Mountain View Elementary has gradually adopted the motto of KINDNESS COUNTS as we sought to identify the unifying influence for the actions of our students and staff. I found out this summer that kindness also pays.
In late June, I received a call from a Carrs/Safeway representative asking me if I could participate in the grand reopening of the Kenai Carrs/Safeway and accept a monetary grant they wanted to award Mountain View Elementary. Our school had not applied for a grant, no amount was mentioned during the call and I agreed to go to the ribbon cutting ceremony and presentation a couple days later.
To make a long story short, when I went up for the presentation Mountain View was recognized specifically for its community service efforts, its work with its students on positively responding to conflict, and its kindness initiatives throughout the school. I was then presented with a check for Mountain View Elementary in the amount of ten thousand dollars!!!
What an honor it was to be the face of Mountain View and represent all of our staff and students for the positive culture they have created at our school. We are working with our Site Council and staff on how to best utilize this money in ways that build strong, positive and kind relationships amongst everyone who spends time in our school and to provide opportunities for our students to go out into the community and do the same.
Hello parents, we’re getting ready for the new year here at Mountain View.
Some important dates coming up.
Monday August 13th – Registration for new kids
Tuesday August 14th – Registration for new kids
Friday August 17th – Class lists posted on the front doors at 4PM
Monday August 20th – Meet the teacher night from 5-6PM
Tuesday August 21st – First Day of School!
Monday September 3rd – Labor day, NO SCHOOL
Parents and guardians, school safety is a top priority in the KPBSD. It’s important for you to know what to do before, during, and after a school emergency, weather related delay start, or school closure. Kindly read KPBSD Emergency Guidelines for Parents and Guardians. KPBSD regularly practices safety drills in schools, and includes law enforcement in our ALICE training’s for school emergencies. School delays and closures protocol.
Have you ever said “That’s not how it was when I was in school?”
Public education has certainly changed in many positive ways as the institution seeks to meet the needs of children to succeed in a changing society. From students sitting in rows listening to a “stand and deliver” teacher, to students working cooperatively in groups or pods, gradual changes have been made to ensure children acquire the knowledge and skills to prosper as adults. Exciting, gradual changes are once again afoot as Mountain View Elementary and KPBSD introduce Personalized Learning to ensure we not only meet our student’s individual academic needs but ensure they develop the 21st century skills necessary to positively shape their futures.
Personalized Learning (PL) is a multifaceted approach designed to tailor learning to individual student’s strengths, needs and interests. While more detailed information on PL can be found on the KPBSD homepage, the first steps we are taking here at Mountain View involve increasing student ownership of, and reflection on, their learning. Already in many of our classrooms students now have a choice of how they proceed through their daily, and in some cases weekly, independent work assignments. The students have to complete the various tasks but they have the choice of what sequence to do them in. In some instances, students are also able to choose from a variety of assignments. This ownership or choice, helps students become independent and self-directed workers. This not only enhances their education but develops a skill that most future employers will be looking for.
Another skill we hope to develop in our students is reflecting on the quality of their behavior and work. By teaching students to self–reflect using rubrics and specific examples we once again help them to be self-directed, this time focusing on quality, and develop the skills to help themselves excel both in and out of school.
It is our hope that the move towards Personalized Learning enables us to not only give our students the knowledge they need to succeed but the diverse skills as well.
We would like to advise you that we will be having a Safety Closure Drill to practice ALICE protocol this week. The exact date and time is weather dependent. Students have been notified that there is a drill coming and have been engaging in age appropriate discussions with their teachers. Students will be notified that it is a indeed only a drill when the drill starts. As part of this drill some students may be exiting the school with their teachers, or may locking down in place depending on the scenario. As always during winter having students dressed appropriately in the case the need arises to go outside for any reason is advisable. Please visit the KPBSD website link below http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/Workarea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=34276 for more information on KPBSD emergency procedure guidelines.
October was an awesome month for promoting our school culture here at Mountain View Elementary!
Individuals with disabilities, as well as experts in the field of disabilities, came to Mountain View Elementary to set up eight different stations for presentations on a wide variety of physical and cognitive disabilities. These experts presented information about disabilities to our students and staff and also provided engaging activities that facilitated the understanding of challenges that individuals with disabilities face and overcome on a daily basis. Among other activities students had hands on experience with creating and reading Braille, using alternative communication devices and manipulating artificial limbs. Art was the focus at one station where students worked with illustrator Maggie Winston to paint without using their hands. Her art work, done holding the paint brush in her teeth, was yet another example of focusing on abilities as opposed to disabilities.
As KPBSDs largest open enrollment elementary school, Mountain View provides a number of programs designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities. All of our students benefit from their daily interactions within this diverse student body. It was our hope that this year’s Diversity Day will broaden this natural development of empathy and further prepare our students to participate in an inclusive society.
Kindness was the focus of a school wide assembly early in the month. A variety of short skits, songs and other presentations focused on all aspects of kindness. Teachers and students from across the school teamed up to celebrate the conclusion of our annual, start of the year, 8 week focus on Positive Responses to Conflict and Kindness. During these eight weeks, age appropriate lessons for teaching kindness, empathy and our 6 positive responses to conflict happen at all grade levels.
Combined these two events provided a powerful message to our students of what we value here at Mountain View Elementary, Kenai’s Neighborhood School.
The Director of Elementary Education for KPBSD, John Pothast visited
our building on the first day of school this year. His initial comment as
he walked down our entrance side walk was “lots of positive energy
and smiles.” While the fact that we had two Turbo 1000 bubble
machines going, Dixie Land Jazz cranked on the Bose, and party flags
lining the path certainly helped in that department. I also believe
that the efforts we made that 1st day are indicative of our approach to
school culture all year long.
The overriding principles for school culture at Mountain View
Elementary are kindness and responding to conflict in a positive
manner. In fact, the first 7 weeks of school contain age appropriate
lessons and activities in these areas for all grade levels. It’s really hard
not to smile when someone is kind to you and, equally as important, it
puts a smile on your face when you are kind to someone else.
Teacher’s constantly use the verbiage “that was kind of you to….. “
when conversing with students. This helps students to develop the
self-identity of a kind person and perpetuates the student seeking
opportunities to be kind. Conversely nothing sucks the energy out of
the room like a nasty conflict.
Conflict is natural, whether it’s between adults, students or a
combination thereof, it’s pretty hard to avoid. It’s how we deal with it
that makes or breaks our day. By responding with specific, positive
strategies and common language that avoid power struggles and guilt
we can move forward and maintain the positive energy for a successful
The initial strategy we work on is “Positive Questions”. This basic
strategy asks that we all assume positive intent. That perhaps the
person we are in conflict with did not purposefully seek to annoy us or
break a rule. Questions starting with “Did you know…” are quite
effective at deescalating a conflict and starting the dialogue to
positively resolve a conflict.
So, while every day at Mountain View Elementary might not include
bubbles, jazz and party flags you can be assured that we have
Below is our newsletter for August 2017:
Thanks for a great year and have a good summer. We are already planning for an awesome year starting next August. Here are the dates of some early activities:
August 10th and 11th. Open registration for new to Mountain View Students.
August 18th. Class lists posted on front doors.
August 21st. Meet the teacher hour 5-6PM.
August 22nd. First day of school, doors open at 8:20.
Supply Lists for 2017-2018 School Supply Lists 2017-2018
We would also like to advise you that we will be having a safety closure drill to practice ALICE protocol on Friday, May 5th beginning at 2:30. As part of this drill students will be leaving school grounds with their teachers, gathering at the Kenai Fellowship, and then returning to school. Please visit the KPBSD website link below http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/Workarea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=34276 for more information on KPBSD emergency procedure guidelines.