DonorsChoose and July Update

by Mrs. Nilsen on July 6th, 2012

July "Monthly" News

Good evening students, parents, and community members!

It’s only been a few short weeks since my last weekly news update, but I thought I’d write a monthly update to simply keep everyone informed and ease into the transition of a new school year.  I hope that you are all enjoying the summer break thus far.  I know I’ve LOVED the sunshine these last few days!

New Year, New Structure

As we move forward to the new school year, some important decisions have been made in regards to the structure of the middle school grades.  Here’s what our new Director, Shelley Urben, had to say about the change in her July newsletter this week:
“After much discussion and careful consideration the middle school teachers and I have made some important adjustments to the 6th/7th/8th grades. In order to better reach the social, emotional, and academic needs of our older students and to keep in line with our mission statement, we will be breaking the students up into 6th grade, 7th grade and 8th grade classes instead of mixed grades.

“We are still working out the details especially with regard to scheduling. Fortunately each of our middle school teachers has a language arts endorsement so each will be taking on a grade level in this subject. Mrs. Nilsen will be teaching 6th grade LA plus all Science classes, Mr. Old- ham will be teaching the7th grade LA plus all Social Studies, and Mr. Workentin will teach the 8th grade LA and all Math. We will also be hiring a math aide for grades 4 through 8.

“Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this change.
Shelley Urben” [1]

Our Middle School teachers are working this summer to be ready for the shift.  I worked with Mr. Oldham today on developing our Language Arts curriculum more fully.  We’re striving for consistency across all three grades as well as alignment to the Common Core Standards.  We’ve got a lot of fun activities and project already planned and I’m getting excited for September!


In efforts to get ready for the fall, we are also in the midst of compiling supplies, resources, and teaching equipment.  In the MRA July Newsletter there is a school “Wish List.”  I also created a DonorsChoose account in which I will be trying to get supplies and donations for this coming year. “ is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.” [2]  Teachers from all over the country submit projects and people from all over the world help fund them.  It is my hope that by engaging in this global community, we will be benifited and gain access to materials that will aid in the learning process for years to come.

If you would like to help give to my classroom projects, you can visit my page at  I just submitted my first project today, so it might not appear as “active” for a few days while it goes through the review process.  I will keep you updated on our progress and of any new donation projects we have going on.  Thank you in advance for your support if you are fortunate enough to be able to give.

Website Work

For the next couple months, truly until the school year starts, I need to label our website as “Under Construction.”  I only have a limited amount of storage and need to clean out pictures and information on the other pages so that they are ready to be filled again this next school year.  Don’t worry though, as all of the blog posts still archive the information featured on the other pages.  If you would like to get a copy of a photo that is no longer available for download on here, just let me know and I can always email it to you.

Off to my Next Adventure(s)

I’m off tomorrow on my own summer adventures – flying to Southern Illinois to visit my family, volunteering at a Sr. High camp in Washington, and a Sports/Arts/Leadership camp in Iowa, traveling to New Jersey and New York City (my first time ever to the East Coast!) and attending a couple weddings in the Midwest as well.  It’s going to be a crazy, wild ride.  I look forward to hearing all about your summer adventures, too!  Feel free to post them on here, or even do your “summer homework” and send me a postcard.

Miss you all,
Mrs. Nilsen

Works Cited
[1.] Urben, Shelley. "Middle School 2012-13." Molalla River Academy Newsletter 1 (July 2012): 1. Print.
[2.]"How It Works." About Us. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 July 2012 <>.

Posted in Homeroom Updates, Science Updates, 6th Grade ELA Updates    Tagged with DonorsChoose, pictures, New school year, Donations, Core Values


Mamma C - July 7th, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Nice job Mrs. Nilsen. Looks like you'll have a wonderful school year ahead.

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