Dana's Weekly Update 12-7-12

posted Dec 7, 2012, 10:59 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Dear Families, 

Human growth and development: We have had Joanne from Planned Parenthood visiting us the last three days, talking to our students about how people change as they reach puberty. Over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Joanne covered male and female anatomy and physiology, puberty and the stages of pregnancy. I appreciated the way she discussed these issues in a very matter-of-fact manner while still honoring that the kids may have had some uncomfortable feelings. She was able to put the kids at ease and help them feel comfortable to ask questions and practice using the correct terminology in a kind and supportive environment. She stressed that these changes happen to every person, from their parents to their teachers to the president. The kids have each had a “homework” assignment to come and talk with a parent or trusted adult about what they have learned.  

Easy CBM testing: Starting next week, we will begin the winter session of the Easy CBM testing that our students take three times each year. As you may recall, these assessments cover grade specific questions on math, reading fluency, reading comprehension and vocabulary. I reminded the students that, while their scores are not important to me, I would like them to do their best so that they have an accurate record about their strengths and areas where they need to set goals. It is great to have feedback on how they are learning throughout the year and these tests are one piece of information that allows us to see this growth. 

Friday notes/work plans/self-reflections: Please remember that your child should be bringing home these items each Friday. The Friday note is either green or blue. The green note celebrates the student’s hard work in completing all their assignments by Thursday, while the blue note lists any outstanding assignments that the student needs to complete the following week. The work plan is a record of what your child worked on during the week, and on the back you will find their self-reflection on the week and their goals for the following week. Please be sure that you are seeing, and signing, these papers each week and having your child return them to school on Mondays in their green Ridgeline folder. 

Book Order: Our current book orders will be due back to school by this Friday, December 7th so that we can get orders back in time for Christmas gift giving. (Please let me know if you would like your child’s order sent home secretively. J) If your child no longer has the book order form, or if it is simply more convenient, you can also order online. Go to the Scholastic website and click on “current flyers.” When you have chosen your books, enter the your student’s name and code for our class, L986V. 

Math facts: Please continue to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts at home to develop fluency. We are using these facts every day to solve higher level math problems. Knowing these facts is essential in being able to focus on the concepts we are covering. 

Stranger Awareness: Recently there was an attempted kidnapping at a north Eugene elementary school. While the attempt was not in our neighborhood, it was in our community. Please read through the following information and talk with your child(ren) about stranger awareness strategies recommended by the police. 

Here are some tips for parents, staff and students about safety on campus and traveling to and from school. 

Please be aware of safety and security issues and talk to your children about personal safety. Here are some things you can always do to improve safety: 

You must always check in at the office and get a visitor’s badge when you are on school grounds. Tell school staff right away if you see anyone you don’t know who does not have a visitor’s badge on school grounds, or anyone behaving suspiciously near the school.
Students should not walk to or from school alone but should walk with a friend. Talk with your children about the route they should take home and who they should walk with to and from school. Eugene Safe Routes to School and Point2Point Solutions (www.point2pointsolutions.org/pool2school) are good resources regarding routes to school and finding walk/bike buddies.
Make sure your child arrives at school on time and waits in the designated places.
Plan with your child what he or she should do in a dangerous situation:

Identify safe havens near where you live, work and play.

Pay careful attention to your surroundings. Trust your instincts. If you are in a threatening environment or feel unsafe, leave. If you suspect trouble, avoid it or just run before the threatening person gets close.

Assert yourself—voice your objection loud and clear if you are harassed or subjected to an unwelcome approach or solicitation. Yell “help!” The more clearly you communicate to bystanders the better. Useful messages include “Help me!” “I don’t know this man!” “He’s attacking me!” “Call 911!”

There is no correct response for every situation, but surprising the offender and taking decisive action may give you an opportunity to escape.
If an incident of concern happens to any child on the way to or from school, CALL THE POLICE RIGHT AWAY! Notify the school next.
Read school mail and keep informed of school events. We will always try to notify you if any incident of concern has occurred. 

Thanks for sharing your fantastic students with us!
Dana and Jenny