Principal's Corner January 2021

Beginning this New Year with New Goals in Mind


Welcome to 2021! We hope you had a blessed and safe holiday break with your families. We are so excited to kick off this new year with our Jamaica families in a truly positive way! We are looking forward to celebrating the accomplishment of our students when we return in their classrooms and focusing on empowering them in their learning, their responsibilities and strengths as students, and their overall development as students as the year continues.

As you all know, our PBIS goals help our students understand the important things that will help them be successful at school each day. As part of our Croc Pledge, our students are asked to be "On Time", in order to teach them the importance of being here, not just every day...but on time to class to start their each class period off successfully!

As parents, we look to you to ensure that when your students are sick, that they are kept home and well taken care of until they return. However, they are always responsible for making up work when they return. In times like these where students may be required to stay home on quarantine, they should be using time at home to help keep up with daily work as long is they are healthy enough to do so. We know that we are working with our parents as a team to support students during this time. So, be sure to reach out for support and thank you in advance for being there to support your students and help them stay accountable even during challenging times. If they are home sick, teachers will ensure that they have sufficient days to make up work. Thank you for being a partner in their success!

With regard to tardiness, it is truly IMPERATIVE that our students learn the importance of punctuality. Not just for the sake of being here, but to help them get their day started right and to ensure they are not missing out on critical instructional minutes in class. So, we appreciate your partnership and assistance in getting your students here on time each day.

Classrooms will be working toward spelling "PERFECT ATTENDANCE" earning one letter for each day all students are present. We know that this may be a challenge this year, but we want to continue to award students for doing their best at all times to be here when they are healthy. Classrooms can earn a free dress day for when this is achieved. In addition, our school is working on building even bigger incentives for classrooms who are able to achieve the "ON TIME" goal of having all students get to school on time for the most days in the quarter. So, let's help them achieve their goals and support their learning together!

Thank you for all you do! Crocs Rock! :)


Schools stress the need for students to get to school and class on time and with good reason. Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Education on truancy, which is connected with tardiness, show that school attendance is a major factor when it comes to school success and student behavior.

Problems with Tardiness

The most crucial learning hours of a school day are the morning hours, because they are when students are most attentive. Students who are tardy miss the beginning of their morning classes, and they also cause a distraction when they arrive late to class.

Academics and Achievement

Students who are frequently tardy have lower GPAs, lower scores on standardized assessments, and lower graduation rates. Chronic tardiness in elementary and middle school is also linked to failure in high school.

Behavior Problems

In the National Center for Education Statistics 2007 Indicators of School Crime and Safety, teachers surveyed reported that students who are frequently tardy have higher rates of suspension and other disciplinary measures. Tardiness causes students to feel disconnected with school, leading to behavior problems and dropouts.

Job Performance

Students who are frequently tardy to school are also more apt to be fired from a job for showing up late.

Effect on Others

When students are tardy, they negatively impact their teachers and other students. Teachers are often required to allow tardy students to make up work, which often requires them to restructure their lessons or re-teach missed material. Tardiness also takes other students' attention away from a teacher's lesson, leading to more behavior problems and missed instruction.

Keeping our Campus Safe

Jamaica Families:

As you know, this year has brought on many challenges for our schools. We are, as always, committed to doing our best to support your students academically this year despite the challenges we have faced during or closure and distance learning. We look forward to starting this year off right, but we also want to ensure that we can keep our students on campus. This means maintaining all sanitation and safety requirements on campus.

We want to remind families to be sure to stay in contact with our nurse and our office in the event that your student may be out sick, or if your student may have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID. For now, when students are sick with any COVID like symptoms, we require that parents speak to our nurse to let us know if there should be any concern. This way, our nurse can let them know the safest path to follow for them get better and keep our campus a safe and healthy space for all students and staff this year.

If your family has any concern over returning to campus at this time during the school year, please contact the office, Our district is still offering the option of PLP Online Learning for those families who are not comfortable returning to in person learning this quarter. Though this is NOT the preferred model for learning at this time, we want to serve and support all families that we can at this time.

Below is a copy of our updated Reopening Plan for district, as well as the link to the district website for parents to access all updated information on our PLP Online program as well. Please contact the office if you have any questions at 928-854-7280. Our LHUSD website it

Reopening Plan -Students and Families

Face Covering Requirements

All students will need to wear a FACE COVERING unless they have a medical waiver signed by a doctor.

· Face masks or face shields are acceptable. (School appropriate designs/no wording)

· Students will be allowed to take scheduled masks breaks throughout the day.

· Students will be allowed to remove masks if socially distanced 6 ft. or greater in the classroom however masks must be readily available should that space be compromised.

· Students will need to wear face coverings when walking in the building, walking around their classroom, walking in class lines including to designated pick up and drop off areas.

· Please consider packing a second mask in in a baggie just in case of mask failure or loss of mask.

· Masks will be available in the nurses office should a student lose one. Please pack an extra for your student just in case.

· All visitors to the front office are asked to wear a face covering. Students must wear face covering when walking around campus, to, and from drop off and pick up zones. Students will have designated mask breaks and/or when they can be socially distanced in classrooms.

Parking Lot Safety

As you know, our parking lot provides some challenges to us with the amount of traffic that comes in and out during pick up and drop off. Many times, we find that students and vehicles are crossing unsafely through the lot during our pick up times. So, I wanted to be sure to clarify the procedures to ensure that we can help the traffic move as quickly as possible, while still providing a safe way to get students to their cars. Please see the rules below to clarify how to safely pick up or drop off your students.

It is IMPERATIVE that we are working together to maintain safety for our students and staff. So, I appreciate your cooperation and assistance with this! We want to set safe and successful examples for our students every day!

Parking Lot General Rules

1. SAFETY is our #1 Priority.

2. Inside lane is the circling lane, no pickup. You must park.

3. Outside lane along the sidewalk, may not park. This is the pickup lane. No stopping along the sidewalk until you have pulled all the way up by the playground to the end of the sidewalk. Staff will look for your "name plate" and call your students to your car in the pull through lane.

4. Parents who arrive early are encouraged to park in the parking lot and have students use the parking lot crosswalk to meet them at their cars.

5. Please stay in your car or wait at your car at pick up time if parked. DO NOT ask your child to cross in front of traffic. This is NON-NEGOTIABLE and UNSAFE. You will need to enter into the pull through lane to pickup your students or park outside of the lot and have them meet you there.

5. Right Turns ONLY out of the parking lot.

6. Do NOT pull into the upper driveway (bus lane) for pickup. This is only for buses and kinder students at this time. If you need to pick up your student due to an injury, please pick them up no later than 2:25, as the upper gate will be locked from 2:30-2:45pm to through traffic.

Before School Options

1. Park in a lined space and walk your child to the sidewalk only so they can follow the route to the gate. Parents will NOT be permitted to wait outside the gate at this time.

2. Drive up and around the outside lane to the sidewalk in front of the playground. Drop off as far up as you can to avoid backing up traffic. Your child can safely walk on the sidewalk up to the school. Do NOT park in this lane. Please only stop briefly for dropoff/pickup if you see your child in view.

3. Do NOT pull into the upper driveway (bus lane), unless it is before 7:15am in the morning. This is a bus lane and only for kinder dropoff at this time. This is not a drop off area unless between the hours of 8:15am-2:00pm.

After School Options

1. Park in a lined space or outside the parking lot and your child can walk to your car using the crosswalk. Your teacher will need to know where you will be picking up.

2. Drive up and around the outside lane along the sidewalk in front of the playground. Pull up as far as you can in the pickup line in a safe manner.DO NOT PARK IN THIS LANE! Please only stop briefly for dropoff/pickup if you see your child in view. Teachers will be bringing students to line up in designated spots by the gate and calling students as their vehicle is identified. (Please make sure your name plate is in your window).

We recognize these are new procedures, but they have been put in place to allow for more efficient and safe pick up/drop offs, as well as control of our social distancing procedures. Thank you for your assistance in this matter! Together we can keep our campus safe!

Capturing Kids Hearts: Teaching Students be Empowered

Self-advocacy is an important skill for kids with learning and thinking differences to develop. You can help your child build this skill by giving him information and opportunities to speak up for himself. The process begins with helping him understand and talk about his needs and issues. Here are some tips for getting started.

1. Be open about learning and thinking differences.

Talk to your child about learning and thinking differences in ways he can relate to. If he has a diagnosis, he may not need to know the clinical term. But it’s important for your child to know that there’s nothing wrong with talking about it.

2. Discuss how his issues affect him.

Talk with him about how his issues affect him, and be sure to make it a discussion. You want to give your child a chance to tell you what he finds difficult. For example, you can say, “Your dyslexia causes you trouble with reading.” But your child might say, “I don’t like reading out loud because it’s hard for me.” Let your child practice ways of explaining those learning and thinking differences to other kids. (“It takes me longer to read, but I’m working hard at it.”)

Learn more about how you and your child may view learning and thinking differences differently.

3. Help your child discover his strengths.

Everyone has things that come more naturally to them than others. Your child probably can identify where he needs help, but it’s also important for him to be able to identify his strengths. It gives him a way to talk about what he’s good at. (“It takes me longer to read, but you should see me on the baseball field!”)

4. Practice what to say to teachers.

Your child may be nervous about asking too many questions or requesting accommodations. Remind him that his teachers are there to help. If he’s shy about advocating for himself, help him make a 3×3 card to share with his teacher. You can also practice self-advocacy sentence starters with him to help him learn to speak up for himself. And don’t forget to talk about when and how to ask a teacher for help.

5. Let your child be a decision maker.

Part of self-advocacy is making decisions about what you need and what works best for you. Give your child the chance to make some of those decisions. For instance, let him choose where he wants to study at home. (Take a look at the best places to do homework before giving him his choices!) Or ask him to decide what to have for dinner one night a week. Knowing his voice matters is important.

6. Remind your child that you’re a team.

In grade school kids are just starting to become self-advocates. Assure your child that you’re still going to advocate on his behalf. And let him know that not only are you a team, but that you’re learning how to be an effective advocate, too. Self-advocacy skills are something you can work on together.

Counselor's Corner-January

Below is a link to our January Counselor's Corner newsletter. We hope that it adds value to how you are able to support your students, and some insight into all we are doing to help support your students at school. We invite you to attend our Parent Seminar on "Helping Students Manage Emotions". This will take place on January 28th at 5:30pm via Zoom. The information on this event is shared in the newsletter.

Specials in the Second Semester-Welcome back to Art!

We are excited to be able to welcome back Pam Bixby to our art program for the 2020-21 school year. Stay tuned in our February newsletter for her welcome letter. I know our students will look forward to having her back this year!
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