Clint's Weekly Update 10-9-17

posted Oct 6, 2017, 1:06 PM by Cynthia Friedman   [ updated Oct 9, 2017, 2:45 PM ]

Electronic Conference Sign-up

Ridgeline’s annual Parent/teacher/student conferences are scheduled Monday, October 30 and Tuesday, October 31. If you haven’t signed up yet, please click to sign up. Your child is expected to attend the conference with you.  If that is not possible, please ask me about rescheduling so he or she can be part of this very important meeting.

3 Islands Storyline Update

A storyline is a structured approach to learning and teaching that builds on the key principle that learning, to be meaningful, has to be memorable, and that by using learner's enthusiasm for story-making, the classroom, the teacher's role and learning can be transformed. Storyline is a strategy for developing the curriculum as an integrated whole. It provides an opportunity for active learning and reflection as essential parts of effective learning and teaching. At the same time it develops in learners a powerful sense of ownership of their learning.

The 3 Islands Storyline Project is progressing at a steady pace with student groups finalizing their proposals for wall friezes and individual students creating their 3 Island characters.

Math Lessons

Students received their first formal math lessons starting two weeks ago.  Fourth years are reviewing their math facts; fifth years are reviewing the distributive property; and sixth years are either studying squaring or reviewing fractions.  I began introducing the topics in small groups of no more than five students with the premise that each student will complete the follow up assignments at his or her own pace, but by Thursday morning, in time for the weekly checking party.

For more detailed descriptions about what your child has been working on, please look at the top portion of their work plan.

4th Grade Support Meeting:The transition to 4th grade can be a significant transition to many students at a variety of schools, magnified perhaps at Ridgeline as the student makes the leap to upper elementary.

That is why we have scheduled a q&a panel discussion with teachers, administration and recent 4th grade parents for October 10th at 6:30pm. We are hoping this panel can help normalize the transition and answer questions you may have about expectations and adjustments your 4th grader may be experiencing.

In addition, or in lieu of, we are working on identifying parent mentors to answer questions and offer collegial support. Please reach out to your room parent or teacher if you need help connecting with someone.” --Stephanie Edwards

Please contact Stephanie Edwards at if you have any questions or need help navigating support resources.

The Pledge of Allegiance in Oregon Public Schools

Students requested that I send a description of Oregon law regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. Below is a description that I found posted on the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon’s website:

Many public schools in the United States ask students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Some students object to the practice for reasons of conscience. Both the Oregon Legislature and the courts have developed a common-sense solution to the conflict: a school may lead students in reciting the Pledge, but it must also respect the wishes of students who choose not to join in.

This has been the rule since the early 1940's. Nonetheless, some school officials impose school discipline or other punishments on students who refuse to recite the Pledge or require students to stand even though the student does not wish to participate in the flag salute. Such actions violate state and federal law.

The right of a student to refrain from participating during the pledge is part of Oregon's law governing school districts.

ORS 339.875  Procurement, display and salute of flags. (1) Each district school board shall:

(b) Provide students with the opportunity to salute the United States flag at least once each week of the school year by reciting: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

(2) Students who do not participate in the salute provided for by this section must maintain a respectful silence during the salute. [Formerly 332.100 and then 336.045 and then 336.630; 1999 c.137 §1] (emphasis added)

This statute clearly indicates that student participation in reciting the Pledge is optional. This does not mean that non-participating students have license to cause disruptions while the rest of the class recites the Pledge. It does mean that if a student chooses to remain silent, the school must honor that decision.

Constitutional Sources for Oregon’s Statute

Oregon's statute is written this way to avoid infringing on students' freedom of belief, as guaranteed by the federal constitution. Many years ago, in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a compulsory flag salute would violate students' First Amendment rights. The Court said:

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

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