“The Mira Monte School Mission is to provide all students with a positive and challenging learning environment which empowers them to become responsible and productive citizens of our world.”
2014-2015 Back to School Letter
Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome back to the 2014-15 school year!
School Beginning and Ending Times
At the end of the 2013-14 school year it was determined that our wonderful Mira Monte teachers needed additional common time to work together to lesson plan for the new Common Core State Standards and time to discuss shared students. In an effort to provide them with this time, Mira Monte start and end times have been adjusted. We have added a few minutes to the beginning and ending of the school day on most days in order to accommodate an earlier dismissal time on Wednesdays. Our Wednesday dismissal time will now be 1:15 for all kindergarten through sixth grade. Bus transportation will be available at that time.
Before school playground supervision will begin daily at 7:55AM.
School will now begin for everyone except kindergarten at 8:15, instead of 8:20.
Transitional (aka Junior Kindergarten) Kindergarten – mandated for students born Sept.2nd - Dec. 2nd : 8:15 – 12:00 daily
Kindergarten times remain the same - 9:00-2:00 M,T,Th,F
Kindergarten English Language Learners: 8:15 – 9:00 daily
Kindergarten Remedial Support (for identified students): 2:00 – 2:45 daily, except Wednesday
Grades 1-3 will now be dismissed at 2:05, instead of 2:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays and Fridays they will be dismissed at 2:50, instead of 2:45.
Grades 1-3 English Language Learner and Remediation programs will take place on Tuesday and Thursday
Parents of students attending this program will be contacted. Note: These programs will be taught by staff other than the regular classroom teachers. Classroom teachers will be using this time for lesson planning.
Grades 4-6 will now be dismissed at 2:50, instead of 2:45 on M,T,Th,F.
We apologize in advance if this creates a hardship for any of our families. Please understand that having this time to collaborate is important to our teachers. They are professionals who wouldn't have asked for the time if they didn't absolutely think it would benefit the education provided at our school.
Staff Changes for 14-15
Ryan Hayes is joining Mira Monte staff this year as the Library Media Coordinator replacing Angie Thomas. Ryan has 3 students attending Mira Monte. In addition to keeping our library and technology running smoothly, Ryan will be replacing Michelle Gorrell as our before school supervisor and PE aide. Michelle will be taking a job at Nordhoff High School.
Megan Prather will be teaming with Ms. Sears this year as a full-time kindergarten teacher. In addition to Ms. Prather, we have hired three part-time teachers to help eliminate combos and lower class sizes during first through sixth grade English language arts and math. Nadine Litonjua will be teaching 2nd grade, Kirsten Moore will teach 3rd grade, and Angelina Salinas will teach 4th grade and PE.
We have a few new potted plants around campus full of drought tolerant succulents. This is an attempt to add a little green to our campus. It is too bad there is not a more drought tolerant grass. Between now and the beginning of the year we hope to be able to tidy up our flowerbeds and trim a few trees. If you’d like to volunteer to help with some basic school landscape maintenance, please contact the school office or stop by and chat with John.
Our multipurpose room repairs have been completed and we once again have access. Not having access to this room really made us realize how much it is used!
Before and After School Care – Our Kid’s Club Extended Day program will once again be available to cover any childcare needs between 7AM and 6PM.
We have two goals, provide childcare during hours that best meet the needs of our parents and keep the cost low. The number to call for questions regarding this program is 798-7283. For your convenience the registration form is enclosed. Families ending the year with a negative balance will not be allowed to register until their fees are paid in full.
Note: In the event the fees do not cover the cost of running the program, the fees will be increased.
Childcare begins the first day of school.
Students should expect to participate in some type of PE activity on a daily basis. If you will be shoe shopping for school, please purchase shoes that will be appropriate for PE participation. Tennis shoes with arch support would be the best. Skateboard type shoes offer little to no support.
If your child needs to be excused from PE due to health problems, please send a note to school specifying the dates you wish to have them excused. Our new teacher, Angelina Salinas, will be asking for a doctor’s note after two days of parent notes.
Our PTO does a great job raising money to fund programs at our school. Please see the attached form for information regarding funds we need to initially collect from everyone to cover a few costs. Shortly after the beginning of the school year, PTO will be sending home their beginning of the year letter.
On the form requesting funds, $10 will be used to cover the cost of materials and training. Each classroom will need at least one parent volunteer to run their Art Trek program. With larger class sizes in K-3, teachers may be requesting two parents. Please consider partnering with a friend to become an Art Trek docent.
Students in grades 4-6 are asked to purchase an annual planner to be used for organizational purposes throughout the year. The planner cost is $5.00.
Calendar and Schedules
You will be provided with a folder containing important information and schedules when you attend the Fall Parent Orientation on Sept. 11th. Information is also available on our school website, weekly through the eMustang Message, and on our Mira Monte School Facebook group page.
To sign-up for the eMustang Message, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org asking to have your email address included.
With the exception of the new Wednesday dismissal time (1:15), bus times will not change. The change in our beginning and ending times did not change our bus. Please check the district website for changes in the bus schedule. The bus schedule will also be posted on our office window.
Student Pick-up and Drop-off
Our 6th grade Leadership Club students will be directing the traffic in the parking lot before and occasionally after school.
The traffic flow is always a problem after school. The earlier dismissal time on Tuesdays and Thursdays for students in grades K-3 helps. Please turn right when exiting the parking lot.
Students are to be loaded into the cars either in the unchained area past the crosswalk along the lane closest to the lunch area or along the lane closest to the chain link fence running down the center of the parking lot. If parents pull all the way forward AND stay in their cars, we will be able to quickly load the car and get the cars moving. Think Disneyland ride loading and unloading. Note: If your child is frequently late getting to the pick-up area, please come later and/or park your car in a designated parking area.
For student safety, please refrain from cell phone usage while driving in the parking lot.
Please do not park in the bus lane or the staff parking area next to the bus lane near the kindergarten playground.
Class lists by student identification number will be posted on the office window after 5:00PM on Monday, August 26th. Your child’s ID number is included on the address label of this envelope.
6th Grade Leadership
First trimester Leadership students were announced before the end of the school year. Parent permission slips were due before the school year ended. If your name is not on the list posted on the window it is because your leadership form was not received by the office. Students on the list are needed to help the first day of school beginning at 7:15. You will be helping to direct parents and students.
We have hired Shannen Kahler, a Nordhoff High School music department alumni who became a credentialed music teacher, as our new elementary music teacher for this year. Mira Monte School and OUSD own some instruments. These instruments will be rented to students. Rental priority will be to students participating in the free or reduced lunch program. All 6th graders will participate in either band or chorus. 5th graders will have the option of playing a band instrument. Thanks to PTO, 4th and 5th grade students will learn to read music and play piano.
We have outstanding teachers who work extremely hard. Please help them by volunteering. Participating in the classroom is not the only way a parent can volunteer. Teachers need parents willing to make phone calls, submit book orders, collate papers, etc. If you are willing to help, please let your child’s teacher know. If there are grandparents in your family willing to donate time, please send them our way!
Each grade level sent home a supply list at the end of the year. If you have misplaced your list or are new to our school, lists are available on the school website or in the sign-in desk located in front of the office.
After reviewing the 2012-13 end of the year parent surveys it was our goal to allow callers direct access to our office staff through our phone system. A request was submitted at the beginning of the year to make this change. Unfortunately, due to a long list of high priority tasks, our change has not yet been made. Perhaps they will get to it this year. If and when that does happen, we would still like to encourage you to use the automated voicemail options (attendance messages, misc. non-urgent info.) when possible to reduce the interruptions. Please avoid last minute plans that require our office staff to locate your child.
If your child has an appointment and needs to leave the classroom at a designated time, please send a note. If your child is absent or tardy, please use the automated system. If we don’t hear from you by note or message, your child’s absence will be considered unexcused. Three unexcused absences will result in a warning attendance letter from our school district. Please remember to clear the absence. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
See you soon!
Katherine White, Principal