October Open House:
What a wonderful response we received this year to our invitation to
Open House. Many teachers reported perfect or near perfect attendance.
We thank Mrs. Laura Dykstra, president of our School Board for her
presence and support. We were most appreciative of Mr. Chris
Christopolis, Lebanon Fire Chief, and Ashleigh Connelly, for sharing
news and information on safety and an Upper Valley planned response to a
pandemic situation. And, we thank Mr. Dennis Samuel of Café Services
for making himself available to all parents with questions and/or
suggestions to keep improving our breakfast and lunch program for
As part of the Responsive Classroom protocol, we use at Mt. Lebanon the
“behavioral hierarchy.” When a student is having difficulty staying on
task, the teacher 1) reinforces desirable behavior, reminds
students what desirable behavior looks and sounds like, and redirects
behavior to preferable and viable options. When these methods do not
yield the desired effect, 2) the child may be asked to sit in
“think time.” Even RC refers to “time out”, but at Mt. Lebanon, we feel
that “time out” connotes an excuse to do nothing. For other children
“time out” is associated with punishment. “Think time allows a child
time to observe others and reflect. Often, a brief think time is
sufficient to remind the child of behavioral expectations. Our next
step, is 3) to ask the child to sit in a buddy teacher’s room
think chair. The child knows that they have missed the point in the own
classroom and now have an opportunity to simply think, reflect and
observe learning behavior in another classroom. Our final step 4)
is a walk to the planning room, where an adult will help a child
process his or her inappropriate behavior, discuss why the behavior is
counterproductive, and seek positive ways to redress the situation and
return to class. A logical consequence is suggested. When a mistake is
made, we help the child recognize the mistake and correct it, often
with an apology and opportunity to help. We believe lasting positive
behavioral changes come about most effectively through learning.
The SST refers to Student Support Team. Once a week the guidance
counselor solicits or collects feedback from teachers or parents on
students who, for any number of reasons, are facing unique challenges in
the classroom or on the playground. The Counselor contacts the
principal, nurse, special educators, the speech language pathologist and
the classroom teacher. The process we follow is the same for each
case: listening to the teacher(s) describes the strengths and
difficulties a child is presenting. The team asks clarifying questions.
We hear specifically what the referring teacher would like the team
to address. The team members then share their thoughts. The presenting
teacher shares new insights as a result of this feedback. Then, the
brainstorms next steps or strategies for teacher(s) to try. Lastly, we
set a date to check-in to see how the interventions or new strategies
are working. Our best hope in implementing interventions at this level
is that the student will demonstrate improvement so that his performance
will be commensurate with his classmates. Sometimes this process may
also lead to a referral for additional formal testing. Your child’s
teacher will notify you if she is considering bringing your child to the
attention of the SST before we meet.
Voting Tuesday, Nov.4!
We are expecting a record number of voters on this day. Please keep
in mind that traffic will be heavier on Tuesday due to voting in the
Multipurpose room. Please plan accordingly. Students who normally take
breakfast and/or hot lunch will have the option of cereal and
sandwiches this Tuesday. We are grateful to the Headstart program
director and staff for canceling instruction on this day and
This year our first formal parent/teacher conferences are scheduled
back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 5 and 6. These days will
be early dismissal (1:00PM) for students. Teachers will be prepared to
demonstrate and discuss the progress your child has made to date in the
classroom. As parents, be prepared to ask specific questions as to how
you can best support your child’s growth in the home. To have
long-range goals is essential, but as important is to have plans that
chunk those goals into small, reasonable and attainable steps.
Remember, too, that either you or the teacher may call for a conference
at any time there are questions or concerns. For general questions
about class and program, we refer you to the class newsletters
and teacher web-pages. Our goal is 100% parental attendance!
ELL (English Language Learners) is now the official designation for
students whose first language is not English and are eligible for
receiving additional support services in school. The Lebanon District
presently enrolls students who represent 38 different languages! Here
at Mt. Lebanon we have 21 ELL students with as many languages. On
Monday, Oct. 27, Mt. Lebanon hosted our annual district ELL potluck
dinner. ELL teachers, children and parents enjoyed a global array of
gustatory delights, and we were later treated to some student piano
pieces and participated in a traditional Vietnamese bamboo stick dance.
We thank our own Mrs. Charlotte Johnson and district coordinator Mrs.
Rebecca Wardok, for organizing this festive event.
Family Literacy Night:
Tuesday, Oct. 28, our reading teachers and Mrs. Judy Klunder, our
district language arts curriculum coordinator hosted a Family Literacy
Night program at Mt. Lebanon. All students presently receiving
additional reading support were invited with their parents to
participate with pizza, a storybook reading and classroom activities.
Thanks to all teachers for organizing and parents for attending. As
reading is the single most important skill students will learn in
school, we ask all parents to support reading and reading activities in