February 2017

This month's newsletter topics

Last Month – Snow, Snow and more snow….and PGE – Special Guests and Winter Fun!  – Themes This Month – Dates to Remember –  Valentine Celebrations – Summer Camps and Fall Preschool Registration – Parent Teacher Conferences – Kindergarten Round-up

Last Month

This last month has gone by so fast with holidays and snow days. Our students were busy while they were in class. We had fun building igloos with shaving cream and ice, painting with ice cubes and we worked hard learning the story of Balto and are looking forward to sharing it with our families. We also learned about Martin Luther King JR and why we celebrate his birthday. Our class had some really nice conversations about being fair and treating people equally no matter what they look like, where they come from, if they are a boy or girl. These kids are great and have many thoughtful things to say.

February - Preschool Kids around the worldOur older group also explored our classroom globe learning about the North and South poles and the equator. At circle time we enjoy reading from a book that has pictures of children from around the world. The kids have a chance to choose a place on the Earth and then we open the book to learn about a child that lives in that country. We see that even though they may look and dress differently and speak another language we have many similarities. Each page includes a favorite food and toy, siblings, parents or guardians and information about the house and school. I find that the kids are very interested in learning about children from around the world and that they will stay in circle time for a long time. I think it is a great lesson for children to see that our world is made up of many different kinds of people and that we share so many similarities.


Snow, Snow and more snow….and PGE

Our winter weather was fun but seemed to last too long. Everyone missed a school day as we had 10 days off in total. I am hoping our snow days are over for the year but you never know.

There are spaces on our calendar that you can add your child’s name for a snow day make-up, there are also some days that are available for additional drop in days, and not snow days. It should be clear on the calendar but please let me know if you if you have any questions. On either your February or March invoice you will see the days you were given as snow day make-ups and the days you have used. If you are unable to use your snow days by the end of March then you can use them during the summer.

Our building was notified by PGE that our power will be off on Thursday, February 9th between 8 AM and 3PM to do some sort of scheduled maintenance. I am trying to see if it would be possible for them to do it in the afternoon, but I am not sure. If we do not have power or heat we will not be able to have school that day. I realize with all the snow days it is a burden to miss another day. But again, you will be offered a make-up day. I will let all the Thursday families know ASAP, but just in case PGE can’t change the time please plan for an additional day off.

Another note on this: The Thursday, after school, yoga class will be extended an extra week at the end to make up for this missed day.


Special Guests and Winter Fun!

February - Tallulah's Daddy - Music ClassWe are so lucky to have many special guests at our school. Iris from Growing Arts visits a few times a month. Our students love her music and movement class. This February we are also lucky to have Chuck Cheesman and Tallulah’s Daddy, Matt Lynch, join us. Both of them are fun musicians and the kids love singing and dancing along.

Looking ahead to March we will start our 8 week program with Northwest Children’s Theater. This was tons of fun last year and we are excited to welcome them again. Also in March we will have a group of Japanese college students visit our class on March 7th. The group is visiting several preschools while they are in Portland and other parts of Oregon. They will help our class learn about Japan while sharing crafts and stories with our students.



Themes this Month

  • Groundhog’s Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Chinese New Year
  • Friendship and Valentine’s Day

Where do you live? What are your parents’ names? Addresses and learning about Portland, OR


Dates to Remember

February 1st – 13th – 

Bring in Valentine’s Day cards (more details below)

Thursday, Feb. 16- 

Registration for fall and summer programs begins for current families

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, February 13, 14, 15 – 

Valentine’s Day parties!

Monday, Feb. 20- 

NO SCHOOL – President’s Day

Saturday, Feb. 25- 

Open House 10 AM to Noon.  Registration for new families.

Music classes

Alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
During February we will enjoy music classes with local musicians Chuck Cheesman, Tallulah’s Daddy and Iris from Growing Arts.


Look for dates and more information on these events soon:


First Stage Class from Northwest Children’s Theater

We are looking forward to working with NWCT to do an ongoing class during February and March. Our students loved it when this program visited us last year and we are looking forward to NWCT joining Hands On in our classes as well as partnering with us for summer camps.


Valentine Party

To: My Friend

Please bring in Valentine’s cards By Feb. 13th.
We will celebrate Valentine’s Day a little bit each day during the week of February 12-17 to make sure everyone gets in on the fun.
Please do not address cards to specific children (see example, right); having all the cards the same and signed by your child really helps when they are passing them out. Bring in 20-32 cards for your child to pass out, they can be store-bought or homemade.

Summer Camps and Fall Preschool Registration

  • Registration for summer camps and fall preschool starts February 16th
  • Registration materials and information will be available for summer camps and fall preschool beginning this month. All of the registration forms will be available online and at school.
  • Hands On accepts registrations from current students (and younger siblings) any time after Feb. 16.
  • Current students will know the camps and classes they are in by Feb. 25. Camps and classes fill up fast, so turn in your registration soon for your first choice of days.
  • New students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration forms will be dated when received.

Please feel free to call us at 503-239-8521  or email us with any questions you have, as always.


Parent Teacher Conferences

We invite you to join us for parent-teacher conferences.  Each conference, with two of your child’s teachers, will last 15 minutes.  Parent-teacher conferences are a great time for families and teachers to get to know each other.  It is a time to celebrate each child’s strengths as well as bring up any concerns.  We are lucky that teachers and parents can check in with each other daily, but sometimes it is nice to have 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to talk about how school is going.  If your schedule doesn’t fit with the conference calendar, let us know and we will set up another time.  Conferences are optional.  If you want to meet, the sign-up sheet will be located by our school calendar.


Kindergarten Round-up

Kindergarten Round-Up is an opportunity for you to learn about the school your child will attend for kindergarten.

At Round-Up, you will likely tour the school, meet the kindergarten teachers, and register your child for school. Take this opportunity to ask questions about parent involvement and school events you and your child can attend before the start of school.

Schools schedule visits every winter in February through early March. For more information about your school and to register your child, go to http://www.pps.k12.or.us/rsc/


Here are the events for our closest neighborhood schools:

Sunnyside Environmental (K-8) School: Feb. 7th @ 6:30 PM

Abernethy (K-5) School: Feb. 23rd @ 6:00 PM 

Creston (K-8) School: Feb. 1st @ 9:30am,  Feb. 1st @ 6:00pm & June 1st @ 6:00pm

Atikinson (K-5) School: Spanish Presentation – Feb 8th @ 6:00pm & English Presentation – Feb 15th @ 6:00pm


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