11/7/2013 Weekly Newsletter

Nov 7, 2013 by

11/7/2013 Weekly Newsletter

Once you’ve collected ALL your sponsor money, put it in your manila envelope you received at check out, and turn it into your child’s teacher. (There is an Otter Walk Collections envelope posted in each classroom). Your timely donations eases the burden on our collections team. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Online Pledges–IMPORTANT!: If you have encouraged sponsors to use our online system, you’ll need to make sure they’ve entered your student’s first and last name so that proper credit can be applied! In addition, our system is not robust and PTA will be unable to research donations on your behalf. You’ll need to ask your sponsors to a copy of your transaction to the sponsored students parent or guardian so that they can keep track of all pledges fulfilled! Even if you don’t get that confirmation to report on your tracking sheet, rest assured the amounts will be added to your child’s balance when we reconcile the online donations submitted in mid-November.


Wed, November 13th, 7-8:30pm
in the multi-purpose room.

Dr. Susan DeMersseman, MES’s own school climate consultant, will be our guest speaker.  Dr. Susan meets with MES parents every Tuesday.  She has spent years working with children and their parents has a wealth of experience to share.  Some topics she will cover are:

  • The Basics of Parenting
  • How to develop a plan to address specific concerns
  • How we can all work together to reduce meanness and increase supportive behavior among the kids and community.

Parents are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time which can be dropped off in Dr. Susan’s box in the school office, or index cards will be available at the PTA meeting.  As always, feel free to check out her blog

Pizza and salad will be provided, please plan to arrive a little early to grab your food so we can begin promptly at 7:00pm.

Free childcare for the first 25 rsvp’s will be provided for children out of diapers, pizza dinner provided.

Hi everyone … it’s that time of year again … tours for prospective families begin next week.

We need help in leading these tours.  Last year we had more interest than ever before, and I’d assume with our beautiful new building, even more people will be checking us out this year.

It’s only a 30 minute time commitment – most of our tours are on Wed  from 9 – 9:30 am.  (We do have one evening tour in December.)  You are free to leave after 30 minutes or you can stay for the Q and A with Mrs Bloom which usually runs until 10:30 — I feel like I always learn something when I am able to stay.

I am in the process of updating our talking points so anyone who gives a tour will have all the necessary info at their fingertips.  Your real job is to show them around and add your perspective as a parent here. It’s actually really fun — and you get to punt all the hard questions to Mrs. Bloom.

The dates of the tours are below, and also a link to a sign up schedule.

  • 11/13 @9:00 am
  • 11/20 @ 9:00 am
  • 12/4 @ 9:00 am
  • 12/11 @ 6:00 pm
  • 1/8 @ 9:00 am
  • 1/15 @ 9:00 am

Sign up sheet:

For the safety of our children, please respect traffic rules in front of the school and in the parking lot.  A few key points:

All parents MUST respect the new red zones.  These are fire lanes.  Do not stop in these areas, even if you remain in your car.  Stopping in fire lanes is not only rude, it is unsafe and illegal.  And it puts our kids at risk.

When dropping off your child, do NOT idle for more time than necessary to allow your child to safely exit the car.  Do not finish your conversation, check your cell phone, pack your child’s backpack, or brush your child’s hair.  If your child is not ready to exit the car, make another circle or find parking.  If you feel that your child needs your supervision while entering the school, you must arrive early and park in a designated space, or on Moraga Way, or at the Lucky’s upper lot, and walk your child to school.  NEVER park in the drop-off zones in the morning.

Park in marked spaces only.  Now that we have striping in the rear lot, cars should never block each other in.

Please review parking and drop-off policies here.



Please mark your calendar for one of our parent-led tours. There’s no need to RSVP. Simply come with your student (if you wish) and walk the talk:

  • Friday, November 8
  • Thursday, November 14
  • Friday, December 6
  • Friday, December 13 (your lucky day!)

Tours start promptly at 9:10 AM in the courtyard outside of Montera’s front office and conclude around 10 AM. After the stroll-about, one or more of our administrators will be on hand to chat and answer any additional questions you may have. Please visit www.monteramiddleschool.net for details.

We are kicking off the spelling bee season!
Dates to Remember:

  • Early January: Written spelling bee in each 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom (words will be taken from the study guide to be given out soon to interested students)
  • January 14: Montclair Elementary Spelling Bee for grades 3-5.
  • January 24: Deadline to register Champion Speller for the Bay Area Competition (3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades)
  • February 6: Oakland Unified School District Spelling Bee (4th or 5th grade winner)
  • February 8: Scripps Preliminary Round written Spelling Bee (Montclair Champion)
  • March 15: Scripps Local Final Round Spelling Bee
  • Late May: Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Websites to check out:

www.myspellit.com (official study guide for the Scripps National Spelling Bee program.)
www.spelling-words-well.com (ideas for spelling practice)
In addition, we will be holding practice spelling bees during December and January. They will be held on selected dates. These practice bees are offered as a service to the students wishing to participate in unofficial competitions and not as a required activity. Check out the Spelling Bee Bulletin Board for updates and the Word of the Week!

We are looking forward to working with you. Best wishes from the Spelling Bee Committee!
Mrs. Karena Cruz and Ms. Lori-Jill Seltzer


We have made it though Halloween and believe it or not, it’s not too soon to think about Winter Sing!

This amazing Holiday program is put on by our own fabulous Ms. Wanda.  This year, the Not Half Bad Band would like to invite closet musicians out there in MontclairLand to dust off their instruments and play some Rudolph with us.  We are looking for some horns and woodwinds, some trombone would be nice, but I will consider just about anything. Maybe even some cowbell.
Let me know if you are interested and what instrument, and we will go from there. Thanks!

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