Visit and Book Order Opportunity: Lija Fisher, Due 5/31

On Wednesday, May 1, 2019 we are excited to welcome author Lija Fisher to Bonny Slope. Lija was born in Istanbul, Turkey and raised at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a BFA in Performance Studies and has performed in regional theatres across New York, Florida, Alaska and Colorado. In 2017 she was a Writer in Residence with Aspen Words. Lija has lived in London, LA and NYC but now calls Colorado home. The Cryptid Catcher is her first novel.  

The Cryptid Catcher is the first book in a monstrously fun middle-grade duology by Lija Fisher about a boy who inherits a job hunting legendary creatures.

After Clivo Wren's archaeologist father dies mysteriously, the newly orphaned thirteen-year-old finds out the truth: his dad was no archaeologist. He was actually a cryptid catcher, known for finding elusive beasts like t he bloodsucking chupacabra. His goal: discover the one extraordinary cryptid whose blood grants immortality--before the knowledge falls into the wrong hands. The mission remains unfinished, and now there's only one person who can take the renowned cryptid catcher's place: Clivo. He may not know the first thing about monster hunting, but he's willing to give it a try--because anything beats staying home with his salsa-crazy aunt and her neurotic cats.

Hurry! The first 20 books ordered will be autographed; subsequent books will have an autographed name plate.

Orders are due May 31, 2019. If you are interested in ordering a books, visit http://www.bonnyslopebsco.org/store/fisher (Bonny Slope Elementary families only please).

If you have any questions please contact Jennifer Miksovsky at authors@bonnyslopebsco.org

Northwest Children's Outreach: Assembling Care Packages

The Outreach has organized another NWCO event! Please consider working with your child to help create a special care package.

Northwest Children's Outreach is a fantastic non-profit that focuses on helping children in the community. Work alongside your child (age 6 and over, please) for a short shift gathering items on the list that will make a huge impact! This will be a great opportunity to have fun, fill a need and model caring for people in need. Note that you're free to leave prior to the end time if that's too late for your family.

A link to the organization and what they do can be found here:
http://www.northwestchildrensoutreach.org/volunteer.php

This is also a wonderful organization to consider when making donations (bonus points for bringing with you).

Date: 05/08/2019 (Wed.)
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm PDT
Location: 5525 SW Menlo Drive Beaverton, OR 97005 **Operating out of Westside Church of Christ Entrance is to the back of the building on the Southwest corner

To sign up, please follow this link.

Best,
The Community Outreach Team

Submit Your Photos for Yearbook by April 28th!

Can you believe we're coming up on the end of the year?  

Bonny Slope Elementary School has had so many great programs and events this year! Our BSCO yearbook team is working to showcase these in our annual yearbook and would love YOUR help. 

Please email any photos that you would like to share from our school events to yearbook@bonnyslopebsco.org by Sunday April 28th.

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State Education Forum May 1st at Aloha Huber Park

The Aloha Huber Park Parent Teacher Organization is hosting a State Education Forum on Wednesday, May 1st from 6:30-8pm which is open to the public. Senator Mark Hass, Rep. Ken Helm, and State Deputy Superintendent Colt Gill will be present to discuss funding.

Beaverton School District is looking to reduce an estimated $35 million and 200 licensed positions for the 2019-2020 school year.

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The Next Geography Club Check Day is Thursday, April 25

Just a friendly reminder that Geo Club Check day is coming.  April 25th is Europe part 2.  If your student wants to make up any missed months or levels, now is the time! Make-ups can happen during any regular check day.  We will have one last re-check day on May 30th.  Students will earn prizes and receive recognition at the end of the year assembly for completing the number of levels that match their grade level.  Send us an email if you need to check in on your student’s progress.

Remaining Check Days:

Thursday, April 25—Europe Part 2

Thursday, May 23—Australia & Oceania

Thursday, May 30—Recheck Day

Questions?

Please see our FAQ page or email geoclub@bonnyslopebsco.org

Geography Club Webpage

Post-Auction Opportunities STILL Available!

Our “Swing Into Spring” Auction was a night to remember! THANK YOU to every guest, volunteer, sponsor, and donor who helped make our sixth annual event an incredible celebration.

Even with the big night behind us, there are STILL opportunities available to join the fun and support our students.  Check them out below and purchase yours at https://bonnyslopebsco.ejoinme.org/Tickets.

COMMUNITY PARTIES

Several sign-up parties still have room! Keep connecting with other parents through the ever-popular parties. Take a leap, convince a friend, and participate in these fun events.

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LEFT BEHIND ITEMS

A few items didn’t sell at the auction! We’ve put them up on the site to buy - first come, first served and 100% of this purchase goes to BSCO. $120 gift certificate to Matrix Integrated, $50 gift certificate to Timberline Lodge, $25 gift certificate to John’s Incredible Pizza, $50 gift certificate to First Street Taqueria, and a $25 gift certificate to Best Baguette.

Click here to purchase

5th GRADE MOSAIC PRINT ($20)

Every year a beautiful composite photo is created using photos of our 5th graders. Created with our own spunky 5th graders’ faces, this mosaic of Multnomah Falls is a classic, iconic image of one of the most magnificent and memorable waterfalls as any in our country. Take home an 11 x 14 print as a keepsake of your student’s time at BSE.

Click here to purchase your art print(s)

 

TEACHER EXPERIENCES ($25/attendee)

  • Kindergarten Ice Cream Social: Thursday, 5/2 from 3- 4pm

  • First Grade Fitness Fun: Friday, 5/3 from 3- 4:15pm

  • Second Grade Art Party:  Thursday, 5/2 from 3- 4:30pm

  • Third Grade Board Game Mayhem: Friday, 5/17 from 3- 4:30pm

  • Fourth Grade STRIKE!:  Thursday, 5/2 from 4-5:30pm at Kingpins

Click here to purchase a teacher experience

 

MATCHING FUNDS!

If you made an auction purchase, your employer may offer a matching donation! This will literally DOUBLE your contribution to our students! Any questions, contact matching@bonnyslopebsco.org

THANK YOU, Bonny Slope, for all you have done to support BSE’s students, staff, programs, and activities this year and beyond. It takes a village, and you are it!

Curiosity, Enhancement, Discovery—BSCO Makes the Magic Happen in Kindergarten

As a parent of a Kindergarten at Bonny Slope Elementary, my child has been coming home lately talking about the "really cool marble stuff."  A volunteering opportunity let me see this odd bug/bee/butterfly building.  Which, led me to discover that the four Kindergarten classes were recently each given a large marble run kit, a Mason Bee and Butterfly insect home, and (just revealed) Lego Education Kit; all of which were projects funded by BSCO.  And not without coincidence, with the BSCO Auction "teeing" off this weekend, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet with these teachers to find out more.

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Paula Dell, Deb Henely, Frances Kang, and Melinda Tanner make up the Kindergarten team for our school.  They were all so happy to discuss how these gifts from BSCO really enhance their lessons and their students learning.

First up, the marble run.  This is directly related to their collaborative science unit of 'Force and Motion.’  Mrs. Tanner says she really enjoys the marble kit because it elevates their thinking.  "It's something different each day; it transfers the learning from in the book into something real for them."  Mrs. Kang adds that her students just love to "build, build, build."  They also utilize the Apple TV for videos on marble Olympics to take their creations even higher, faster, and bigger.  Mrs. Henely likes that it actually even goes beyond the science.  She notices that doing the marble (and Lego) creations together really strengthens the students' social and emotional development, while building up their use of scientific vocabulary.  She says how you can hear students taking turns, asking the "what if we do this...." questions, "let's try this idea" "oh neat I like that too."

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The other new big project is the mason bee homes.  Mrs. Henely was at Costco when she spotted it, and knew it would fit well into their upcoming PYP unit.  Mrs. Tanner and Mrs. Dell were excited about how the bees could help the Community Garden group that Bonny Slope has.  The teachers mentioned too, that this particular insect home has room for butterflies—which is something the first graders do, so, this project allows the students to get a little glimpse into learning that they will receive next year.  Previously, the team has studied worms and ants (thanks to Uncle Milton's ant farms); but, as Mrs. Henely pointed out, "Kids can be afraid of bees, this is a way to alleviate that fear and misunderstanding."  All of the teachers echoed that idea, of how important bees are, and how they fit in perfectly with their unit of "Sharing the Planet."

Obviously playing with marbles in class is a fun creative way to learn.  Plus getting to see bees in action outside!  But, I was curious how it came to be.  Mrs. Dell mentioned that since the Kinder team collaborates on so much, that they are always looking for how to change it up.  The other teachers quickly agreed.  She went on to say that these activities are part of the "Next Generation Science Standards.”  Mrs. Tanner added that when one teacher tries something out and it works, then they all want to do it.  Which immediately made me ask, "But how do you pay for it?"  Their instant response???? "BSCO."  

"You are our fairy princess."

The teachers were unanimous in their praise and appreciation of BSCO.  One teacher mentioned how BSCO is their go-to for funding opportunities for their classes. Mrs. Kang said, "BSCO is so supportive...always adding to what we are doing in the classroom....it provides such an enhancement." "If we have a dream, if we really wish we could do something to elevate our students' learning, we go to BSCO."  "The gifts we receive from BSCO, allow us to give our students' the gift of curiosity."

Thank you for supporting BSCO and hence supporting your students!

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Operation Conference and a Can - The Sequel - April 17th and April 18th

Our backpack food program is in full swing and the need continues to grow. To give our food pantry a boost, we are asking families to donate one or more of the following non-perishable items when coming to conferences. Our first round of "Conference & a Can" was super successful and we hope we surpass our goals for round 2! We often have our generous community asking what to bring. In order to make this easier for families, we would love to encourage different grade levels to bring in different items. These are the most needed items that we have decided to ask for. *Please know that you can bring in *ANYTHING* and we will be so happy.

Conference schedule requests:

K - Snacks (fruit cups, granola bars, goldfish
1 - Breakfast items (individual oatmeals, cereals)
2- Pastas/Rices/Grains
3 - Pasta Sauces (marinara, pesto, alfredo, sockarooni)
4- Canned meats (tuna, chicken) and/or canned veggies
5 - peanut butter and jelly

Thank you from the Pantry Provisions Team!

March 2019 Principal Chat.... REVEALED: It's Gonna Hurt

Sadly, it appears that each progressive principal chat brings us more dire news surrounding the impending budget cuts.  It’s round three and the latest forecast has Janet sharing some tough news.

“It’s gonna hurt.”

How badly?  And where? And why? Let’s dive in.

March BSD Budget Video: The Cliff Notes

BSD recently shared a video of Dan Grotting, Beaverton School District superintendent, discussing the latest budget landscape.  If you’ve been keeping up previously, there isn’t a lot of new info. But if this budget shortfall is somehow news to you, it’s worth 12 minutes of your time.

Oh fine.  Don’t watch. Here’s all the info.

Budget Based on Governor’s Projection

BSD will base their 2019-20 budget off Gov. Kate Brown’s projected $8.97 billion allocation for K-12 education. You can read what the critics are saying regarding that number HERE. Even though this is an 8.1% increase overall, it will not fund schools at the current service level.

This projected state number equals a $35million deficit for BSD going into 2019-20.  This is BEFORE the certified staff contract negotiations, meaning that doesn’t include any rollup cost or cost of living increase for our certified staff.

The Perfect Storm: Causes of Budget Deficit

Half of the budget deficit can be attributed to PERS.  One third of every state educational dollar goes to supporting the increase in PERS.  Also, only 40% of PERS recipients are school employees. The rest are city, county, and state government workers.

PERS reform has already been taken through the Oregon Supreme court, where PERS benefits were ruled a contract between the state and its employees and cannot be changed retroactively. These increases will be felt for the next THREE biennium budgets (six years). Yes, you read that right.  SIX YEARS.

Another significant portion of the deficit is attributed to Oregon’s Equal Pay Act, which went into effect on Jan 1. Salaries in BSD are being adjusted accordingly.

Finally, rising house prices and cost of living increases are pushing our students of poverty further and further out of Beaverton, equaling less money from the state.

Beaverton Investments UNSUSTAINABLE

In the past several years, Beaverton has invested in our students in various ways– largest number of school days (184), development of early childhood education programs in elementaries, additional career and tech education in the high schools, and funding for additional resources for the socio/emotional needs on the rise in students.  

However, BSD will be unable to sustain these investments.  As Mr. Grotting put it, ”None of these cuts are good for kids.”

(sigh)

No Quick Fix

The timing of all this is not ideal.  BSD must have their budget finalized and ready by June 30th, when the Oregon legislative session doesn’t start until the first of June.  Therefore, any tax package or reform created during that summer session wouldn’t be presented to voters until November, so IF the legislature agrees on changes, and IF those reforms are approved by voters, the relief wouldn’t be felt until spring 2020.

Lovely.

The Bright Side

Even with this impending armageddon, BSD still has some pros that will help it retains its position as a top Oregon school district, including:

  • Competitive salary schedule to attract top teachers

  • Early childhood education to manage the learning gap before it’s too large

  • The recent local option levy that supports acceptable class sizes

  • Recent bond that funds BSD’s infrastructure (meaning very little of our budget is used on improving current buildings and can be used for sheer education)

  • Option programs that give students and families a choice in middle and high schools

  • Career and tech programs

  • Dual credit, AP, & IB in our high schools

“We’re gonna feel it.”

Janet didn’t mince words as she prepped us with what to expect.  While all specifics are not known or publicly available, we can reasonably expect fewer support staff and a shortened school year, and the very real possibility of losing our PYP funding.  Class sizes will go up.

Teacher layoffs are also on the horizon for newly hired positions, who will be impacted first. While it won’t be as disruptive as the 2012 debacle, there may very well be a shift in staffing as teachers/staff are moved throughout the district at all levels. And we won’t know any of this until late summer.  JOY.

Plot Twist

And to make this year even MORE dramatic, contract negotiations are happening this spring between our teachers union and the District.  No decision on teacher movement will be made until these contracts are finalized. And remember, this current deficit number doesn’t include any rollup cost or cost of living increase for our certified staff.

The new contract must be approved by the BSD School Board and then is voted on by members, which should take place this June.

Phew! After all that, let’s move on to some less depressing topics…

Volunteering In the Classroom:  What’s Normal?

Bonny Slope does not have an overall, umbrella policy when it comes to the frequency of volunteer opportunities within the classroom.  Volunteer opportunities are driven by each individual teacher, and while some welcome any and all parents for many exciting, heart-pumping projects, others are more compact and controlled in what they need and expect from parents.

However, in general, volunteering does change as your child gets older.  Younger grades generally need more help with more intense art/production needs, while everything becomes more streamlined within the higher grades.  The general consensus in the room was that as your child ages, there will be fewer and fewer opportunities within the classroom working one-on-one with students.

Class List Modus Operandi

Always a hot topic among parents.  How EXACTLY are these class rosters created?  Well, it follows this basic model:

  • At the end of the year, all teachers from one grade collaborate to create equal sections for next year.  For example, the first grade teachers get together and discuss/review their students and put them into lists for next year’s second grade.

  • The lists should be as balanced as possible, meaning each should have an equal amount of girl/boy ratios, special ed students, ELL students, etc.

  • Once created, the lists are then given to the specialists, counselor and school psychologist to ensure a proper balance and that known personality conflicts are avoided.

  • Lists are not finalized until the week before school begins as new students are added.

Other Juicy Tidbits:

  • Art Lit’s culture lesson this year is Mexico!  Students can get excited for a lot of fun activities in April, including a Mariachi band, a taco tasting, and Mexican-themed art lit projects.

  • Parents looking for specific units of PYP can head over to the bulletin board outside the cafeteria and gym doors.

  • Our very own vice principal, Ali Montelongo, has been named principal of Cooper Mountain Elementary!

And that’s a wrap! Join us for our April Principal Chat on Friday, 4/26 at 2pm, with Cedar Park principal, Shannon Anderson.

BSCO Board Meeting Snapshot & Treasurer’s Report: April 8, 2019

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In an effort to maintain 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

April Meeting-- 4/8/2019

Cruising into the final months of the school year, the board spent time preparing for the 2019/20 school year.  This includes drafting the budget, discussing the calendar, identifying committee lead needs and preparing for board leadership transitions.  Feedback and plans were shared from the community listening sessions held early in the month.

Ellen Rothery, VP of Fundraising, shared some of the final details coming together for this year's auction on April 14th at Top Golf.  To date, 132 tickets have been sold. Some additional sales are expected after final email reminders go out this week and an invite goes out to incoming kindergarten families at the Kindergarten Round up on Wednesday.  Over 85 teacher experiences (for all K-4 students) have already been purchased. One of the biggest and most exciting new features for this year's event is online bidding enabled via mobile devices. Auction attendees will be able to set auto-bid thresholds and see real time bidding from their device.  In order to help community members get acquainted with the interface, the live auction site will be emailed to ticketed attendees in advance of Sunday evening's event. In addition to an amazing collection of grade-level art pieces, there are over 70 packages for bid and a extensive dine and dash offering where you can't lose.  Auction attendees will also be able to sign up for any of the always popular, new and returning adult sign-up parties. This year's event will spotlight fundraising for BSE's STEM enrichment programs. These donations are 100% tax deductible and progress to the $5k goal will be visible throughout the event.

Ashish Gupta, President, reported on the drafted 2019-20 budget, which will go up for community vote during the final BSCO community meeting on May 21st.  The various student enrichment, programs and events supported by the current budget are expected to appear on next year's budget. Community feedback from the recent listening sessions was supportive of the extensive list of committees supported by BSCO dollars and led by our community members.  There is a proposal to increase the budget for teacher grants, which are dollars getting spent and going straight to classroom support needs, student field trips and other enrichment items. Although the impact of BSD budget cuts won't be known until the end of the year, the BSCO board has proactively reached out to Janet and staff for funding ideas and needs.

Director of Volunteers, Stephanie Wilson and Michelle Mulholland, are preparing for the last classroom parties of the year.  Because classes have traditionally enjoyed using outdoor space for the final party of the year, the different fields and undercover areas have to be reserved and shared across the different grades.  The carnival is also quickly approaching and more information will be coming to the BSCO bulletin board soon. Once again and in collaboration with Mr. Vaughn, the Community Outreach committee is looking to give volunteer support to this year's Barnes Elementary JAT/Field day event in May.  Looking ahead to next year, there are a number of opportunities for those in the community looking to contribute in a very meaningful way, including several committee lead and co-lead positions. BSCO's extensive list of committees support a number of programs which set BSE apart from other schools, but they do need help from the community.

The 2019-20 BSCO board slate is taking shape.  Aside from Member at Large, there are candidates for all positions currently filled by individuals who will transition off the board after serving 2 years.  The full slate will be voted on at the May community meeting and communicated in advance.

Josh Resch, Director of Communications, has made steady progress on the permanent installation of BSE's water barrels.  The lockable shed which was purchased to store the 5 barrels will need to be elevated off the pavement in order to avoid build up of run off.  This is expected to be the final step before the barrels are filled, treated and stored.