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eNews 3-8-18

posted Mar 8, 2018, 2:18 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Traveling Historical Exhibit -  Ridgeline is proud to be hosting an historical exhibit for older students on Thursday and Friday of this week.  The exhibit, created by Graham Street Productions, explains how the actions and inactions of Oregonians contributed to the incarceration of Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants during World War II.  Upper el and middle school teachers will be taking students on tours of the exhibit and drawing connections to cultural studies and humanities.  Please feel free to check out the exhibit as you arrive at Montessori Parent Education Night: Thursday, March 8th from 6-7:30 in the gym.  

 

Two weeks down, two to go! DDD is off to a great start! $37,232.34 in Direct Donations so far this school year!!! This week‘s DDD spotlight: technology supported by YOU!

 

At Ridgeline, technology is not about speed and convenience; it’s about enabling more and deeper child-directed collaboration, research and learning. If you missed our recent Facebook posts you may be wondering what pencils, microscopes, laptops, vomit and electrical outlets have in common. Intrigued? Read more here or here


Every gift moves us closer to our goal! Half of our $100,000 through Direct Donations by spring break! You can donate online, on our website, or you can always just drop off a check or cash at the front office. Thank you for supporting Ridgeline!

 

 

For Middle School Families - Some 7th and 8th grade Ridgeline students met with administration last week to discuss their plans to join other secondary students across the nation in a walkout.  Some students are choosing to walk out for 17 minutes on March 14th at 10:00 am to exercise their free speech in an organized, youth-led response to the 17 students who died in Parkland. As a public school, Ridgeline cannot take a political stand on any issue. Rather, our staff is tasked with teaching students how to think critically, and then leaving them free to develop their own thoughtful responses to events in the world, and to respond as they feel necessary.  

 

We will not stop middle school students from walking off campus on the 14th.  Students will not be disciplined for participating unless their behavior is disruptive. Regular attendance procedures will apply—a student’s absence during the walkout will be unexcused unless you have contacted the office (attendance@ridgeline.org) and indicated that the absence should be excused by parent request. 

 

This is not a Ridgeline event. However, student safety is of the utmost importance to us. We will, if necessary, send the appropriate number of staff members to see to our students' safety as they walk the trail across from the school and return to the building.  Any staff who accompany the group will not hold political signs or express political ideas, as they are on the job as public employees. Students and parents are free to express their opinions.  Parents of middle school students who wish to accompany their children on the walkout should do so.   

 

For Younger Families:  We have not heard from any groups of younger students seeking to organize their own walk-out.  If your child wants to participate in the walk out, you may excuse your child as "absent by parent request" for the morning or simply sign your child out at the office before 10:00 and bring them back when the 17 minute walk-out is over.  This is up to you as a parent.  

 

As public employees, Ridgeline staff cannot legally organize political actions on behalf of the children here. We cannot espouse specific political views while working with children. Rather, we support young people's responses to the world as they come to know it. We do our best to help them find answers to their biggest questions, and we trust parents to help children develop a system of beliefs that works for them.  

 

Class Placement 2018-19 - Ridgeline Montessori will soon begin the process of class placement for those students moving up from kindergarten to lower elementary and lower elementary to upper elementary.  The appropriate placement of students into individual classrooms is a very important task. The Ridgeline staff puts much thought and time into placing children in classrooms.  We want every child to succeed in a supportive and challenging environment.

 

A team of staff, including Sharon Martin, will carefully consider your child’s learning needs along with the following factors in creating classroom communities:

 

·       A balance of class size, age and gender

·       A balance of academic strengths

·       A balance of learning styles

·       A balance of social skills

·       Placement of students with special learning needs

·       Separation of students who are unable to work well together

·       Consideration of parental information

 

We recognize there may be times when parents wish to share specific needs, concerns, or information regarding classroom placement.  A Parent Input Form is available. When filling out the input form, please focus on your child’s unique personality, strengths, learning style, and needs (social, emotional and academic). Your information will be strongly considered; however, the school maintains the right to make the final decision regarding class placement.  To be considered valid, a Parent Input Form must be received by Friday, April 20th.

 

Parent Meeting on State Testing New to state testing? Have questions? Ridgeline 3rd- through 8th-grade children will again take the state tests, called Smarter Balanced, this spring. How can you be responsive, learn more about the tests, and help your child be prepared, while keeping it all in perspective? On Tuesday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m., please attend the New Parent State Testing Meeting right here at Ridgeline. 

The session will include:

·      A chance to look at sample questions

·      Information about participation and opting out, and ways to voice concerns

·      Time for questions 

Children are welcome to attend, but they must stay with parents; there is no childcare provided. 

 

CONTINUING NEWS -

Safety Conversations Chrystell, Sharon, and Curtis met with classrooms last week to discuss safety. In an age-appropriate manner, we discussed what to do if you feel unsafe because of something another student does or says and what to do if a stranger approaches on the way to or from school. We also reviewed the badge system we use to identify staff and authorized volunteers and visitors, and what students should do if an adult is not wearing a badge on campus. Students had great ideas they shared with classmates. We encouraged everyone to trust their feelings and report to a safe adult anything that doesn’t feel right. 

Please continue the discussion at home as a family. Many students asked what to do if they are walking near home and a stranger approaches. This is a great opportunity to identify safe places or neighbors that your child may go to if they need help and you are not available. We have invited students to meet with us individually if they want to continue the conversation or have additional questions or concerns. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns.

 

End-of-Day Kitchenette Cleaner – Do you have 10-15 minutes at the end of the school day? We are in need of a volunteer to swoop in and do a quick cleanup of the kitchenette. This is a great way to get in your volunteer hours in quick time slots.

 

Grading Day Calendar Change – The end-of-the-year grading day has been moved from Monday, June 4, to Friday, June 8.

 

Looking for an engaging and rewarding way to be more involved? We have two opportunities for you to serve our students and our school as a partner in leadership in the Ridgeline community:

 

1. RCO Co-convener – The Ridgeline Community Organization (RCO), our parent council, will need a new co-convener beginning in the fall. If you would love to add your vision and leadership to this great organization, please consider joining Heather as an RCO co-convener. This is a two-year term, and you will accrue lots of volunteer hours. You will serve on the team that plans and facilitates RCO meetings every month. Co-conveners also help plan, organize, and prepare community events and serve on Ridgeline’s fundraising committee.

Where would you like to see RCO heading? We would love to hear your ideas and work with you to engage our school community. Please join us on March 6 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. for our next meeting. Those who would like to run should, by April 6, submit to RCO@Ridgeline.org a letter of intent to run for Co-convener. We will elect our newest Co-convener at the May 1 meeting (6:00-7:30 p.m.). 

 

2. Site Council Parent Representative – Site Council is a council made up of representatives from each of the school’s stakeholder groups. As one of three parent reps, you will be the voice of Ridgeline parents on the council and will work with other council members to ensure that everyone involved in the school has a voice in how our school grows, develops, and is governed. The main objectives of the site council are to provide visionary leadership for the school and to provide a forum for all stakeholder groups. Some of the topics site council addresses are the parent survey, traffic concerns, school calendar, and the School Improvement Plan (SIP). 

Site council meets monthly. Parent reps are asked to serve a 3-year term and attend RCO meetings in addition to Site Council meetings. If you are interested in serving on Site Council, please join our next meeting: Monday, February 26, 6:00-7:30 pm. You can read more about the position here and download an application here. Submit your application to run for parent rep to RCO@ridgeline.org or bring it to the office by March 23. The position description and application can also be accessed through the RCO tab at Ridgeline.org. RCO will be electing a new site council parent rep at the April 6 meeting.  

 

COMMUNITY NEWS

Earth Day Art Show Contest! Kids are invited to submit original art in an Earth Day Art Show Contest. The art will be displayed at the Eugene Public Library (kids’ room) during the months of April and May. Share your ideas to help heal and protect the earth. You might even win a prize! (Cash and gift certificate prizes for top 3 entries per age group.)
For more information: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1751732411544297/

 

Nearby Nature Summer Daycamps Open for Registration: If your kids enjoy exploring, biking, bug catching, treasure hunting, and other fun nature adventures, then they should participate in Nearby Nature's outdoor summer daycamps! Nearby Nature’s camps are a unique medley of adventure, science, nature, art, play, and gardening. Most take place in Alton Baker Park, in the group’s unique Learnscape Gardens. Daycamps run from June 18-August 31, last one week each, and serve kids from three to 13 years old. Half and full day options are available and enrollment is limited to 12 children per camp. Scholarships are available! For registration as well as scholarship information, see http://www.nearbynature.org/programs/daycamps or call 541-687-9699.

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