Saint Michael Episcopal School
August 5, 2020
In This Issue
- New School Start Date
- Important Updates - Meet the Teachers
- PreK Enrichment Registration, due August 14th
- Health Forms
- Social-Emotional (SEL) Corner
- Upcoming Dates
New School Start Date, September 9!
The adjusted start of school for SMES is now Wednesday, September 9. The first two (2) days of school will be "soft start” days for all children in an effort to provide a more comfortable and smoother transition for everyone back to campus after such an extended time away. On September 9 and 10, our school day will end at 11:45 am. Friday, September 11 will remain the normal schedule of dismissing at 11:45. We will begin regular school days on Monday, September 13.
Important Small Group Meet-The-Teachers Updates
Congratulations for your child’s 2020-21 teachers and classmates assignments! An email with your child’s class list and a message from their teachers was sent on Monday, August 3. Inside that email, there were details about how to sign up for a spot to participate in small group meet the teacher gatherings. Please refer back to that email for specifics about your class times and locations.
A few important things to keep in mind as you prepare for your exciting small gathering and appointment:
- Stay home if you or your family member in your household are feeling sick or have registered a temperature 100.0 or above.
- Double-check your location before you arrive; there might be multiple “Meet the Teachers” going on around campus.
- Parking is available in the North (off Douglas) and West (off Colgate) lots only.
- NO PARKING in any of the circle drives for safety purposes as these are frequently being used by the church.
- Your appointment is timed for physical distancing. Please wait in your car until your appointment time if you arrive early and honor the 15 minute window while visiting.
- Remember that only one parent and student are allowed at this visit to honor the small group gatherings mandated by the Bishop for health and safety. Adults, please wear a mask during the visit.
- No restrooms will be available.
- You are welcome to bring a small blanket to sit on if you choose to for that brief time.
- SMAA Church asks that parents respectfully leave campus after your 15 minute small group visit as other volunteer church activities are being coordinated around Saint Michael’s special connection time with students.
Select your PreK Enrichment days by August 14th!
As we align and implement new guidelines along with enhanced safety protocols, students will be assigned to a specific Enrichment class for the semester in order to stay with their cohort and to avoid the commingling of students from other classes.
Health Forms due by first day of school, September 9
You can find the forms on our website under the parents tab/parent handbook & resources or by clicking here:
The healthcare professional statement must be signed by the physician (highlighted in yellow). You can obtain a copy of the physician's vaccination record instead of filling out the state licensing health requirement form that is attached to the health statement form. Please remember licensing requires a physician's signature on BOTH the vaccination record AND on the health statement form.
In addition, if your child is 4 years old by September 1, please submit their vision/hearing screening report that was performed at their 4-year wellness checkup.
Please do not drop off forms at school. You may email the forms to email@example.com or turn in to the school after August 17.
With You in Mind - A Summer Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Corner
"We know that kids can learn anything, they are resilient. They will get through this with time, with patience, with practice" - Dr. Jen Ashton, Good Morning America
With meet the teacher events and back to school right around the corner, excitement is growing in the SMES teachers and staff. And while we may be bubbling with anticipation to meet our students, we understand that five months at home and new school routines can make our children feel uneasy. Many children have rarely been in the care of non-family members during this season and are understandably cautious. This is perfectly normal! Here are some things you can do to help your child ease into the transition and understand what back to school means.
- Normalize wearing masks.
Laughter and play naturally deflates anxious or stressful situations, and mask-wearing is no different! Keep your masks handy during playtime and put them on teddy bears, play peek-a-boo and let them explore their own mask (if they are 2 years old and above). Let your child pick out a mask of their favorite character or allow them to decorate their own. Taking ownership creates a sense of feeling like a “big kid.” For older kids, allow them to ask questions about masks and why it’s important we wear them.
- Have kids show you what they know about taking charge of their health.
Ask children "what are things we can do to stay healthy and safe?" Brain storm things like giving physical space, wearing a mask, washing hands, etc. Of course, children need to interact for social development. Physical distancing expectations for a 3-year-old are different than for an adult, but there are still times in the day when it’s appropriate. Kids LOVE to be the teacher! Let them show you how to wash hands or what personal space looks like. And as always, keep it light and playful. Find those favorite 20 second songs to washing hands.
- Get your child excited about their teachers.
Before Meet the Teacher, allow your child to see pictures of your child’s teacher(s) from the web site or the welcome email. Share with them some of the things you learned in the email about them – “Guess what, Colin? Miss Carol likes Snoopy, too!” Tell your child that the teacher’s job is to help them have fun and learn and that the classroom is a safe place for them. Kids mirror our feelings about things, whether we realize it or not, and it is so important to create an environment of optimism and excitement around going back to school! If your children see that you are worried, they will be also. If they see that you trust the teacher and are excited for all the fun they have in store, they will feel safe and acclimate sooner.
As mentioned in the recent SMES email communication, the implications for health and safety matters from the Dallas County Health and Human Services were considered for SMES as a religious private school. Given our flexibility as to the impact of a Dallas County directive on SMES, we have delayed our start date by four days.
Teachers, staff and Administrative teams will continue to plan and prepare on campus for the start of the school year. Additionally, with the provisions and plans SMES already has in place with our flexible school calendar, we will not start in a Remote Learning Environment with Toddlers and Preschoolers as some other schools will be moving to Remote Learning as their first days of school. Thus, we will extend the school year in order to “make up” these four (4) instructional days at the end of the year as previously explained in the event of a COVID-19 related closure.
If you have a questions and are not sure who to send it to, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will ensure we answer you in a timely manner!