Tiger Tales

Taft Elementary Newsletter - November/December

A Note from the Principal

Well, the busiest time of the year is officially upon us. I hope that each and every one of you finds something to be thankful for and enjoy the season.

I'd like to thank everyone that participated in our annual Donuts with Grownups reading event last week. It was well attended. Hopefully everyone went home with some tips and tools to help children read at home. One of the greatest ways to motivate students to read is to read aloud to them in the evening. These days, that's not always easy, because we all have a lot going on. In an effort to help with that, our staff is working on uploading stories to our Taft Media YouTube channel. We have a handful of stories read by staff already in our Project Bedtime Story playlist. Check them out when you have time. Students can watch/listen to these over and over, if they like. :o) We plan to continue adding to the list of stories throughout the year!

A couple final reminders - As the weather gets colder, make sure students are leaving home dressed for the weather. We generally send them outside unless it's raining heavily or below 20 degrees. Also, please remember that students are not supposed to arrive at school before 8:15 AM. We are unable to provide playground coverage until then, and it's difficult to allow students in the building before the bell rings. The time between 7:30 and 8:30 is critical "work time" for teachers and office staff, so having students inside is a big distraction. We appreciate your help with this!

Please Join us for FREE Screening of Resilience

We will be hosting a free screening of the film Resilience at Taft Elementary on Tuesday, November 19th from 5:30-7:00. This film is intended for parents and adults in our community. Child care for school age children will be available, and light snacks will be provided during the show. We hope you'll join us!

Researchers have recently discovered a significant biological syndrome caused by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). Across the country, health professionals and educators are becoming aware of these issues and are working hard to find ways to minimize their effects. Here at Taft Elementary, our entire staff has been involved in training to better understand ACES and how to work with children and adults impacted by them. The good news is, as communities become more informed, they are seeing great success. Whole communities in California and Washington have seen amazing results.

With that in mind, we think it's important to share this information with our parents and the Taft Community. In addition to viewing the film, we will have Taft staff and other professionals available to discuss the show and share resources. We genuinely hope you'll join us. I promise you won't be disappointed. I firmly believe that EVERY parent should have this information.

Students Feasted on Pumpkin Math in 5th Grade

Taft Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On Wednesday, October 16th we celebrated the official opening of our new gym and kitchen. While we've been fortunate to be using both of them this year, we had not yet formally dedicated them. District officials and community members joined us for this important event. Students in Mr. Garcia's video production class at Capital High School created a couple great videos of the event, too! You can check out the abbreviated version HERE or watch the full version HERE.

What Would YOU Name the Next Mars Rover?

An organization called Future Engineers has teamed up with NASA to name the next Mars rover. Students in grades 2nd-12th, from all over the United States, were allowed to register and enter the naming contest. Students were required to write a small paragraph about the name they chose and why they chose it.

Mrs. Zammiello's 5th grade students participated and proposed some brilliant names. Here were just a few of them: Tails (by Ashton), Galactic Crawler (by Archer), Faith (by Kadynce), Project Ares (by Jarell), and Humunity (Elliott). Click HERE if you'd like to read about their suggestions. They're very insightful! Way to go 5th graders!

Donuts with Grownups Was a Treat

What Does Taft Mean to YOU?

Way back in August, our Taft staff participated in team building and professional development. One of the activities we did was to make a list of "What Taft Means to Us." I took all of their responses and created a Word Cloud. (The program automatically recognizes words that are used most often and makes them bigger and bolder in the creation.) No wonder this is such a great pace to learn and work! :o)
Big picture

Important Dates

Nov 14 - Picture Retakes

Nov 19 - RESILIENCE Movie Night

Nov 20 - 4th & 6th Grade Music Program (10:00 AM and 2:00 PM)

Nov 21 - November Virtues Lunch

Nov 25-29 - Thanksgiving Break - No School

Dec 3 - KID CITY CLOSED for Mayoral Election Run-Off

Dec 4 - Jim Cogan, Professional Storyteller (9:30 AM and 1:00 PM) - Parents welcome!

Dec 10 - Band & Orchestra Program (10:00 AM and 2:00 PM)

Dec 11 - 1st & 2nd Grade Music Program (10:00 AM and 2:00 PM)

Dec 19 - December Virtues Lunch

Dec 20 - Early Release for Winter Break

Dec 23-Jan 3 - Winter Break - No School