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Holiday Happenings for Families in Portland Area...

posted Nov 27, 2017, 1:00 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Nov 27, 2017, 1:00 PM ]

 Now that Thanksgiving is over, we have moved into the winter holidays.  This is such an exciting time for families to spend with their children!  Portland is a hop, skip and a jump away from Castle Rock.  Try some of the holiday fun going on all month there.  Here is a great resource!  PORTLAND HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN    How about HOLIDAY LIGHTS?  Here are some great ideas to keep everyone in the holiday spirit...
Each year, the Aspen Meadow light show has a different theme. This year, it’s “The Greatest is Love,” with the grounds designed to reflect the theme. Check out over 150,000 lights, carolers, an interactive children’s area, a miniature train village, videos, refreshments and more. Our lights display is free of charge — if you would like to bring a canned food donation to give to the Oregon Food Bank, there are donation barrels on site.
When: December 9-26; 5 pm-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 5 pm-11 pm Friday-Sunday.
Cost: Free!
Where: 24232 S. Upper Highland Road, Colton OR 97017. 503-784-7596

Take a Christmas walk through a lighted, wooded “Fantasy Trail,” decorated with thousands of lights for your Christmas enchantment. You can also walk through a 40-foot castle with Christmas scenes, a tunnel, maze, crooked house, suspension bridge and more. Plus, a bonfire nightly!
When: December 2-30, 6 pm-9 pm. Closed December 24 and 25.
Cost: $6 adult, $5 ages 12 and under (cash only)
Where: Wenzel Farm, 19754 South Ridge, Oregon City. 503-631-2047

There’s so much family-friendly fun at this annual light display, including ice skating, a holiday market, live music, food, fire pits, Santa visits, a snowless tubing track and more. Check out their schedule for more details on what’s going on each day.
When: November 24-December 31 (closed December 24 and 25), 5 pm-9 pm. Check out their schedule for specific hours.
Cost: Pre-purchase admission tickets for $8 for adults, $5 kids ages 5-12. Activity prices vary. Parking is an addition $5.
Where: 879 W Main, Silverton. 503-874-8100

The Christmas Ship Parade started in 1954 with one lone sailboat. Today, The Christmas Ship Fleet averages about 55 to 60 boats between the Columbia and Willamette River fleets, with brightly lit displays that can be seen from bank to bank on each river.
When: Parade starts between 5 pm and 7 pm nightly, December 1-21 (no parade December 3,4,5,11,12 or 18). Check their website for a detailed schedule and recommended public viewing spots.

The Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest choral festival in the world, with out 160 indoor holiday concerts. Family entertainment includes outdoor carolers, puppet shows, live animals and–of course–hot chocolate.
When: November 24-December 30, 5 pm-9:30 pm. Closed Christmas.
Cost: $11 for adults, $10 for seniors. $6 ages 3-12, free ages 0-2.
Where: NE 85th & Sandy. 503-261-2400

As always, this charming little street will be decked out in its shimmering finest. Avoid the vehicle congestion by parking a few blocks away and walking down the lane, but please be respectful of the neighbors.
When: 6 pm-11 pm December 15-31. Pedestrian-only nights TBA.
Where: SE Peacock Lane between Stark & Belmont

Described as the “largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi,” this is a great one for chilly days because you drive through it in your car! View over 250 colorful light set pieces and fully animated scenes from the toasty inside of your vehicle. Don’t have a car? You can bike the route on November 29th or walk it on December 6th.
When: November 24-December 26. Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm-11 pm; Sundays-Thursdays 5:30 pm-9:30 pm. Closed November 27. Open December 24 5 pm-11 pm and December 25 from 5:30 pm-9:30 pm.
Tuesday, November 28 is “bike the lights” night – $6, no cars.
Tuesday December 5 is “Lights and Leashes” night – $6, no cars. Thursday, December 7 is over 21 only.
Cost: $20-$22 per car. Additional costs for larger vehicles.
Where: Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory. 503-232-3000

Enjoy the wonders of the season at Pittock Mansion’s annual holiday display, a Portland tradition for over 50 years. This year, experience the iconic places, people, and events of Portland—like Powell’s Books, Packy the elephant, and Peacock Lane—as they are incorporated into the decorative stylings of volunteers and professional designers who transform the Mansion into a holiday wonderland. Local musicians will play holiday music regularly in the mansion’s Music Room during the exhibit.
When: November 20-December 31, 11 am-1:30 pm and 2 pm-4 pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Cost: $11 adults, $10 seniors $8 ages 6-18, free ages 0-6.
Where: 3229 NW Pittock. 503-823-3623

The historical Victorian Belle mansion and its 2.5 acre plot in North Portland is decked out with a million lights, 10 uniquely-decorated Christmas trees, themed rooms and decorations. You’ll also find a full railroad train display and chocolate and s’mores with Rudolph. Santa will be on site for family photos as well.
When: December 9-23, 6 pm-10 pm nightly.
Cost: $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children ages 4-17, free under 3. Bring in a canned food item for $1 off.
Where: 1441 McClellan ST., Portland, OR 97217. 503-970-0213

Source:  PDX Parent - Holiday Light Display Section

Teaching Thankfulness!

posted Nov 21, 2017, 11:58 AM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Nov 21, 2017, 12:01 PM ]

It is that time of year, Thanksgiving, where we would like our children to learn to be thankful.  How do we do that?  Here are some ideas to get you going...

1.  Talk about traditions and build memories during holidays, like Thanksgiving.
2.  Turn off the television and talk during meal time.  Tell stories about your own holidays as a child.  Children love to hear stories about "the good old days".
3.  Work together to plan your Thanksgiving Feast.  Talk about the different types of foods, where they come from and how they are prepared.  Get everyone involved in the cooking!
4.  Be thankful...  Have everyone share something they are thankful for at your Thanksgiving feast.
5.  Share with others!  Many charities are very active this time of year.  Donate.  Help others.  Your children will learn the importance of helping others.
6.  Create something for Thanksgiving together!  It could be a favorite dessert, or place mats for the table...  Have fun!
7.  Create a tradition for your family.  It could be a tradition of games after dinner, or a fun game of football outside.  Make it a tradition and something that everyone looks forward to.

Most of all - enjoy your time and build many positive memories of the holiday!  Happy Thanksgiving....


posted Nov 3, 2017, 12:38 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Nov 3, 2017, 12:47 PM ]

Our middle school team had a great visit yesterday to Parkrose Middle and High School.  Parkrose is an A.V.I.D. Demonstration School and has been involved with AVID for nine years.  They are amazing, and our team gained so many ideas for moving forward.  Thank you Parkrose!

This year Castle Rock is implementing A.V.I.D. in grades 3,4 and 5; 6 and 7 at the middle school.  At the elementary level, A.V.I.D. strategies are used by the classroom teachers and all students benefit.  At the middle school, there is an A.V.I.D. elective class, plus trained teachers are implementing A.V.I.D. strategies in their content area classes.

Next year, we will add grade 8 at the middle school, and grade 9 at the high school.  If you think your child would benefit from A.V.I.D., please contact your child's principal.  It is an amazing system that supports our children.

Learn more about A.V.I.D.!

One Teacher - One Classroom

Professional Learning Day

posted Nov 1, 2017, 1:54 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Nov 1, 2017, 1:56 PM ]

Friday, October 27 was a Professional Learning Day for our teachers.  The day was spent focusing on instruction and our Instructional Framework, The Five Dimensions of Teaching and Learning.  Each school has an Instructional Leadership Team, and with the school principal, the team led the training.

Here are a few pictures to show the deep and rich conversations that occurred on Friday.  We also spent time learning more about school safety procedures, specifically lockdown.

Way to go CASTLE ROCK TEACHERS and PRINCIPALS!  It was a great day...  

Family Literacy Day!

posted Oct 30, 2017, 11:10 AM by Patty Gelbrich

Did you know that November 1st is Family Literacy Day in the United States?  Here are some ideas to help you bring literacy into your day and celebrate!  HAPPY FAMILY LITERACY DAY...

Ask your child questions about the story you're reading to ensure comprehension.

Book family time to read with your children every day.

Create a special reading place in your home, with your child's favorite books within reach.

Donate funds to a literacy cause.

Encourage children to read words on TV, street signs, mugs and T-shirts.

Find new stories to read with your children every week. Vary their length and subject matter.

Give your time to read aloud to a child.

Have a child read a book to you.

International Literacy Day is held on September 8 every year. Celebrate the day by picking up a book and reading to a child.

January 27 is Family Literacy Day in Canada and November 1 in the United States. Find out how to create an event in your corner of the world.

Keep teens reading. Give them books, newspaper articles and magazines about things that interest them – music, movies, TV and computers.

Let children count out the change when making a purchase. Reinforce the importance of math in everyday life!

Make every day a learning day. Ask your children to make a shopping list, read recipes together or help them make a calendar of their weekly activities.

Newborns benefit from reading too!

Organize a children's book club with friends in your neighborhood.

Pick one night a week to make a regular visit to the library.

Quiet, cozy reading spaces are good places for your child to read independently.

Remember that children learn by example – if you recognize the importance of reading, your children will too!

Start early! It's never too early to read to your children.

Treat a child to a story a day.

Use reading time to create a special bond with a child.

Volunteer your time. Family literacy groups in your community could use your help with tutoring adults, reading to children and helping out with administrative tasks.

Write a letter.

X-ercise your mind! Reading ability is like a muscle, if you don't exercise it often, you will not maintain the same level of reading ability as you get older. So – "use it or lose it"!

You are the key to improving a child's reading ability by placing a high priority on reading in your home.

Zap off the TV - pick up a book instead!

Source:  Reading Rockets

Why is attendance important?

posted Sep 22, 2017, 11:14 AM by Patty Gelbrich

Bringing Attendance Home

  Since we are still in ATTENDANCE AWARENESS MONTH, I am linking a short video to this news article today.  In the video, Attendance Works talks to parents about the importance of school attendance and making certain absences do not add up.   This video offers practical, every day steps parents can take to help their children attend school.

Happy Friday and we will see everyone back at school Monday morning!

Welcome Back Luncheon & Benefits Fair

posted Aug 31, 2017, 5:03 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Aug 31, 2017, 5:03 PM ]

We had a welcome back event today!  We acknowledged employees, heard remarks from our Superintendent, Mayor of Castle Rock, and a message from the Mayor of Vader.  We welcomed all of our new staff today as well.  It is good to be back!     


posted Aug 30, 2017, 11:27 AM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Aug 30, 2017, 11:43 AM ]

  We are having an amazing day together...  Thank you teachers for all you do to help our Castle Rock students.  Welcome Back!  


posted Aug 29, 2017, 6:53 AM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Aug 29, 2017, 6:54 AM ]

Monday was the day we welcomed new teachers to Castle Rock School District.  You will see some new faces at each of our four schools.  I was so impressed yesterday with their knowledge, excitement, willingness to learn and creative new ideas!  This is going to be a fantastic year....  WELCOME NEW TEACHERS!

Prepare for the Start of School!

posted Aug 21, 2017, 2:13 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Aug 21, 2017, 2:17 PM ]

Oh my goodness...  can you believe it is already time to start school?  I know I can't!  I was researching tips to help in the transition process and found a short and sweet article to help.  Starting school can be a difficult time for children. Every child is hesitant to go somewhere new and see people she's never met before. Here are some helpful ways to prepare your child for her first day of school:

1. Let your child know what his schedule will be like. Tell him what time school begins and ends each day.

2. Ask your child about her feelings -- both the excitement and the concerns -- about starting school.

3. Visit the school with your child to see his new classroom and meet his new teacher before school officially starts.

4. Point out the positive aspects of starting school. It will be fun and she can make new friends.

5. Let your child know that all kids are nervous about the first day of school.

6. Leave a note in your child's lunchbox that will remind him you're thinking of him while he's at school.

7. Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will be there to help resolve them.

8. Try to have your child meet a classmate before the first day of school so she will already have a friend when school starts.

9. Arrange for your child to walk to school or ride together on the bus with another kid in the neighborhood.

10. Find out about after-school activities that your child can join. Will there be a back-to-school party? Can she join a sports team?

Sources: Parent Magazine; American Academy of Pediatrics; Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5-12, by Edward L. Schor (Bantam, 1999)

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