December Newsletter

Dec 2 2010

From the Principal

Happy Holidays Holcomb Families, 

First I would like to thank the 6th grade parents, teachers, and students for an amazing Harvest Bazaar. It was a wonderful community event that raised funds for our students’ Outdoor School and classroom accounts.

We have started our automated calling system to report absences in a more timely manner.  If your child is going to be absent, please call the office and leave a message before 8:15 A.M. Our number is (503) 785-8100.

Last Tuesday many students were excited to hear that we had no school due to inclement weather. Please remember to check the district website, sign up for Flash Alert, or check your local news stations to find the latest news on school closures or school bus snow routes. ( (Holcomb Snow Bus Routes).

Students in 3rd through 6th grades are currently completing their first round of Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS). We use this early data to focus instruction on what students need to meet the standards. Students have three opportunities during the year to meet or exceed the standards.

We are making it a school priority to have a no tolerance policy for bullying and student harassment. Students have been working with staff to learn STOP-WALK-TALK. Please encourage students to communicate concerns with adults or mentors and praise them if they have used the Stop-Walk-Talk strategy. All staff are trained and understand the importance of dealing with the situation in a consistent and timely manner.

Next week beginning December 6th, we will be holding our Book Fair. Ms. Igrisan, our media assistant, has scheduled a Family Night on December 8th from 5-7:30 P.M. There will be a story hour, cocoa & cookies, and free gift-wrap. Books make a wonderful present for students and teachers. We hope to see you there.

Report Cards will be sent home Friday, December 10th. Please sign the envelope and return it with your student on Monday. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher. A positive parent-teacher partnership contributes to your child’s school success.

Soon it will be time for winter break. During the time off it is important that students take time to continue reading, writing, and practicing their Math Facts everyday. Make learning fun by tying it into your daily routine so students understand the importance of education.

Wishing you a warm winter season,
Michael Sweeten
Principal, Holcomb Elementary School

Counselor's Corner - Emily Sallee: "STOP-WALK-TALK"

In response to a rise in bullying behaviors, including both overt or "face-to-face" (name-calling, teasing, physical bullying) and covert or "behind-the-back" (gossiping, rumors, cyber-bullying), Holcomb has adopted a school-wide bullying prevention program called "STOP-WALK-TALK."  STOP-WALK-TALK teaches students to use three simple steps when experiencing or witnessing bullying in or out of school:

  1. Tell the person to STOP what they are doing (i.e. bullying behavior).
  2. WALK away from the person.
  3. TALK to an adult.

All Holcomb students were presented this program during November with the help of 12 sixth grade students from all three classes:

  • Cramer: Emily Bettger, Calvin Lessick, Grant Walton, Bailey Melhus
  • Easterly: Kayla Grant, Joel Quintanilla, Tyler Jacobs, Mara Kruszewski
  • Grenwis: Ava Williams, Gerhart Solaita, Angelica Dove, Braeden Myers

Please support this new program by talking to your child(ren) about STOP-WALK-TALK.  Encourage them to take a stand against bullying and support Holcomb as a safe place for all students.

Happy Holidays!

Emily Sallee

*The holiday season is upon us. If your family is struggling to pay for clothing, food, or holiday gifts, please contact me as soon as possible.  I can be reached at (503) 785-8094 or


Please bring canned food or other non-perishable items to fill our barrels.  The Elks Club will be picking up the barrels on Thursday, December 16.

Oregon City School District Resource Center/Clothes Closet

If you or your student need clothing or school supplies, those items may be available in our Oregon City Resource Center/Clothes Closet.
The Resource Center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (excluding non-school days).
Limited alternate times may be available.  Call for more information: (503) 785-8880
Contact your school or the Office of Special Programs for a referral form.  Special Programs: (503) 785-8880
Volunteers and donations always needed!  
If you'd like to help or learn more, please call Special Programs or email
Click here to see flyer.

December 2010/January 2011 Calendar Dates

View full calendar here

  • December
    •  3: NO SCHOOL - Report Card Prep
    •  6: Book Fair Begins
    • 10: Report cards sent home
    • 13: School Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
    • 16: Music Program - Grades 1, 3, and 5 - 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Campus (old Oregon City High School, 1306 12th Street) auditorium.
  • December 20 - January 2: Winter break - NO SCHOOL
  • January
    •  3: NO SCHOOL - Teacher work day
    •  4: Students return to school
    • 10: School Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
    • 17: NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • 27: PTA Family Movie Night
    • 28: NO SCHOOL - Teacher Inservice

Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Tired?  Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and depression.  Sufficient sleep is increasingly being recognized as an essential aspect of chronic disease prevention and health promotion.

A study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that kids who didn't get enough sleep had an increased probability of being overweight. Researchers saw it in around 1,900 children from birth to 13 years old.  The researchers looked at sleep patterns and weight in 1997 and 2002.  At UCLA, researcher Fredrick Zimmerman:

"It was roughly 10 hours of sleep a night. Kids who didn't get enough sleep by that standard had roughly 80 percent more probability of being obese subsequently."

The researchers say naps during the day don't offset the effect. They think a lack of nighttime sleep throws off key hormones affect weight and metabolism.

How much sleep is enough? Sleep needs vary from person to person and change as people age. Consider these sleep guidelines for different age groups.


  • Birth-2 months need 12 to 18 hours
  • 3-11 months need 14 to 15 hours


  • 1-3 years need 12 to 14 hours
  • 3-5 years old need 11 to 13 hours
  • 5-10 years old need 10 to 11 hours


  • 10-17 years need 8.5 to 9.5 hours


  • need 7-9 hours

*Data from the National Sleep Foundation

Sleep Hygiene
The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene.  Here are some simple sleep hygiene tips:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night, and arrise at the same time each morning.
  • Sleep in a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Make your bed comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music.
  • Remove all TVs, computers, and other "gadgets" from the bedroom.
  • Avoid physical activity within a few hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

Community Links and Information

Oregon City Community Education Programs and Services

Kid's Night at Oregon City High School - Drop your kids off at OCHS where they will be supervised by OCHS student council and staff.  December 10, 5-8 p.m.