one might take awhile to get over, but the safety and security of every child in every school will always take precedence.

Lock It Off

Bonny Slope has already completed several drills, including a lock-down drill.   In our last practice, the entire school was silent and seemingly empty within four to five minutes.  How sad that our children are so well-equipped to hide from danger both inside and outside the building.

Fire drills, earthquake drills, lockdown drills (danger is inside school) and lockout drills (danger is on or near premises) will be a part of every school year.  If parents find themselves in the building during these drills, they must participate and cannot ignore the alarm in order to finish their production projects (as lovely as that seems) or try and leave the building.  You must do what the children do.

Dream Weaver

Hopefully your sweet hooligan has mentioned Dreambox– where all their math dreams come true.  Dreambox is the newest math software that can be accessed by every student in the district and is paid for by BSD.  So far, children are giving it the thumbs up (while parents grumble about downloading the desecration that is the newest adobe flash player).

How is it an improvement from IXL?  Hmmm…. Let us count the ways…

  1. It’s adaptive– it identifies a student’s areas to improve and adjusts as it goes.

  2. Teachers choose the learning target, which scales back the unlimited possibilities and mimics what specifically is being taught in the classroom.

  3. Sends more specific report back to the teacher regarding student progress.  Instead of just reporting how many minutes a student “worked” (and we use that term loosely), Dreambox actually identifies where they are successful and where the challenges still lie.

  4. It’s free.  Well… free if you don’t look at your tax bill.  Beaverton School District is providing this software to every student in the district, as well as training teachers on how to use it (Ms. Taylor is BSE’s trainer).  The cost of IXL (which had previously been paid for using BSCO, i.e. YOUR MONEY) has gone up every year.  Last year BSCO paid over $4k for an annual membership.

  5. Soon Dreambox will be able to provide parent reports.

Dreambox is at

Classroom Congestion

Here we are again in September, wringing our hands in worry over class size, terrified that THIS MUST BE THE YEAR where all the gloom, doom, and over-crowding nightmares come true.  Tell us, J– how bad is it?  

Lame news first. Second through fifth grades are at some of the highest numbers they can have without adding another teacher.  Juuuuust enough fifth graders left over the summer that that grade went from five sections last year to four this fall.  Second grade has the largest class sizes of them all.  

Now the good news.  We still have an empty classroom.  Our teachers rock.  Our population has remained pretty constant compared to last year. We are starting with 640 students, nearly the same as how we ended last year, which is not QUITE the 612 that BSD predicted for this fall.  But we digress…

We only have until mid-October until teacher placements become permanent, which means we need a few more kids ASAP to gain more teachers (who do you know?).  The problem is that our influx of students usually happens in January– when large corporations schedule their transfers and long after BSD has finalized teacher placement.

If, by some crazy chance we DO obtain another section of any grade, then we would be also gain another specialist teacher.  We said goodbye to our art teacher this school year because we are down two classroom teachers compared to last year.  The number of specialists is tied to the number of classrooms.

So how big is too big?  Kinder can have up to 28 in each section.  First and second can maintain 29 per section.  Third can go as high as 30 students, and 31 students is acceptable in every fourth and fifth grade classroom.

Recess Review

A common confusion among parents is the difference between recess and “brain breaks/brain boosts.”  Let’s break it down:

  • RECESS-- Recess is held for the 20 minutes before lunch at every BSD elementary.  Studies prove kids eat more with this schedule.  

  • BRAIN BREAK/BOOST- Flexible break around 10-18 minutes long whose timing is at the discretion of the teacher.  Every classroom gets at least one a day and it allows for a more organic flow to the day.

Other Juicy Tidbits

  • Our Bobby the Bobcat mascot has been a huge hit.  That mischievous cat seems to pop up everywhere– from the Playground Playdates, the Back to School picnic, our first assembly, and even the Jog-a-thon.  Bobby even got his own volunteer badge (after he passed his background check, obviously).

  • The Early Release reminders and recaps are killing us.  We get it– we really do.  Please don’t barrage with texts/emails/voicemails every week.

  • As previously reported, no clubs meet after school on Wednesdays and the office is closed.

  • Rocket science might be easier to understand than BSE’s specials schedule.  The six-day rotation ensures that every parent will never know what day their child has gym.  PE and Music are paired together and students have that set-up every other day.  Technology, Library, and Spanish also alternate every other day, except their rotation is Tech/Library, Library/Spanish, Spanish/Tech.  Don’t try and understand.  Just nod and put your kids in tennis shoes. Specials are 22 minutes on Wednesdays. UPDATE (10/15):  Mr. Whitehead shared the PE website,, which includes a calendar of PE days.

And that’s a wrap!  See you at our October Principal Chat on Thursday, 10/19 at 2pm.

Help BSCO Shape Before & After School Programs

Bonny Slope offers a balanced mix of programs and clubs to kids after school.  Class offerings include art and drawing classes, STEM classes, exercise classes, and many more. We would like to get feedback about our currently offered After School programs.

We invite all BSE parents and guardians utilizing these programs to complete the following short survey:


Some of bse's programs (past & present):

  • Athletic Games Class
  • Playground Games Class
  • Bricks 4 Kidz
  • Chess Wizards
  • Shine Coding Club
  • Golf and Tennis Classes
  • Junior Lego Robotics
  • Learn to Draw
  • Little Veterinarian School
  • Mad Science: Planes, Cranes and Awesomemobiles
  • NWCT Drama Club
  • Play Fit Fun
  • Soccer Shots
  • Yoga Playgrounds
  • Drawing Classes for Kids

For more information contact

Fall Garden Clean Up Day - Saturday, Oct 14, 9:00-11:00 a.m


Please join us to prepare the garden beds for winter so they are ready for the spring planting season.  (Just spare Mr.T's Fall garden please (Appreciation bed)!)  All are welcome for part of all of the time. Please bring garden gloves if you have them and help beautify Bonny Slope!

Saturday, October 14 from 9 - 11 a.m. - at the Bonny Slope Garden

For questions please contact Christine at