6th Grade

Dear 6th grade Families,

Welcome to the 2019 – 2020 school year at Claremont Middle School! We are excited to introduce ourselves to you as the 6th grade team and look forward to building relationships with your students. You can meet us in person and learn more about the learning in each of our classrooms on August 29th at Back to School Night.

Introductions

Greetings! My name is Lacy Lefkowitz, and I will be the Dean of 6th grade.  This is my thirteenth year at Claremont, (10 years as a classroom teacher and now 3 years in the dean role). I am from upstate NY, and have my bachelors in history from SUNY Geneseo, and my masters in Teaching from SUNY Binghamton. I love to read, travel, take pictures and grow fruit and vegetables in my backyard. I am excited to work with students, families and teachers to ensure ALL students are successful this year! If you have any comments, thoughts or concerns, I will be your FIRST point of contact. Please feel free to send me an email of introduction!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!”-Dr. Seuss

Lacy Lefkowitz, 6th Grade Dean, lacy.lefkowitz@ousd.org


Classwork and Homework During Absences

If a student is absent, they must get work missed from each class. Students can do this upon their return before break, before lunch or directly after school. If possible, when the teacher isn’t teaching, they may check in during class. In math, students will go directly to the absent binder at one of the above mentioned times and follow the instructions (homework is always linked into the calendar and can be printed off!). In Ms. Fortaleza’s class, students can follow this link, http://bit.ly/FortalezaHistoryEnglish1920 to see missing assignments. If a student is struggling to make up an assignment all core teachers are available Tuesdays at lunch for tutorials.


Claremont 6th Grade Team Information

6TH GRADE DEAN

SCIENCE

  • Ms. Sam Youts
  • Room 1
  • samantha.youts@ousd.org
  • Download Syllabus
  • Hello and welcome to the Claremont Community! This is my second year with Claremont Middle School, and my twenty first year teaching science. I am from Texas, and have a degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University. I moved to California a few years ago to pursue graduate studies in Human Rights, and I love living, hiking, and camping in and around the Bay Area. This year, I am looking forward to teaching, learning, and building an inclusive community in our classroom!
  • “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”-Coretta Scott King

SOCIAL STUDIES AND ENGLISH

  • Ms. Jhunehl Fortaleza
  • Room 4
  • jhunehl.fortaleza@ousd.org
  • Download Syllabus – English & History
    Download Syllabus – History Only
  • This is my sixth year at CMS, and I’m looking forward to working with all of you! I was born and raised in Oakland, graduated from UC Davis with a double major in English Literature/Communications and double minor in Education/Professional Writing for my undergrad, and attended Loyola Marymount University for my Master’s degree in Urban Education with an emphasis in Administration. In the evenings and on weekends, I also teach group exercise classes for various gyms around the Bay Area. I’m so excited to teach students about ancient civilizations, to be avid readers and writers, and to engage in rigorous academic discussions. Welcome to our wonderful school community!
  • “If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you.”-unknown

SOCIAL STUDIES AND ENGLISH

  • Ms. Gina Lozito
  • Room 2
  • gina.lozito@ousd.org
  • Download Syllabus
  • This is my second year at Claremont, and my 4th year teaching in OUSD. I have a BS in Child and Adolescent Development from Cal State Northridge. I’m excited for a new year of continuing to be a part of the Claremont community and learning with my students! I am a proud Oakland native and an alumni of OUSD. Please feel free to reach out with any questions for me via email.
  • “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”-William James

MATH

  • Ms. Mika Zelie
  • Room 5
  • mika.zelie@ousd.org
  • Download Syllabus
  • Hello Claremont families! I am excited to begin my second year of teaching sixth grade math here at Claremont. I am looking forward to a productive and rewarding experience this year, as we work together in meeting the learning goals and needs of our students as well as easing math anxiety! I graduated from the University Of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Anthropology and a minor Ethnic Studies.
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”-Nelson Mandela

MUSIC

  • Ari Brown
  • Music Room
  • ariel.brown1@ousd.org
  • Download Syllabus
  • My name is Ari Brown and I am thrilled to be entering my 4th year as music teacher at Claremont. This year I will be teaching band to every 6th grader, band to 7/8th graders, and a before school jazz band open to all grades. All of my classes are performance based learning opportunities in which students get hands-on experience preparing and performing challenging music literature. I place high value on student creativity and challenge musicians to express themselves from even the beginning stages of musicianship. Students will find success by entering each day with an open mind, a respect for the feelings of peers when they take risks, and a willingness to try new things. While some families provide their students with instruments and the related supplies, no child who wishes to make music will be turned away.
    Please feel free to reach out to me if I can be of any assistance via email at ariel.brown1@ousd.org

COMPUTER SCIENCE

  • Max Washburn
  • Room 10
  • jean.washburn@ousd.org
  • Download Syllabus
  • Hello! My name is Max Washburn and I am the Computer Science teacher at Claremont. This is my second year teaching at CMS. All 6th graders will take computer science with me, and I will teach a 7th/8th grade class as well. All of my classes are project based learning environments in which students get hands-on experience problem solving and programming. I place high value on student creativity and challenge students to express themselves within the work they participate in.Students will find success by entering each day with an open mind, a respect for the feelings of peers when they take risks, and a willingness to try new things.

RESOURCE SPECIALIST

  • Alicia Jimenez
  • Room 7
  • alicia.jimenez@ousd.org
  • Hello, my name is Alicia Jimenez and I am excited to join the 6th grade team this school year! I have been at Claremont for three years as a resource teacher. My role as the 6th grade Resource Specialist will be to support students based on individual needs, giving them strategies to help them be successful in school, providing each student with the foundation necessary to experience confidence and enjoyment in their education. I look forward to collaborating with Claremont Middle School staff and families to ensure that our student’s individual goals are being met. Please feel free to reach out to me if I can be of assistance.

The Claremont P.E. team would also like to welcome students. Our goal is to provide a safe, healthy and fun environment for students to develop lifelong fitness and wellness habits. In order to be successful, learners will have to be dressed and participate daily. We will share more information around expectations in our syllabus and at Back to School Night.
Sincerely, Claremont Physical Education Department
Download Syllabus


Reminder that each student should have these items in their backpack to be ready for classes:*

  • Math class: Folder and graph composition notebook
  • CORE History and English class: 1-inch binder and humanities notebook
  • Science class: Pocket folder and science notebook
  • Computer Science: A folder
  • Pencil bag: stocked with at least 5 good pencils, eraser, sharpener, highlighters, glue stick, color pencils, a pen, etc.**

*Students will be carrying around their supplies all day. Please keep this in mind as you prepare supplies!
** If obtaining these supplies is an issue, please let one of us know. A notebook is also called a composition book.

Classroom Rules and Expectations – these apply to all 6th grade classrooms

  1. Follow directions
  2. Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself
  3. Listen attentively to the speaker
  4. Use positive and constructive language
  5. Food, drink, gum, headwear and electronics (such as phones, smartwatches and headphones) put all away at all times (except water bottles)
  6. Do your very best

Classroom Redirection Procedure – these apply to all 6th grade classrooms

Student Action Teacher Action Description
1st need for redirect Reminder of preferred behavior Student’s name goes on board or clipboard
2nd need for redirect 2nd reminder of preferred behavior Check mark next to name
“Move seat” or “1:1”
3rd need for redirect 3rd reminder of preferred behavior
Start of behavior documentation
2nd check mark
Contact home
4th need for redirect Referral to the office Name circled
Student goes to office with referral which goes on record
** “Don’t argue with the ref” If a student chooses to have a conversation about a redirection in the moment, they will earn another redirection.

*** Egregious behaviors will result in immediate administrative action.

****Students begin each day with a fresh start.


Tech Exchange

Tech Exchange provides low cost, sometimes free, computers to Alameda county students. OTX also partners with charter to offer very low cost internet. If you do not have a computer at home, please find a time to see Mr. Leal for details or visit https://www.techexchange.org.  Parents, please feel free to contact Mr. Leal(daniel.leal@ousd.org) directly regarding this program at any time. Additionally, if you know other families in Oakland who might benefit from Tech Exchange, please pass on the website and Mr. Leal contact information.


Ways to Support at Home

  1. Ask your child what they learned in school that day and check their planners for homework and due dates.
  2. Regularly check Aeries to monitor your child’s grades.
  3. Encourage your child to read at least 30 minutes every evening.
  4. Use Khan Academy at home with your child to help them practice mathematical concepts.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. We look forward to the 2019-2020 year with your student.

Sincerely,

The 6th Grade Teachers and Support Staff

Download Welcome Letter