Monthly Archives: October 2020

Amity Creek Ofrenda (oh-friend-ah)

Though we are not all toghter in person, I am hoping to continue a tradition that I started at Amity during my second year–honoring Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This year I would like to do this virtually by creating a collage of images shared with me by all of you. I will explain how you can participate below. But first, a description of Dia de Los Muertos and Ofrendas.

Honoring Loved Ones 
This time of year in Mexico they celebrate Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.  Part of this celebration is the Ofrenda. Ofrendas (ofrenda means offering in Spanish), are an essential part of the Day of the Dead celebrations.  While they are also called alters, they are not for worship or religious purposes, but rather a way to honor and keep the memory of loved ones in the present.   Ofrendas are constructed to remember and honor the memory of ancestors and loved ones that have passed.  It is a beautiful ritual, and one that truly honors those that have been a part of our personal history and journey.

Adding to the Ofrenda (if we were together in person)
One way that people participate in creating an ofrenda is by sharing a photograph of someone they’d like to honor; and in keeping this kid friendly this could also be a family pet that is no longer living, too.  The idea is to honor our loved ones who are no longer with us.  Things people also typically add to the Ofrenda:
*Candles and incense
*Flowers, usually marigolds
*A trinket that reminds a person of their loved one, something that the person they’re honoring enjoyed in life–could be something as simple as a food they loved, a golf tee, a deck of cards, or anything that reminds them of the person. Here is an example of a traditional ofrenda:


Here is a photo from last year’s Amity Creek Ofrenda (same as the header image in case you missed it):

So, how can you participate this year? This will be very easy–simply send me a photo of a loved one you’d like to honor and I will be creating an ofrenda collage using your photos. Just snap a photo of your photo with your phone or camera and send it to me with a short description of the person November 2nd through the 8th. My email: [email protected]. During the week of November 9th I will share the collage with all of you! I sincerely hope you consider participating.

Feliz Dia de Los Muertos (Happy Day of the Dead),
Andy

Special Video for Amity Families!

Creeker Families,
We miss you so much, you can’t begin to imagine! We are longing to be back together as a community, and we are super hopeful that the day will come sooner than later! In the meantime, we’re sharing a video we put together to remind you of who we are, and to share how we are taking care of ourselves these days. We believe strongly in the motto of “Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of this Place“, and we wanted to be sure that you know we are taking care of ourselves and are hoping you are all doing the same!

The video includes short clips from all the teachers and some other staff members, as well as a short slide show afterwards. Musical credit for the Amity Song goes to Callie Thomas and Ian Rankin (two former Creekers) who wrote the song and to our amazing Music Teacher (and Grade 2 EA), Nathan, who plays the music!

Much love to all of you! Enjoy!
Andy

Here’s a special little addition:

Amity News October 26, 2020

Hello Creeker Families!
Fall is upon on and it’s so glorious! We have a few notes to share with you this week, and we have a few other emails coming your way so please be on the lookout–one is a transportation survey and the other is a special video from the staff!

This week:
1) We’re having another materials/packet pick-up this Friday from 1-3pm. We’re encouraging kiddos to come in costume! As much as we’d love to have a costume parade, obviously we can’t. Please make sure your child stays in the car–we’ll all come to your car to see your kiddo and their costume! This will be for Kinder through Grade 4, NO GRADE 5.

2) Amity Creek Virtual Scholastic Book Fair is coming soon–November 9-22!
This is a great opportunity to order some new books for your child and at the same time support the Amity Creek library. With every book you order Amity Creek earns points towards the purchase of books for our library. For years this book fair has helped Amity to buy hundreds and hundreds of new books! The “Shop Now” button won’t be live until November 9, but here is the link so you can have a look (I will send the link again as we get closer): https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/homepage.do?method=homepage&url=amitycreekmagnetschool1

3) Reminder: The on-line Amity Clothing Store is open for business! This is a limited time event, so act quickly–the store is open from now until November 1. Here is the link: https://amity2020.itemorder.com/sale, please share with other family members (like grandparents and aunts/uncles). The turnaround/distribution time is a week or two after November 1 and we’re trying to line this up with a materials/packet pick-up day–we’ll keep you updated.

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4) Friends of Amity (FOA) Meeting Minutes
FOA is committed to sending meeting minutes from their monthly meetings so you can keep up with information about fundraising and how money is being used. Below are the minutes from the most recent meeting: FOA Meeting 10-15-20

5) School Photos
From he district: The school district will be working with a new photography company for school picture days this year, Dorian Studio. Founded in 1914, Dorian Studio is family owned and operated and headquartered in the northwest. We will be reaching out to families with picture day information after we return to a balanced/hybrid or all-in teaching and learning model. Look for an update from us in January with more information.

6) Please remember that this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are school days. Originally these days had been set aside for conferences, but the conferences have since been postponed.

Upcoming:
October 28-30: These are school days, NO Conferences
October 30: Packet Pick-up, 1-3pm (tentative, to be confirmed next week). Come in costume!
November 1: Deadline to order from Amity Store
November 3: Election Day, don’t forget to get your ballots in on time!
November 11: Veteran’s Day, NO SCHOOL
November 13: Packet Pick-up, 1-3pm (tentative, to be confirmed closer to the date)
November 23-27: Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL

Have a great week!
Andy

Amity News, October 19 2020

Hello Creeker Families!
I hope all is good with you and your kiddos, and I hope you were able to get out and enjoy the amazing Fall weather over the weekend. This is truly one of my favorite times of the year and I love the transition from warm summer days to magically snowy winter days. Not that we need more time to reflect, but Fall always seems like such a good time to take stock of good things happening in my life. The image above reminds me that we have so much to be thankful for, even during these challenging times–beautiful Fall days, pumpkin patches, and friendships! Thanks to Cami Staskal for sharing this photo of some Creekers, past and present!

Lots of things to share with you this week:
1) A huge Amity welcome to Michelle Dolce, our new Special Programs Resource Teacher (replacing Jake who recently resigned). From Michelle:

Hello Amity Creek Family! My name is Michelle Dolce and I am the new Special Programs Resource Teacher. I have taught for the past twenty years in California; but I am happy to now call Bend and Amity Creek Elementary my new home.

I have been married for twenty-four years to my best friend. We have an amazing daughter whom we adore and who graduated from high school in the Spring. We are so proud of her! As a family, we enjoy all types of activities including skiing, camping, and game night. We are always up for an adventure.

I look forward to meeting the students and families of Amity Creek in person one day (hopefully soon) and being a part of your amazing community
.

2) We are excited to announce that the on-line Amity Clothing Store is open for business! This is a limited time event, so act quickly–the store is open from now until Nov 1. Here is the link: https://amity2020.itemorder.com/sale, please share with other family members (like grandparents and aunts/uncles). The turnaround/distribution time is a week or two after November 1 and we’re trying to line this up with a materials/packet pick-up day–we’ll keep you updated.

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3) We have scheduled several tentative materials/packet pick-up days for the following days: October 30 (come in costume!), November 13, and December 4. Timeframe will be 1-3pm. We’ll confirm each of these as we get closer to the date.

4) A note from Friends of Amity, our non-profit fundraising board: Hello Creeker Families! Friends of Amity held a monthly board meeting last week to review the budget and discuss fundraising opportunities for the year. The great news is that thanks to the incredible support from our community from last year’s fundraisers, we are currently in a good financial position to support our Art and Music programs. As we continue to wait and see what we will be able to do this year in terms of fundraising for art, music, teacher and school supply support, outdoor programs, etc., there are some small ways you can contribute. If you shop on Amazon please consider signing up for AmazonSmile and choosing Friends of Amity as your charity of choice. Every purchase you make will directly benefit the school! We are looking into other opportunities to support Amity Creek and will keep you posted. 
Thank you! Friends of Amity

5) The Oregon Department of Education recently shared this press release regarding Black Lives Matter and I think it is worth taking a moment to read about this momentous moment occasion:

Oregon State Board of Education Passes Resolution Supporting Black Lives Matter
Education organizations around the state author letter in support of the resolution.

(Salem, Ore.) – The Oregon State Board of Education passed a resolution this morning declaring “Black Lives Matter.” 

The resolution strongly supports justice and dignity for all Black people and renews the Board’s commitment to anti-racism, equity, and access to education as a core value. It also urges Oregon school districts, public charter schools, and education service districts to take several actions to support Black students, educators, and community members including renewing their commitment to anti-racism and strengthening networks of support for students and families who are experiencing increased harassment, violence, bullying, or hatred based on race.

The Oregon State Board of Education, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), the Oregon Education Association (OEA), the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA), the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA), the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts (OAESD), and the Oregon Association of Student Councils (OASC) have submitted a joint letter to the Oregon State Board of Education supporting the resolution.

The resolution and letter mirror similar actions taken by boards of education around the U.S., including Baltimore County Public SchoolsIndianapolis Public SchoolsBerkeley Public Schools, and many more. 

“All students belong in Oregon schools. Sometimes, that means telling one student they belong and that they matter when they need to hear it,” said Kimberly Howard, Chair of Oregon State Board of Education. “Sometimes, that means telling a group of students that they matter when they have heard and felt the opposite for far too long.”

“We cannot be silent in response to the racism that students and staff experience in Oregon’s schools,” said Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill. “The Oregon Department of Education is committed to ensuring that Oregon’s schools are safe and inclusive for all students and staff, and that means conclusively and repeatedly saying, ‘Yes, we affirm the dignity and humanity of Black people.’ That’s what Black Lives Matter means, as a statement of love and justice. And love and justice are the side of history we all need to be on.”

“We applaud the Oregon State Board of Education for adopting a Black Lives Matter resolution today. This is an important step — one of many — toward affirming our Black children and families. Their lives, their dreams, and their futures matter,” said Craig Hawkins, Executive Director of Coalition of Oregon School Administrators. “As school leaders, it is our responsibility to make sure that all of our students feel seen, safe, and welcome in our schools so they can fulfill their potential and achieve their goals, and we commit to partnering with Black students and community to ensure that our systems change.” 

“We fully support Black Lives Matter as a civil rights movement that aims to combat racism and support Black individuals,” said Jim Green, Executive Director of Oregon School Boards Association. “We stand beside Black Lives Matter, as a statement of social justice and an affirmation of the value and worth of Black people.”

ODE is supporting school districts in developing rules, policies, and procedures by providing guidance, educational resources, and toolkits to support implementation of policies prohibiting hate symbols. To provide clarity as questions arise, the resolution and letter affirm that Black Lives Matter slogans and insignias are neither considered hate symbols, nor are they political or attached to a specific candidate or party, so are not prohibited by the state.

6) Remember to keep informed about the progress of meeting the metrics to return to school–the district posts a weekly update: https://www.bend.k12.or.us/district/home/return-school
Another resource–from Deschutes County Health Services: https://www.deschutes.org/health/page/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

Upcoming:
October 28-30: These are school days, NO Conferences
October 30: Packet Pick-up, 1-3pm (tentative, to be confirmed next week). Come in costume!
November 1: Deadline to order from Amity Store
November 3: Election Day, don’t forget to get your ballots in on time!
November 11: Veteran’s Day, NO SCHOOL
November 13: Packet Pick-up, 1-3pm (tentative, to be confirmed closer to the date)
November 23-27: Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL

As I sign off I wanted to say to say that though we are living through some difficult and challenging times, it doesn’t mean we have to lose our sense of humanity and the love we hold for each other. As I was looking through photos last week I found this gem of a photo (below) from last Spring when some families shared their love and appreciation for their teachers drive-by style. This is a great time to remember the mantra shared by Ms. Amanda: May I Be Peaceful, May I Be Kind, May I Show My Love Well. Peaceful, Kind, Love. These things can get us through difficult times if we stay true to them, and now more than ever we need to stay true!

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Have a great week!
Andy