Monthly Archives: August 2019

September Newsletter 2019

Dear Creeker Families,
Welcome back, it was so great to see so many of you yesterday at the social and meet and greet.  I’m so excited about this coming year!  As we launch the 2019-20 school year, I wanted to share some important notes.  I know you are still busy enjoying the summer so I tried (and failed) to keep this as short and sweet as possible–there is so much to share! 

First, a quick reminder:If you haven’t sent a summer time photo of your child to Patti yet, please do so right away so we can include it in the big collage—JPEG format if possible.  
Patti: [email protected]

School Start and End Times
As you know, but may not want to remember, the elementary school start and end times have changed for this year.  We will now begin our day at 8:00am, with doors opening at 7:30am and classrooms opening at 7:45am.  Breakfast will be available from 7:30-8:00am each day.  Our day will end at 2:30pmevery day except Wednesday—on Wednesday we end at 1pm.  The first day of school, though on a Wednesday, is a FULL DAY—release time is 2:30pm.  Your children should be sufficiently exhausted!

What about Community Time you ask?  Community Time will begin at 8:00am sharp each morning.

Important Forms
We will be sending home 3 important forms next week–please complete the Student Health Information(both sides), Walking Field Trip Permission, and Student Pick Up Permissionforms and return them to Patti in the office by the end of the first week (Friday, September 6).  Children who do not have these forms turned in will be unable to join their classmates on walks to downtown or nearby parks.  These excursions often happen the first few weeks of school.  We love to take advantage of all that is within walking distance from our little school. 

School Supply donation reminder
Please remember that we provide all needed school supplies (except for backpacks, lunch boxes, and water bottles) here at school.  As referenced in my note from last week we ask for a school supply donation of $80 for Kinder-Grade 2 and $100- for Grades 3-5 (includes field trips) that can be dropped in the Friends of Amity mailbox just outside the office.  PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO FRIENDS OF AMITY.

You can also pay on line for school supplies through our Friends of Amity Website!  Follow this link:http://www.friendsofamitycreek.com/schoolsupplies/

Introducing our new Art and Music Teachers
We are excited to announce the addition of Janelle Musson (Music) and Julie Russell (Art).

Music: Janelle is a singer-songwriter, music teacher, and performer (including stand-up comedy!) who loves working with children and inspiring their musical creativity.  She is excited to be joining Amity Creek and looks forward to sharing her love of music, movement, and performance with our community.

Art: Julie started teaching in Albany, Oregon in 1978 and moved to Bend in 1999 where she began teaching at Kenwood Elementary. She helped open High Lakes Elementary and was there for three years before transferring to Three Rivers in Sunriver. She retired in 2009 when her first grandchild was born—she has four children and six grandchildren all living in the area, and two of the grandchildren, Myles and Quinn, are students at Amity!

Julie has a Master’s degree in integrating the arts into the curriculum and Art is her passion. After retiring from teaching, she opened a women’s retreat center where she leads sessions in art therapy and women’s ritual.  She loves working with her hands and making things, and she also loves working with people and teaching them how to make treasures using their own gifts of creativity. Along with art she loves the beach, camping, hiking, rock hounding, traveling, exploring and just about anything in the outdoors; she especially loves doing all of these things with her family.  She is very excited about this new opportunity to share her love of art and teaching with the Amity community—she says it is her dream job, and she is feeling very grateful.

Visiting and Volunteering
We love having you at school and we hope you are able to join us for many community events, and that you are able to volunteer in the classrooms.  You can greatly help us streamline our volunteer check in by going to the following link and filling out the questionnaire: https://bib.com/Secure-Volunteer/bend-la-pine/. This is for everyone who plans to do more than drop off and pick up only. As a reminder the background check is good for two years and then you need to reapply.  For those who have reached their two-year mark you will need to reapply!

Please remember that even if you are just coming to pick up your child at the end of the day and want to go down the main classroom hallway we need for you to sign in to the visitor management system (in the entry way) and get your sticker from the office.  For the safety of our students, please always remember to sign in/out upon entering and exiting the building.

For those new to the district (never been registered on the visitor management system) please see Patti in the office and bring your valid identification with you—she can get you registered in a flash.  Valid identification includes: driver’s license, passport, Mexican Consulate card, or military ID.

Drop off and pick up 
As always, we graciously ask for your help in making drop off and pick up time as smooth as possible. We struggle with significant challenges during these times due to our location and lack of easy access.   A few things you can do to help us make these times go as smoothly as possible:
*Please do not park in any of the No Parking areas—which are essentially all the yellow curbs surrounding the school. 
*For those picking up on Georgia at the end of the day please be extra conscientious of our neighbors and be sure not to block driveways.  Our kind neighbors put up with a lot living next door to Amity and we try to do everything we can to minimize conflict.  Thanks!
*You may park in the museum parking lot across the street, but only on the East side of the parking lot (Bond side).  Parking anywhere else in the lot creates traffic and safety issues for students and causes unneeded friction between us and the museum. We are very fortunate to have the option to use the Museum parking lot across Wall Street.  The museum has asked that we respect their wishes and park ONLY in the spaces on the east side of the building.  Most of their volunteers are elderly and they need access to the parking spaces closest to their south side entrance.  Please respect the guidelines.We do realize that parking is not easy in this area, but we need your help to keep things safe and flowing smoothly. We appreciate your support!

Busing
There are bus routes to the Educational Center (across from the library and just down the street from Amity) from various points throughout Bend.  If you would like more information please give Patti a call (541-355-2800) and she can help you find the correct route.  If you already know what bus your child will be riding, please let Patti know. It’s very important that we know your child’s daily schedule for riding the bus as we need to have an adult available to escort students to and from the bus.  Also, please let Patti and your child’s teacher know if transportation arrangements change.

Start of the Day
With the new start times our day begins at 8:00am sharp but we would love for all children to arrive by 7:50am to check in, touch base, and get ready for their day.  The morning bell rings at 7:50am, giving the children time to walk to the gym for Community Time, which begins at 8:00am.  As you know, each Community Time agenda is packed and the children hosting Community Time expect the school community to be seated and ready to go by 8:00am.  Please help us honor the hard work that goes into the planning and preparation of Community Time by ensuring that your children are settled in the gym by 8:00am. Parents are always welcome to attend, and we look forward to many fun and entertaining mornings ahead!

Which Door Do We Enter?
We have two entrances to our little school.  The “front” door faces Wall Street and will be open 7:30am-3:00pm.  The “playground” door faces west and opens to the playground, studio, and staff parking lot—this door will be open between 7:30am-7:50am.  The drop-off zone is on St. Helens St. at the parking lot entrance.  PLEASE DO NOT PULL INTO THE PARKING LOT, and please instruct your children to use the sidewalk.  The south door on Georgia St. is an EXIT ONLY. If you want to come into the school, please use the front entrance. The end-of-the-day pick-up zone is on Georgia Street, in front of the door.   Please remain in your car until a staff person sends your child to your car. We especially request that you do not park in the pick-up zone.
IMPORTANT: Regardless of which door you use to enter the school, both in the morning and in the afternoon, you are required to sign in the Visitor Management System. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated! 

Awesome Musical Opportunities For Your Creeker
This year will offer Choir and Ukulele groups at lunch with our new music teacher, Janelle. Here is what you need to know in order for your child to take advantage of these opportunities:
*The groups are open to 1st-5th graders and a student can join both groups if they like.  
*As these groups work together to be performance ready, there is an expectation that they attend practices and participate fully in the group.  
*Both groups will begin meeting the second week of school and will meet once per week at lunch.  
*The school has instruments to loan to students for practice and rehearsals at school.

When:
Ukulele group: Tuesdays at lunch recess
Choir group: Wednesdays at lunch recess

Friday After School Recess
Please join us Friday afternoons from 2:30-3:00pm on the playground for socializing, connecting, and growing our community.  If you will be joining us on Fridays we ask that you pick up your child in their classroom at 2:30 and escort them out to the playground.  We’ll have balls and other play equipment for the kids, and perhaps some games for adults, too!  We look forward to having a chance to socialize with you on Fridays!

Family Handbook and Calendar
Bend-La Pine Schools publishes a district Family Handbook and Calendar every year.  The District will be mailing these directly to your home.  In the meantime you can access the handbook on the district website (www.bend.k12.or.us.)Please read the information and review it with your child.  If you have any questions, please give me a call (541-355-2802).

You can also access the school year calendar on the district website, under the parent dashboard (https://www.bend.k12.or.us/district/parents/dashboard). This calendar indicates all the holidays, in-service days, and early release Wednesdays (starting September 11) for the coming school year.  Of course we will have special events here at school and we will notify you of the events on an on-going basis.  

School Improvement Wednesdays
We begin Early Release Wednesdays on September 11:  Our dismissal time will be at 1:00pm(2:30pm on all other days).  This means that the first day of school is a full day—dismissal at 2:30pm.

Scholastic Book Fair is coming the second week of school!  
Our annual Scholastic Book Fair will be held September 9-13, and will culminate on Friday, September 13 at the Pancake Breakfast.  Each year this fair helps the school to receive dozens of great books for free—the more you buy, the more free books the school earns! Parent Autumn Persinger is coordinating this (thank you Autumn!!) and would appreciate some volunteer support—please contact her if you can help: [email protected]

Back to School Night
Please join us on September 18 starting from 5-7pm.  We will have a picnic from 5-6pm, followed by a short meeting in the gym from 6-6:15, and then in the classrooms with teachers from 6:15-6:45pm.  We will share lots of information about important and exciting things going on at school, discuss the many ways you can get involved as a volunteer, and you will have time in the classroom with your child’s teacher.  Child care will be provided on the playground for school age children—we kindly request you make other arrangements for younger children.

Family Pancake Breakfast!
On Friday, September 13ththe staff will be flipping pancakes for our families!  Please mark your calendars for this very popular Amity Community gathering. This is an opportunity to meet our new families and reconnect with old friends.  This is a FREE event so just bring your appetite–doors open at 7:00am and we will transition to Community Time at 8:15am. Gluten free pancakes will be available.

Nutrition Services
For the 2019-20 school year, breakfast will be $2.00 (no charge or a lesser charge to families who qualify for free or reduced meal prices) and lunch will be $3.00 (no charge or a lesser charge to families who qualify for free or reduced meal prices).  Milk and juice may be purchased separately for $.75.  Soymilk is $1.50. For your convenience, we have added a link to our district nutrition office to apply for free/reduced cost meals: https://district.ode.state.or.us/apps/frlapp/. All information is held confidential.  Nutrition Services continues to improve on the quality and nutrition of the meals it prepares such as eliminating trans-fats from all on-site baked goods, offering low fat, low sugar, gluten free items, and farm-fresh produce from local farmers.  Families who apply for reduced/free priced meals bring much-needed federal funds to our school so don’t be shy about filling out an application. Additionally, all families may create accounts and pay online at https://blpay.bend.k12.or.us/.  This also allows you to keep track of the money in your children’s accounts. As always, you are welcome to join your child for breakfast or lunch. Breakfast is served in the cafeteria from 7:30-8:00am each day and lunch begins at 11:00am and ends at 11:45pm (includes eating and play time).  
Note: We DO NOT have a microwave at school for student use. 

iPad Roll Out for Grades 3-5
We will have our iPad rollout for Grades 3, 4, and 5 on September 19.  Please look for a special note from us coming soon.

Label, Label, Label  
Please remember to label your children’s belongings with their name or initials (backpacks, lunch boxes and containers, water bottles, and allclothing).  This will help reduce the number of items donated to charity at the end of each month.  Permanent markers are always available in the office–we even have silver sharpies that show up great on black items.

After School Programs with Campfire
We have formed an outstanding partnership with Campfire to provide comprehensive after school programming for the coming school year.  Follow this link for details: 
https://campfireco.org/after-school-program/

Article to Share
As you know from time to time I like to share interesting articles about education, children, and parenting that I have read. You know how much I love talking about this stuff so feel free to drop by for a chat!  I read an article over the summer that I thought you might be interested in pertaining to screen time. Inevitably, often children spend a lot of time in front of screens during the summer and weening them can be quite difficult.  This article outlines some good basic principles that may be helpful—as you can see from the title of the article, a lot of the emphasis is on how we as adults model screen time behavior: How Parents Can Model Better Screen Time Behavior for Their KidsScreen Time Modeling

Follow us on FB
We have an official school Facebook page and a parent community page:
*School Site: This site will be used as an informational site—big events, etc.  On this page you are welcome to comment on posts (but no posting).  If you’d like to follow us on the school page simply Click on the “like” button on the page. https://www.facebook.com/AmityCreek/

*Creeker parent site: As stated on the page this is “A place for the Amity Creek community to stay connected, share resources and support each other along this journey with our kiddos. Post your questions, event details, observations, helpful tips, volunteer support, share your support and keep the connection among our special school community thriving!”  You need to request permission to join the site and once you have joined you can post and comment. https://www.facebook.com/groups/CreekerCommunity/

Upcoming dates:
September 4: First day of school (all grades, including Kinder!)  Doors open early on the first day—7:15am, school starts at 8:00am.
September 9-13: Scholastic Book Fair—stock up on new books for the first part of the school year.
September 13: Annual Pancake Breakfast.  Join us for pancakes prepared by the staff. Breakfast is from 7-8:30am.
September 13:  Cafeteria Promotion: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.  Join us for a free lunch!
September 18: Back to School Night, starts at 5-7pm. Child care will be available following the picnic dinner.
September  23-24: Fall Camp Amity!
October 3: School pictures—dress to impress

That’s it from me for now–I look forward to seeing you all soon!

See you in the hallway,
Andy

It takes a whole child to raise a village: at Amity Creek we help to raise the whole child
Anything is possible…