“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.”
2013-2014 Back to School Letter
Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome back to the 2013-14 school year!
Staff Changes for 13-14
Angie Thomas is joining our Mira Monte staff this year as the Library Media Coordinator replacing Teresa Perry. Angie has two students at Mira Monte, one at Matilija, and a 4th child at Nordhoff. She’s a busy lady! We’re excited to have Angie join the Mustangs.
Sharon Michels will continue her leave of absence in order to help care for her husband. We are happy to have Nadine Litonjua return as Ms. Michel’s long-term substitute. Ms. Litonjua did an excellent job last year teaching third grade from November through June.
Kimari Foote and Megan Prather will return to support our combination classes by teaching 2nd and 4th grade language arts and math. Their support will help eliminate almost all of our combination classes during these subject areas.
Lauren Mangis, our after school Reading Plus and afternoon English language arts teacher will not be returning. She has decided to substitute teach in multiple school districts in order to hopefully get her foot in the door. As you may be aware, teaching jobs are currently hard to come by. We will be looking for a new hourly teacher to teach these programs.
If you belong to the Mira Monte School Facebook group, you know that a new fence was installed around the kindergarten yard. This has been a parent request for many years. It is quite a fence. Thank you, PTO and Watkin’s Fencing.
The next time you walk into the office you are sure to notice an additional change. The office door now swings out instead of in. This is going to make entering and exiting the office so much more pleasant for everyone!
School Beginning and Ending Times
Our schedules this year will be the same as last year. Our Kid’s Club Extended Day program will once again be available to cover any childcare needs between 7AM and 6PM.
Before school playground supervision begins daily at 8:00AM.
Transitional (aka Junior Kindergarten) Kindergarten – mandated for students born Sept.2nd - Dec. 2nd : 8:20 – 12:05 daily
Kindergarten: 9:00 – 2:00 daily
Kindergarten English Language Learners: 8:20 – 9:00 daily
Kindergarten Remedial Support (for identified students): 2:00 – 2:45 daily, except Wednesday
First – Third: 8:20- 2:45 Monday and Friday
8:20 – 2:00 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
2:00 – 2:45 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.
Fourth – Sixth: 8:20 – 2:45 daily except Wednesday (2:00 dismissal)
Before and After School Care – 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. Miss Prather 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. Watch for information coming home soon regarding our PTO Direct Appeal fundraiser. There will be a small change to this year’s appeal. Donors will be given the option of applying their donations to specific programs/purchases.
After much discussion and researching alternate programs, PTO plans to continue the Art Trek program this year. We are asking for a donation of $10.00 per student in order 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. 8th. Information is also available on our website and weekly through the eMustang Message. To sign-up for the eMustang Message, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org asking to have your email address included.
Note: Due to furlough day changes made after the folder content was submitted, checking the OUSD website to confirm the non-school furlough days is recommended.
Bus Schedules: 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. 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 are needed to help the first day of school beginning at 7:15. You will be helping to direct parents and students.
We are currently interviewing for a new elementary music teacher for this year. 6th graders completed a “What instrument do you want to play next year?” at the end of 5th grade. We’ll review the surveys with the students during the first week of school. Nick Rail instrument rental night will be held at Mira Monte School on September 17th at 5pm. In addition to instruments rented from Nick Rail, 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. It is our hope that the new teacher will also be able to teach 6th grade chorus for the students not playing an instrument and 4th & 5th grade piano lab.
As you are all too aware, funding for education has been drastically reduced. We need all of our parents to participate in our passive fundraisers.
If you have not signed up for the Vons eScrip program, please log onto www.escrip.com to register Mira Monte School as the beneficiary of the percentage of your spending. If you shop at Target, please consider doing the same with their program. Office Depot also offers this type of a passive fundraiser. There is no cost to you! PTO will announce other no cost fundraising efforts throughout the year.
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 in front of the office.
After reviewing our end of the year parent survey and looking for ways to improve our school, we are making a change to the office phones. PTO has agreed to fund a couple extra hours per day of office support. This will help us to allow callers direct access to our office staff. 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