STEM in Residency program kicks-off!

On Monday, November 20, four Bonny Slope classrooms will kick off our inaugural STEM in Residence program!  This year's program will focus on coding and will take place during the Technology and Library Specials time.  Students in grades 2-5 will rotate through 1-hr session each week for 4 weeks, running right up until winter break. 


To deliver this program we have partnered with Saturday Academy who has taught similar 'in Residence' programs at nearby schools.  Not to be left out, our Kindy and 1st grade students will also participate in their own version of STEM in Residence taught by staffer Laurel Nakano.  As reading skills aren't as developed, they will complete a different curriculum but nonetheless also be educated about and learn coding.

Our 4-week residence program coincides with Computer Science Week, Dec 4-10, and as a school we will acknowledge the connection during that week's assembly.  And great news!...we were able to create and deliver this program for about $4,800, which is 60% of what was budgeted!  Thank you parents for your generosity to support BSCO programs like this!!

October 2017 Principal Chat... Revealed

Our October chat was a cozy and riveting affair that focused on state test scores. BSE has received its very complicated and tedious report card from the state of Oregon. And you thought our proficiency system was confusing...

Don’t be surprised if your eyes cross as you look at this thing. Before you can understand how BSE fared, you have to learn exactly what the report card measures. Let’s break it down for you.

The whole school doesn’t take these tests.

Third through fifth grades take the Smarter Balance each spring.  The fifth grade also takes the OAKs Science test.  These are last spring’s scores, coming out this fall.

Smarter Balance looks a lot different than the standardized tests we grew up with.

Bubble sheets and scantrons?  Relics of the past, my friend.  The much maligned Smarter Balance test is not just multiple choice.  It is an interactive and adaptive online test, where students type and highlight their way through. Examples might be, “Click on the sentence that best describes the conclusion about maple trees,” or “Click on the sentence in the passage that best supports your answer.”

According to Janet, the Smarter Balance is actually very similar to what students already do in the classroom, meaning teachers don’t really need to “teach to the test.”  The test measures a student’s ability to draw conclusions, predict, and identify evidence in the text.

However, the science portion is a separate test taken through OAKS, which aligns with state standards.  

Schools are not rated by just their test scores.

Gone are the days where schools were simply rated based on their average test scores (like when we were kids).  In hindsight, that system favored communities that ALREADY HAD a high-achieving student population, full of kids who went to preschool and were economically stable.  

Comparing academic achievement of a Title I school (with a high majority of students in poverty) to schools in a high economic bracket is comparing apples to oranges.  These days, Oregon compares its schools to other  “like schools” to give a more accurate picture of how a school is performing.

Wait.  What is a ”like school?”

It’s essentially a peer school-- one that’s similar in size, demographics, and socio-economics. Bonny Slope is being compared to schools that look and feel a lot like us.

The report card also compares subgroups.

A huge portion of the report card compares the outcomes of key student groups, such as students of poverty, English language learners, and minorities.  So we can easily see how specific groups compare to their counterparts at “like schools.”

Instead of just test scores, the state report card also measures student growth.

Ah, so this is where it gets tricky.  Not only is BSE being compared to similar schools, but now our children are being compared to their academic peers– and that takes a few years of data to measure.  

Imagine a student who scores in the 50th percentile in 4th grade.  They take the smarter balance test again in 5th grade.  Instead of just lumping all the student scores into one average (and then gauging against all other schools), now this particular 5th grader’s score is compared to THE OTHER KIDS WHO SCORED IN THE 50TH PERCENTILE IN 4TH GRADE– his academic peers.  Is his progress the same or better?  

Has your head exploded yet?  Same.

That measure-- or STUDENT GROWTH– as they say in educator circles, is what counts.  They take one or two years as a baseline for academic prowess, then watch to see if those same students continue to achieve at the same level compared to those academic peers.  

So after all that, we’re happy to report that Bonny Slope nailed it.

In every category, BSE performed better than “like schools.”  WHOOP!  Our science scores also improved from last year and the ELL scores (English Language Learners) were celebrated at BSD central.  Nearly every single subgroup outperformed their “like school” counterparts.


Other Juicy Tidbits:

  • Parents are allowed to use a religious exemption to opt-out of vaccines.

  • Our secretaries have a brand-new responsibility-- pushing a button!  Every five seconds!  Oh, and the school locks automatically at times that don’t coincide with Student Stop hours.  Brilliant. Just brilliant.  Needless to say, the new current security measures are still a work in progress.  

  • The preschool is still a go for January.  Bonny Slope will be a pilot project for non-title I schools.  The funding for this new adventure comes from several sources.  Next step-- furniture shopping!

And that’s a wrap. Join us on Monday, 11/27 at 2pm for the next riveting Principal Chat, which will also include a Special Session Community Meeting.  We will be learning more about the planned fifth grade trip to Mazama Science School and vote on an additional $2500 to fund this endeavor.  More info can be found here.

Principal Chat & Special Session Community Meeting, Nov 27th 2-3pm

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Bonny Slope Community Organization invites you to a principal chat, community meeting and vote scheduled for Monday, Nov 27 at 2pm in the BSE Main Office. Chat with our principal Janet Maza about BSE’s plans to send fifth grade students to Mazamas Mountain Science School for three days and two nights in Feb 2018. EVERY SINGLE PARENT at Bonny Slope is a voting member of BSCO.  All are invited and encouraged to attend.


  • 2-2:30pm - Principal Chat
  • 2:30-3pm - Learn about 5th grade Science School, vote on $2500 in additional funds required

Science School FAQ

Question: What is Mazamas Mountain Science School?
Answer: With Outdoor School moving to sixth grade, BSE administration and 5th grade teachers have found a new outdoor science experience. It is designed specifically for fifth graders, and aims to enhance their science inquiry skills while teaching about mountain ecosystems. Learn more here:

Question: Ok, this sounds exciting! When can my kiddo attend?
Answer: All current fifth grade students at Bonny Slope will attend in Feb 2018. If successful, we hope this becomes an annual fifth grade tradition.

Question: But don’t we already have $9600 earmarked for “Outdoor School,” plus the Pancake Breakfast fundraiser and student contribution?
Answer: Yes! However, Outdoor School has historically been subsidized with a metro grant that’s no longer applicable. Even with a $70 student contribution, we’re still short ~$21/student, which is why we need a community vote to approve an additional $2500. Our current savings allows for this expenditure.

Question: Why do we need a special session?
Answer: Our next scheduled community meeting is on Jan 31, 2018 which doesn’t provide us with enough advance notice for science school that begins on Feb 13. BSCO’s bylaws require a community vote for any new expense over $1,000 - hence the special session on Nov 27th.

Question: I’m in. What can I do?
Answer: Attend the special session community meeting on Nov 27 at 2pm at the main office and vote!

We look forward to seeing you.  Questions regarding any of these items can be directed to Ashish Gupta (

The latest BSCO news can always be found at

OBOB Registration Due Friday 11/17!

OBOB team registration is due this Friday, November 17 in the school library tray marked OBOB.  The Parent Consent Form and Team Contract both need to be signed by all team mates.  If you do not have a team or in need of more team mates, note this on the registration form.

Also, check out this cool website with homemade movie "trailers" of this year's OBOB titles.  Most are less than two minutes long.

For full OBOB information, check out


Movie Night Details!

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Let’s celebrate our new gym projector!

Your BSCO Board would like to invite Bonny Slope families to a FREE Movie Night on Friday, 12/1, from 6:30pm-8:30pm in the BSE Gym.

Here are a few details...

The Movie – Begins at 7:00pm

Movie licensing restrictions do not allow us to name the specific movie being shown on social media or online.  Check out the posters at the school to see the fun, rated-G, family friendly film that's headed BSE's way! Doors open at 6:30.  Movie starts at 7pm.

Be Comfortable

PJs, sleeping bags, pillows, stuffed animals and blankets are allowed and encouraged.

No Time for Dinner?

Not to worry.  Pizza Schmizza will be in the cafeteria selling pizza and beverages for a pre-movie dinner beginning at 6:15pm. CASH ONLY.  Please eat and drink only in the cafeteria as no food or beverages are allowed in the BSE gym.

Food Drive – Perfect timing for holiday giving

If you’d like to contribute, please bring non-perishable food items.  We’ll have Oregon Food Bank collection barrels at the entrance.  This is optional of course.

This is not a drop-off event 

You are expected to supervise your child all evening.   We’d like to make sure everyone can see and hear the movie, so think “theater” behavior (even though you are in a gym).

This movie night is free of charge due to the incredible fundraising effort in 2016-17!  Thank you to all our generous donors!

Questions can be directed to Ellen Rothery

Student Directory Now Online

The electronic version of the Student Directory is now available! You should have
already received an email from your student’s teacher(s) that contains a URL and
password to be used to download this year’s directory. If you did not receive it or
if you’ve misplaced the information, please contact your student’s teacher; the
office staff does not have this information.

If you pre-ordered a printed & bound copy, they should make their way home to
you later this week.

Questions? Contact

Calling All Box Tops!!! 


Box Top collection is an easy and fun way to fund-raise throughout the year. Box Tops are located on certain product packaging (go to to see which companies participate in Box Tops) and when turned in they are worth 10 cents each. Think 10 cents isn't worth it.....well last school year, the Bonny Slope Elementary community collected 13,406 box tops. That's $1,340 towards our school!!

Every school year, as a fun incentive, the top two classrooms to collect the most Box Tops earns an ice cream party!!

  • Please cut out your Box Tops throughout the year and when you get a small collection put them in a sealed sandwich bag or envelope.
  • Please write the teacher's name on the outside and have your kiddo put them in the red collection bin or hand them to their teacher. The red collection bin is located in the hallway close to the office.
  • Please look at the expiration date on your Box Tops. Expired Box Tops can't be submitted.

Ask your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to help contribute.  Have fun collecting and lets see if our community can beat our total last year!


The OBOB Battle is On! Volunteers Needed.


It’s here... Bonny Slope’s Oregon Battle of the Books!!!  OBOB kicked off on Tuesday, October 31 during a meeting in the cafeteria with 4th and 5th graders, where students received information about the program and how to register.

This fun reading incentive program is completely optional for fourth and fifth graders.   Students will participate on their own time and will commit to their team by reading at least five books from the OBOB list.

Students who want to participate must fill out the Parent Permission Form and Team Contract. Students can form their own team or allow the OBOB committee in conjunction with 4th and 5th grade teachers to place them into a team. Registration closes on Friday, 11/17.

We are also looking for volunteers to help make OBOB a more meaningful experience for the students. Let us know how you can help by filling out this form.  The first tactic session is quickly approaching (the week after Thanksgiving break), and we will need your help with organizing the tactic session, running battles etc.

Visit BSCO's OBOB page for all the details!

Questions can be directed to

OBOB is sponsored by the Bonny Slope Community Organization and is organized by parent volunteers.


BSCO Auction Kick off Party November 16th


You’re invited to help us kick off our second fundraising event of the year on Thursday November 16th at 6:30pm at Erin’s Wine Cellar. The auction needs your help to brainstorm ideas for sponsorships, procurement, event theme, and all things party-related!

The BSCO Auction and Soiree has become a fun annual adults-only party where we build community connections and raise funds for all of BSCO’s programs. In years past, big-ticket and small-ticket items, excursions, student-made art, and parties planned by parents, teachers, and community members have been put up for auction to directly benefit our amazing Bonny Slope students, teachers, and staff.

Are you party planner extraordinaire with a vision for fun décor? We need you!

Are you a task-oriented go-getter who loves checking items off to-do lists? We need you!

Are you a social butterfly who loves talking to people and wouldn’t mind making some phone calls or in-person visits to local businesses for sponsorships? We need you!

Are you a new to Bonny Slope parent who hasn’t yet made many connections in the community and wants to contribute somehow? We need you!

Are you a seasoned Bonny Slope parent who has attended the auction that could lend your voice to what has worked well and what hasn’t in years past? We need you!

Are you an artist who loves working with children on art projects? We need you!

Are you a graphic design genius who prefers designing save-the-dates, programs, and media kits? We need you!

The auction requires lots of manpower to run effectively and if we each can give some time and energy towards it, we can have a wonderful community building event with many hands making for light work. Please RSVP so that we can let Erin’s Wine Cellar know how many of us to expect.

This planning party is an adults-only event. Beer, wine, and hard cider will be available for purchase.

Questions? Email Lauren McCabe (