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eNews 6-11-2020

posted Jun 16, 2020, 2:47 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Board Listening Session also Next Thursday -We miss the casual connections and conversations where you share your concerns, frustrations, ideas, and thoughts. We make better decisions when we hear from you! The board will host a virtual listening session from 5:00-6:15 next Thursday (6/18) evening. Anyone who wishes to speak can, usually for 3-5 minutes (it depends on how many people show up). Some board members will be on to listen; your comments will be recorded and shared with the entire board. It's not the same as a conversation, but it's something. You can participate in the listening session by Zoom (link here; Meeting ID: 787 7150 2082 and Password: 1N8KZC). In light of everything that's going on right now, we hope you will take this opportunity to speak up. 


No Summer Seesaw access - Student access to Seesaw will be turned off by June 16 for the summer.  


2020-21 Calendar - The Site Council has conditionally approved next year’s school calendar. We recognize that it is possible things may shift based on community health situations and we encourage you to watch for updates and check the school’s google calendar for the latest information. Ridgeline’s calendar mirrors the 4J elementary calendar with the exception of 4 days - October 16 and March 19 are school days for Ridgeline (and not for 4J) and March 29 & May 7 are no school days for Ridgeline (and 4J has school). 


Volunteer Hours - If you have any unlogged volunteer hours it is not too late! Volunteers have worked on the grounds, sat on the Board, Site Council, and other planning committees, etc. this spring. Or perhaps you never logged those hours from Stone Soup in November! Please log your hours on Track it Forward .


Well Wishes - We wish Mary Kate, India, Clark, Jen, and Curtis all the best in their future endeavors.  Next fall we will have the opportunity to appreciate Curtis and Jen will continue to be part of the Ridgeline community as a parent (at least for a couple more years).  We look forward to crossing paths with Mary Kate, India, and Clark out in our community.


Letter from Curtis - We so appreciate the generous gift in support of Ridgeline!

Dear Ridgeline Community,

It has been an honor and a privilege working at Ridgeline for the past 13 years. I have enjoyed working with our staff, families, and students. I especially will miss all the happy faces as we greeted each student as they entered the school for the start of the new day. 

Because of all the support our family has been given over the years by this great staff and community, my wife Janet and I, would like to gift $1,000 to Ridgeline to be used as you chose. Again, our family will miss the Ridgeline Montessori family. 

Fondly, Curtis and Janet


Thank you Zane - Thank you so much to Meridy’s husband, Zane Wheeler, for tackling the jungle of tall grass on the north hillside. Not only did Zane weed whack the waist high grass, he mowed and hauled away all the trimmings! Thank you also to Cory Hoover, Jesse Cloninger, Brook Edwards, Amelia Mau, and Jonathan Cook for your ongoing help mowing and weed wacking to help us maintain the grounds. We so appreciate everyone’s ongoing efforts and if you become inspired to mow or weed whack simply pop on by as there is always more to do!


AmazonSmile – Do you purchase products from Amazon? If so, please consider purchasing through AmazonSmile, which will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to Ridgeline Montessori. Be sure to use the link below to ensure your purchase benefits Ridgeline. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know—same products, same prices, same service. Support Ridgeline by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com. http://smile.amazon.com/ch/93-1296441


CONTINUING NEWS - 

Report Cards - This year reports cards will look really different than they have in the past. To help relieve the pressure on students, families, and teachers, we are implementing a more standardized reporting approach for the second semester. The intent of this reporting document is to provide information about a child’s engagement and participation during distance learning while also meeting the State’s reporting requirements. You will see one of two marks for the spring semester: pass or incomplete. Report cards will be emailed to families by June 15. If you have questions about the report card please email your student’s teacher (rather than reply to the sender).

 

Site Council Parent Representatives - In recent weeks we have asked for applications for Site Council parent reps. With the deadline passed, and only one application submitted for the two positions, we would like to announce Ben Muir as our new Site Council parent rep. Below you will find Ben’s application. There remains one open parent rep. position on the Site Council in addition to the minute taker position. If you are interested in either of these openings, please contact Cynthia.

 

COMMUNITY NEWS -

One of this year's BESTies—the Better Eugene-Springfield Transit awards—has gone to Ridgeline's neighborhood bike path! The 2020 BEST Transportation Innovation award went to the Amazon Active Transportation Corridor, and in accepting the award, City of Eugene Transportation Planner Reed Dunbar mentioned that several community groups played a part. Dunbar said, “Ridgeline Montessori was instrumental” in helping to make this project come about. Well done, team—and special thanks to site council, board of directors, the admin team, and parent active-transit advocates from 2012-2017 who put in hours in meetings, communication, and advocacy work. Now, let’s ride!

Imagine That - As fellow Eugene teachers who care about children we wanted to let you know that we have created a take home version of the Imagine That camp which many Ridgeline students have attended in the past and which we have been hosting in Eugene for over 25 years.  It is over 50 hours of art, drama, music, dance, and adventure activities that kids can do at home.  We know many camps have been cancelled this year which is hard for parents who are working at home so we made this offering to help keep children busy and active but still safe at home.

If you could spread the word to your beloved students and families so they know this offering is available that would be fantastic. Information can be found at  Eugeneimaginethat.com 

We are all in this together and we hope to continue to bring joy and light to the children of Eugene even in these unstable times.

Thank you,

The Imagine That team


Planning for next year: update -

posted Jun 16, 2020, 2:46 PM by Cynthia Friedman

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) guidance for next year was released yesterday. It's not secret--you can read it here: Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance for School Year 2020-21. It's going to be a heavy lift. We wanted to have the beginnings of a plan to you by this week, but delays have made that impossible. We'll be in touch in the next few weeks.


Community Pulse Survey #3: Remote Learning -

posted Jun 16, 2020, 2:45 PM by Cynthia Friedman

You received an email with this survey in it from your classroom teachers earlier this week. If you haven't completed it yet, please do so now (link here). This is a chance to share your thoughts, concerns, ideas, experiences, etc. and help us plan for next year. Please complete it only once; the survey will close on Sunday.

 


Board Meeting next Thursday -

posted Jun 16, 2020, 2:44 PM by Cynthia Friedman

The Ridgeline Board of Directors will have its regular monthly meeting NEXT Thursday, June 18 6:30-8:30 p.m. The agenda is not yet determined, but the board will be adopting next year's preliminary budget and discussing plans for next school year. The full agenda will be posted here early next week. Board meetings are open to the public, and all are welcome to listen in at this Zoom link; (Meeting ID: 731 0663 4405 Password: 5zbLFH). You can contact the board at board@ridgeline.org.


eNews 6-4-2020

posted Jun 5, 2020, 12:44 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Report Cards - This year reports cards will look really different than they have in the past. To help relieve the pressure on students, families, and teachers, we are implementing a more standardized reporting approach for the second semester. The intent of this reporting document is to provide information about a child’s engagement and participation during distance learning while also meeting the State’s reporting requirements. You will see one of two marks for the spring semester: pass or incomplete. Report cards will be emailed to families by June 15. If you have questions about the report card please email your student’s teacher (rather than reply to the sender).


Site Council Meeting - The Site Council will meet Monday, June 8th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. If you would like to join our meeting as a guest, here is the link. Meeting ID: 852 9367 9298 Password: 8C1kpj

Where Are We on Planning for Next School Year? No survey this week; just an update! A committee of staff and board members have been meeting for the last month, working on plans for next school year. First and foremost: we are still working without the state guidance that tells us what the rules are, so there is no concrete plan to share right now. We have, with the help of numerous community members, laid out 4 guiding principles for the work: protecting physical and emotional health; remaining true to our public Montessori mission; ensuring that all of our students have the access, tools, and support they need to succeed; and responsibly caring for our human and financial resources. With your help, we have gathered a snapshot of how things are for our families and staff: we see a wide range of comfort levels with the idea of returning and a wide range of abilities to manage continued remote learning. A group has been looking at our physical space to determine what we can realistically accommodate in our classrooms. Another group has been running schedule simulations to identify the opportunities and challenges associated with any sort of staggered schedule. A third group has been considering the building improvements, purchases, policies, and procedures that may be necessary to meet reopening guidelines. This is a HUGE undertaking. Keep reading!

 

What can you expect? These are our best educated guesses at this point. Expect a slow start to the school year. Teachers are going to need time to come back and rework their classrooms; students are going to need time to come back and learn new routines. We anticipate staggered scheduling, much like kindergarten has always done, where only a subset of a class will come together for the first days or weeks. Expect remote learning to continue throughout the year next year. Everything points to us having to limit the number of students on campus, which means that there will always be students working remotely. And, there may be times when we are all working remotely again. Expect staggered scheduling and a shortened school week. In order to meet any social distancing guidelines, we will have to stagger attendance. In order for teachers to teach both in-person and remotely, they will need additional prep time. Expect "school" to look different for different students. We must ensure that every Ridgeline student can fully access and benefit from their education. We know that each child is unique, and we treasure that about them. We are committed to finding ways to support all of their needs--every single child.

What's next? Guidance is due out from the Oregon Department of Education early next week. We will read it, digest it, and get to planning as quickly as humanly possible once it does. Once plans start to solidify, we will begin letting you know how you can help. As always, we appreciate our community's support and continued grace through these challenges. 

7th Grade Move Up Day - Middle School staff will be sending out information about Move Up Day for incoming 7th graders. Stay tuned!

 

Class Placement - Middle school cohorts are established in late August so you will not receive placement information for your student moving up to 7th grade. When class placements are made for first and fourth grade, their cohorts are full.  There is no way to move a child into a classroom without moving another child out of that classroom.  All children are equally important, so it isn’t fair to displace one child simply to accommodate for another. All children’s needs are taken into account through the rigorous, collaborative, thoughtful and heart-filled process Ridgeline employs for classroom placement.  

 

Parents who have concerns after Move-up Day can submit their concern to placement@ridgeline.org.  In the fall, a committee will meet to see if there have been any changes in first or fourth grade enrollment.  If there have been any changes, they may review requests at that time.  

 

Thank you for supporting and trusting the process.  Many of our core values come strongly into play during this process:

 

Honorable character: choosing kindness, honesty, and responsibility.

 

Visionary leadership: cultivating and guiding with resourcefulness, perseverance, and creativity.

 

Dedicated stewardship: honoring and responsibly caring for each other and the resources entrusted to us.

 

Joyful community: trusting in the basic goodness of people.

 

An inclusive spirit: welcoming all who choose a public Montessori education.

 

 

Site Council Parent Representatives - In recent weeks we have asked for applications for Site Council parent reps. With the deadline passed, and only one application submitted for the two positions, we would like to announce Ben Muir as our new Site Council parent rep. Below you will find Ben’s application. There remains one open parent rep. position on the Site Council in addition to the minute taker position. If you are interested in either of these openings, please contact Cynthia.

 

Meet Site Council Parent Representative - 


Hi Ridgeline families,


My name is Ben Muir.  Like all of you, I have a significant investment in Ridgeline: the academic and social development of my kids.  I have three children, two of whom currently attend Ridgeline: Beatrix in 2nd grade and August in kindergarten.  I also have a daughter named Linnaea, who is two.  My family has been part of the Ridgeline community for the last three years, and I’m expecting it to continue until Linnaea finishes 8th grade - in another eleven years!


I have been a teacher for a number of years in New York City, Eugene, and Springfield, and currently I am an instructional coach at Hamlin Middle School in Springfield.  Now that my children are a little older, and parenting isn’t quite so intense, I’ve been looking for a way I could contribute to Ridgeline with the skills I have, but also considering that I am at work during school hours.  As an instructional coach and a member of Hamlin’s leadership team, I have some understanding of creating and implementing a school vision, organizing and clarifying educational systems, collecting and analyzing data from different stakeholders, meeting facilitation, and communicating with different groups of people.


We’ve been happy with our family’s experience in the classroom and as part of the broader Ridgeline community.  I’ve been impressed at both the school’s outreach to the community and the family involvement in the school.  As a site council parent representative, I’d like to continue to foster that school-community relationship.  

 

CONTINUING NEWS - 

 

STILL NEEDED! Weeding Garden Beds/Sidewalks - Volunteers needed to weed the garden beds and the sidewalks. Get out of your house, enjoy the beautiful spring weather and get volunteer hours! Contact Cynthia after you weed to update her on progress. Photos are always great too!

 

STILL NEEDED! Summer Watering – If you live in the neighborhood and have time to help water the outdoor plants (and get volunteer hours!) at Ridgeline over the summer, please email our summer watering coordinator Jesse Clonginger

 

Have You Moved? - With only a few weeks left in the school year we want to make sure our records are up to date and that you will receive school mailings. If you have moved during the school year please let us know by filling out this form. Contact Leauriy if you have any questions.


RCO 2020-21 - The RCO (Ridgeline Community Organization) is our parent group. All Ridgeline Parents are automatically members of the RCO. Historically, the RCO has been headed by two parents, co-conveners, who share duties of business meeting facilitation, along with parent education, service opportunities, hosting events such as Student Marketplace, movie nights, etc. Prior to this spring’s school closure RCO leaders were contemplating a re-imaging of this group, brainstorming ways to better serve the needs of our parents in a growing digital age. The traditional in-person monthly meeting was not reaching the vast majority of our families. 


Here we are two months down the road, living in a different world altogether.  There are currently many unknowns for the 2020-21 school year but, whatever school looks like, we still need parents who have energy to see the possibilities, to engage our families, to build community. We are looking for parents to help us create a new vision for our parent group. Volunteers who are creative and want to foster togetherness, even though we may end up being physically apart. If you are interested in being involved in the planning and in implementing the RCO of 2020-21, contact Cynthia

COMMUNITY NEWS -

Imagine That - As fellow Eugene teachers who care about children we wanted to let you know that we have created a take home version of the Imagine That camp which many Ridgeline students have attended in the past and which we have been hosting in Eugene for over 25 years.  It is over 50 hours of art, drama, music, dance, and adventure activities that kids can do at home.  We know many camps have been cancelled this year which is hard for parents who are working at home so we made this offering to help keep children busy and active but still safe at home.

If you could spread the word to your beloved students and families so they know this offering is available that would be fantastic. Information can be found at  Eugeneimaginethat.com 

We are all in this together and we hope to continue to bring joy and light to the children of Eugene even in these unstable times.

Thank you,

The Imagine That team


End of the School Year -

posted Jun 5, 2020, 12:43 PM by Cynthia Friedman

It’s hard to believe that school ends next week! Or perhaps it is hard to imagine that it has gone on so long this year. We are sure that both those things are true for students and families. Usually this time of year we are asking for watermelon donations for field day, and enjoying a last visit with one another at the end of the year picnic. We are missing all that, and seeing you come into the office to drop off a lunch or to volunteer. Please know that we appreciate all the work you have done at home with your kids, we miss seeing you, and we wish you a safe and happy summer!


Lost & Found Pick Up -

posted Jun 5, 2020, 12:42 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Lost and Found items will be placed on the fence by 5 p.m., June 10th and they will be out and available for you to come find your belongings until Thursday, June 11th at 3 p.m.. Please wear a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines when collecting your items. Children are to remain in the vehicle while one adult efficiently grabs your family’s things. At 3 p.m. on June 11th the lost & found will be taken away and donated. 


Chromebook Return -

posted Jun 5, 2020, 12:41 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Wednesday, June 10, 5-6 p.m. and Thursday, June 11, 1-3 p.m., India and Clark will be in the drive thru circle to collect all chromebooks that have been checked out this spring. Please label your chromebook with a piece of masking tape with your student's name and room number. Remain in your vehicle, and a staff member will come to you to collect your technology. 


eNews 5-28-2020

posted Jun 1, 2020, 4:19 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Lost & Found - Starting June 10 at 5 p.m. the lost and found will be displayed along the fence. If your student is missing items please stop by to retrieve your belongings. Any items remaining after 3:30 p.m. on June 11 will be removed and donated. 

 

Class Placement & Move Up Activities - Families of students moving up a level next year should check their email on Wednesday, June 3.  On June 4th, students will learn their new classroom placement during their regular zoom meetings so they also know who will be joining them.  Ridgeline staff are looking forward to welcoming their new community members! While we aren't able to meet in person, special zoom meetings will be held for students moving up on Monday, June 8.  

 

Miscellaneous Items -  If your child has a random specific item left at school that you are confident is not on the lost and found cart, contact Cynthia to share details. Staff will look for your item and, if found, it will be available during the Chromebook return times. 

 

8th Grade Graduation (from Jon and the middle school team) -

“I know that Facebook is not everyone's favorite medium, but it really does seem to be our best option to host a "Watch Party" for Graduation.

 

We will host a Watch Party of the 2020 Ridgeline Graduation Video at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 4. 

 

In the meantime, please join the Private Facebook Group by logging in to Facebook and submitting a request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/605841106686535/

 

It may take a day or two for your request to be approved. Once you've joined the group, please post photos and videos you have of our Graduates! This will be a fun way for us to relive some fun memories over their many years at Ridgeline.

 

If you have family friends or relatives that would like to participate in the Virtual Graduation Ceremony on June 4, please share the invitation with them and encourage them to join the group by June 2, so we will surely have them approved to be in the Group.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.”


Site Council Minute Taker - The minute taker is a neutral non-voting Site Council participant whose role is to take meeting minutes. The minute taker is responsible for sharing the minutes with Site Council members in a timely fashion after the meeting, incorporating edits, and communicating with the meeting facilitator. Contact Cynthia to volunteer. 


CONTINUING NEWS - 


Community Pulse #1:  Feelings of Health, Safety, and Well-being. Learning cannot happen until we feel physically and emotionally safe. In order to plan for next fall, we would like to better understand your feelings about the safety of a return to in-person school. Please take this brief survey about your current feelings regarding health, safety, and wellbeing. Please only fill out the survey once. IN ANY RETURN SCENARIO, Ridgeline will follow state health guidance.

We know there are lots of things you need us to know. We know there is still a lot of uncertainty around everything. This is just our first request for information on this one topic. We're looking for a snapshot of your current feelings. We will be covering other topics in the near future, and we will likely return to this topic as the situation evolves in the coming months.

Class Placement & Move Update - Classroom placement is around the corner. Teachers have worked together to create something special for your students who will be entering a new level in the fall. Information will be sent out the second to last week of the school year!

Have You Moved? - With only a few weeks left in the school year we want to make sure our records are up to date and that you will receive school mailings. If you have moved during the school year please let us know by filling out this form. Contact Leauriy if you have any questions.


Site Council Minute Taker - We are looking for a volunteer to take minutes for the monthly Site Council meetings. Minute takers use their laptops to take minutes, then share them with the facilitator in a timely fashion. The Site Council generally meets Monday evenings 6-7:30 p.m. on the Monday following the Board Meeting. Contact Cynthia to volunteer.  


2020-21 Budget Committee – Earlier this week, Governor Kate Brown shared that they anticipate a significant budget impact in the upcoming state revenue forecast on May 20. As we look to next year, we know that many needs will increase (as we plan to re-open school in some manner) yet the funding is decreasing.  We will need to work together to prioritize the essentials in order to best support our students, our valued staff and our community through the next few years.  Please email Chrystell  if you are interested in participating on the budget committee or have any questions. Meetings are scheduled May 26, 2-3:30 and June 5, 10:30-12.


RCO 2020-21 - The RCO (Ridgeline Community Organization) is our parent group. All Ridgeline Parents are automatically members of the RCO. Historically, the RCO has been headed by two parents, co-conveners, who share duties of business meeting facilitation, along with parent education, service opportunities, hosting events such as Student Marketplace, movie nights, etc. Prior to this spring’s school closure RCO leaders were contemplating a re-imaging of this group, brainstorming ways to better serve the needs of our parents in a growing digital age. The traditional in-person monthly meeting was not reaching the vast majority of our families. 


Here we are two months down the road, living in a different world altogether.  There are currently many unknowns for the 2020-21 school year but, whatever school looks like, we still need parents who have energy to see the possibilities, to engage our families, to build community. We are looking for parents to help us create a new vision for our parent group. Volunteers who are creative and want to foster togetherness, even though we may end up being physically apart. If you are interested in being involved in the planning and in implementing the RCO of 2020-21, contact Cynthia


STILL NEEDED! Summer Watering – If you live in the neighborhood and have time to help water the outdoor plants (and get volunteer hours!) at Ridgeline over the summer, please email our summer watering coordinator Jesse Clonginger


Site Council Parent Representatives - We have two openings for Parent Representatives on the Site Council. If you are interested in serving on Site Council, a nomination form is due Friday, May 29. The Site Council is made up of representatives from each "stakeholder" group at the school: three parents, one administrator, one teacher, one classified staff member, one student, one board member, and the school community coordinator.

Parents are elected to represent the parent stakeholder group on the council. Parents self-nominate by submitting a Nomination Form or a paragraph stating their qualifications and interest in serving on the Site Council. The Site Council helps provide vision for the school and gives everyone a chance to have input. Site Council members are responsible for the Family and Student Surveys and the school calendar, among other things. Here is the full position description. 

COMMUNITY NEWS -

Free Film Screening: Screenagers

The Montessori Agency will be hosting a free film screening of the award-winning documentary, Screenagers on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at 7:30pm (EST). The screening will be accessible online for everyone across the nation. If you are interested, please click here.

Learn more about the movie here

For students: Walk & Roll to School Challenge - Next week is our virtual Walk & Roll to School (or Anywhere)! Our activities and competition (with prizes from game stores!) will be posted on our website https://www.eugenespringfieldsrts.org/walk-roll-day and Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/250411209605553/


ACTION NEEDED! Community Pulse Survey #2 is LIVE -

posted Jun 1, 2020, 4:18 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Please fill out our second (new) community pulse survey so that we can get an idea of our community's current work, childcare, and home situations. These surveys will be used to help develop an accurate picture of our families' needs going into next school year. (ICYMI: if you haven't done it yet, you can still complete last week's (old) survey.) BOTH surveys will close next Monday (6/1), so please don't delay!


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