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"The Pride" Family Newsletter, March 20th, 2020
Posted 3/21/20

WE MISS ALL OF YOU AND LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON!

At this time, Miller Creek School District will remain closed from March 16th through April 10th. We will keep you informed regarding changes.


Brief reflection from Mrs. Camarda, a 1st-grade teacher, who said it best on the morning of March 20th

I started to write my own reflection but when I saw this, and I thought to myself...this is gold.

"Celeste (her newborn daughter), and I went for a short walk yesterday, and the sun, the fresh air, the birds and flowers announcing spring were the best. Part of my reflection around this pandemic is that the Earth is asking us to slow way down and live more simply. I have noticed though, that I feel like I am working so much more. I am going to go offline this afternoon and take a digital detox this weekend. I will probably play lots of dominoes, throw a frisbee, plant lots of vegetable starts and start more seed, pick up dusty instruments, and read!"

 



What we learned from week #1

Communication has taken on a new meaning. How we communicate within our teams and between staff, students and families have changed. While the intimate connection, the physical presence of one another, is missing, we are discovering new ways to connect with one another. As one teacher shared, "I am learning more about my students now that I ever have due to the intimacy of the check-ins"

 

The family lens - It is easy for us to get caught up in pumping out thoughtful and creative lessons to ensure our students are receiving the same education they were receiving in the classroom. From the beginning, we had no intention of providing "fluff" work. But, to no one's surprise, the class and the home are not the same. We will adapt.

 

The teacher lens - This team has spent countless hours virtually planning, collaborating with colleagues, and thinking about ways to inspire your children. But they are human and many of them have families as well. If things are challenging, be patient and know that we are working hard to bridge successes and challenges. Thank you for the sweet emails to our teachers. It helps at this time!

 

Surveys provided our team insight - Based on our survey results, your child will continue to receive learning plans and access to his/her teacher four days a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesdays will now be utilized for new learning and innovating for our teachers as this is so very new for them. Teachers will be unavailable to parents and students on this day. This shift will allow children to engage in projects that were previously launched and to find balance as a family midweek. 

 

Daily Lunch Service - Principals are serving lunch to our students receiving free or reduced lunches, Monday-Friday from 12-1 in front of Vallecito Elementary School.

Sometimes, we just need to laugh -  Silliness and laughter are nourishing for the soul -  For all to enjoy 


We are building this plane as it flies

Make no mistake, our entire team, district office, classified, and certificated, are working diligently to establish a learning program that focuses upon the continuity established before we left our school grounds on March 13th. That being said it feels eerily like we are building the plane as it flies. This video is hilarious and worth every one of the 56 seconds...over and over!

 

Virtual Tours To explore together, maybe on those Wednesdays!

From Amy Allerheiligen and Jessica Chesbro, our school counselors

We have been working with teachers and staff to help support the children's social and emotional needs this year.  During this extremely stressful time, we wanted to let all of you know that we are here to provide support to you. If you have any concerns about your child's emotional, behavioral or mental health, or if your child just seems overly stressed or worried, please contact us and we can schedule a private consultation with you over the phone or using Zoom video conferencing technology.

Amy Allerheiligen - aallerheiligen@bacr.org  

Jessica Chesbro - jchesbro@bacr.org  

Our lives have been upended, and the news from our screens is highly disturbing and scary. It is not only challenging to reconfigure our lives - how we work, how we care for our families, how we interact with each other, but also to manage our own fears and worries. The serious nature of this situation calls for drastic measures and all of this can, understandably, bring up a lot of anxiety for all of us-- anxiety that can trickle down to our children.

Here are a few general guidelines for reducing anxiety for our children:

 

Filter news/media- what your children see and hear online and on the television can rev up their nervous systems. Limit and supervise their media diet and make sure they are not accessing disturbing information.

 

  • Turn off any news coverage in front of children. When consuming your own video news content, do so at times when your children are not present. Consider limiting how much news you consume- our nervous systems can only take so much.

 

  • Minimize adult discussion about the Coronavirus in front of children to the extent you can. Parents are the captains of their children's life ships, and like anyone out at sea on rough waters, if we see our captain looking nervous and stressed, we start to wonder if the ship is going down. Instead, give them the message "we got this - nothing to worry about here - we are safe".

 

  • Help them regulate when they are upset or worried - We are our children's external regulators which means when they need soothing, we can help. We do this by responding calmly, normalizing and validating their experience and feelings, and offering reassurance that they are safe.  For example, if your child is expressing worry, you could say something like "I know this is a very strange time for all of us, and you are feeling a little worried. That makes sense. We want you to know that there are a lot of very smart, capable adults working hard to keep us all safe. One of the things they are doing is asking us all to stay home and not interact with other people so that we don't spread the new flu that is going around. I know that it's hard not to have playdates or see Grandma right now, but we can get through it together.  And the most important thing is that we are safe and healthy. Let's make the best of this time together.

 

  • Manage your own anxiety about this situation by using self-care tools such as mindfulness/taking deep breaths to calm down our nervous systems, exercise, time in nature, cuddling up to read a good book, engaging in creating projects (writing, cooking, art, collage, music, etc.) talking privately to friends and family about worries.

 

  • Teach your children calming exercises or have them teach you. Your child may have learned breathing techniques from me (roller coaster breathing, flower breathing), as well as mindfulness techniques at school.

 

  • Let children use technology to connect with friends and family, especially Facetime if possible, to increase feelings of connectedness.

 

  • Build-in Routines as children thrive on daily schedules. Predictability is super important at this time.

 

  • Focus on connection and play-  Children learn and express themselves through play so it’s important to carve out time together to play games, do art, read books, go for walks, give the dog a bath, do chores together, etc. Laughter actually changes the body chemistry, reducing stress hormones, so tell some jokes, watch a funny movie together, etc.  The more time we can take time to play and be present with our children, the better they will do during this time. 

 

  • As parents, we also need connection! For those who are now working from home, this is a rare chance for us to slow down and reconnect with, not only our children but our families and friends as well.

A warm hello from our Home and School President

I just wanted to reach out to say hello and that we’ve all got this! Understandably, this is a very challenging time for us all as we learn to navigate this uncertain landscape. Please feel free to reach out to me at LucasValleyHSC@gmail.com if you have any ideas on how you would like us to help our Pride during this time.

Below are some updates on several events/projects that you may have been wondering about or perhaps, completely forgotten about due to the current situation!

 

Lucas Valley Lunches: You should have received an email from our Lucas Valley Lunch Team, however, in case you missed it, we are currently working on issuing credits for all the lunches that were purchased in advance and not served as we get a better understanding of what the rest of the school year looks like. Those students qualifying for Free and Reduced lunches can pick them up at Vallecito Elementary, 12:00-1:00, Monday-Friday.

 

Paw Prints (formally Dixie Doodle) Each year the kiddos do a school-wide art project through Original Works.  Original Works, transfers their amazing works of art onto cool products. While our kiddos did complete their portraits already this year, we will be putting this on hold. We’re currently unable to have the art shipped to campus for distribution and Original Works is not set up to ship to individual families. 

 

LVE T-Shirt contest: Thank you for all the amazing artwork our little lions submitted! We have narrowed it down to 3 finalists… Please stay tuned as to if and when the t-shirts will be available.

  

Walk-a-Thon: Due to social distancing, our Walk-a-thon will not go on as planned… Thank you for everyone who donated. The much-needed funds will go to all the amazing events on campus that we hope to hold on campus next year. As well as supporting our teachers and technology. In a show of solidarity as a community, we’d love for you to have your child participate in some physical activity, snap a picture and post it to Instagram, tagging us @lucaselementary.  We encourage you to pledge please by visiting this link as we’ll be accepting donations through March 30. We are growing closer to our goal but need a little more help where you can give. All funding goes to supporting our classrooms, teacher supplies, and amazing events for next year. Thank you! 

Sivan, Kalei, Christina, Crissy & Arlo - The Pride Squad!


Resources

Novel Coronavirus Links and Updates


The start date for the 2020-2021 school year

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

Adopted Student Calendar for the 2020-2021 school year