Community Nest

"Relationships are the agents of change." Dr. Bruce Perry

Week of September 27- October 1, 2021


"OUR GRAY HAWK FAMILY works together to help students feel safe, loved, and inspired so they can be empowered learners and engaged citizens."


This past week students in grades 3 - 5 took the Panorama Social Emotional Learning survey. This survey is used to used to measure and grow OUR students social emotional skills and supports. The survey measures student growth in several areas such as growth mindset, self-management, and social awareness. Additionally students are surveyed about school climate, teacher-student relationships, school safety, and sense of belonging.

Walk to School Wednesday - October 6

Shout out to our first grade teacher, Mrs. Brown, for helping to organize our first Wellness Wednesday activity. On Wednesday, October 6 Gray Hawk will celebrate National Walk to School Day. We will meet at the pavilion located at 160th and Garden Circle at 8:20 on October 6 and arrive at school as the doors open. Parents are encouraged to attend the walk with us as well. Thank you!
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We could not do the things we do at Gray Hawk without our incredible paraeducators! I just want to take a moment to recognize these folks for their outstanding contributions to OUR GRAY HAWK! Thank you so much Joni Gay, Nikki Mortell, Debbie Yazel, Hayley Schaefer, Dena Faulkner, James Cate, Judi Keeler, and Melissa Smith.
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It was a very fun week celebrating Homecoming this week! Huge shout out to OUR high school students that came to Gray Hawk on Thursday to give back to the school. They were in classrooms and did a fantastic job of interacting with OUR GRAY HAWKS and giving back to their community.

The spirit days were a lot of fun and in case you missed it, the Homecoming Parade was a HIT! It was so wonderful to see OUR GRAY HAWKS together on the float and chanting for OUR school. Thank you to our amazing PTO for putting together this incredible opportunity.

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Homecoming Parade 2021 - Gray Hawk

UNITY DAY is October 20

Beginning on Monday, October 4, OUR GRAY HAWKS will be tasked with ensuring that OUR GRAY HAWK is UNITED for a KINDER, more ACCEPTING, and INCLUSIVE world! We are participating in PACER's National Bullying Prevention program and helping to spread KINDNESS throughout OUR GRAY HAWK COMMUNITY. From October 4 - October 20, OUR GRAY HAWKS have been given the goal of completing 1,000 acts of kindness to bring us closer together and raise awareness of bullying. While 1,000 acts of kindness may seem like a lot, it really isn't too much to ask of OUR GRAY HAWKS. As a matter of fact, Dr. Springer wants to challenge OUR GRAY HAWKS to go wayyyyyyy beyond 1,000 acts of kindness. OUR GRAY HAWK goal is 2,500 acts of kindness. We will come together on October 20 as a whole school to announce if we reached our school goal or not and to celebrate OUR ACHIEVEMENTS.

Unity Day is associated with the color orange and we would like to encourage OUR GRAY HAWKS to wear orange on October 20 to signify us all unifying against bullying and helping to create a kinder, more inclusive and accepting world! We can't wait to see OUR GRAY HAWKS step up to the challenge!

Bullying Statistics may be found at the following link:

PACER's National Bullying Prevention Month
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Thank you Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline

Thank you to Southern Star Centeral Gas Pipeline for their generous donation of $250 to OUR GRAY HAWK Makerspace. This donation will go far to assist us in building OUR Makerspace into one of the finest resources for OUR GRAY HAWKS.

If you or your company would like to donate to OUR GRAY HAWK, please reach out to Dr. Springer at

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Promoting Diversity

As a part of our commitment to ensuring that our students are exposed to the contributions of people of color and from different backgrounds, we kicked off this past week by giving daily clues to a famous person from history that has made our world a better place. This past week, the students heard the following clues:

  • I was born on October 17, 1956 is Georgia. Even when I was a very young child, I was interested in Science. I was particularly interested in Astronomy.

  • I graduated from high school when I was 16 and went right on to college. I became a doctor in 1981 and volunteered in Africa as a doctor in the Peace Corps.

  • On June 4, 1987 I became the first African American woman to be admitted into the NASA astronaut training program and I became a Science Mission Specialist which meant I would do research and experiments in space.

  • On September 12, 1992 I flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor and became the first African American woman in space. I spent over 190 hours doing research on weightlessness and motion sickness.

  • After NASA, I became a teacher at Dartmouth College and received several awards for my achievements in Science and Education. I was further proof that our society should recognize how much both women and members of other minority groups can contribute to if given the opportunity. Who am I?


Teachers discussed their guesses with their students each day until we revealed that the person of the week was Dr. Mae C. Jemison They were then given a video that introduced OUR GRAY HAWKS to Dr. Jemison and her many accomplishments as an astronaut and scientist. You can check out the video below:

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Mae Jemison

Diverse Literature

Paul Goble is an author and illustrator of children’s books which focus on Native American tales and history. He was born in England and grew up in Oxford. He fell in love with Native American stories as a young child because of books his mother read to him. After graduating from college he spent many summers on Native American reservations, particularly the Plains Indians. He spent the summers learning Native American Tales and artistic styles. His first children’s book was published in 1969 and he went on to publish more than 30 children’s books. In 1977 he moved to South Dakota and, because of his time spent on the reservations and his re-telling of traditional tales, he was officially adopted by Chief Edgar Red Cloud.

In 1979 Goble won the Caldecott Gold Medal for his book “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses”. His stories are a beautiful portrait of the lives of the Native American people.

This is the story of a Native American girl who loves horses. She cares for her tribe’s ever important herd of horses and has a special connection with them. After a storm, which frightens much of the herd, the girl discovers just how close she can be to the animals she loves. This story is based on an old Native American tale and the art work does an amazing job depicting the life of the Plains Indians.

(Thank you Mrs. Kenton and Miss Quinby for another great author!)

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When a child feels intensely threatened by an event he or she is involved in or witnesses, we call that event a trauma. There is a range of traumatic events or trauma types to which children and adolescents can be exposed.

From 1995 - 1997, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente conducted the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study which is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and household challenges and later-life health and well-being. In this study, over 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members from Southern California receiving physical exams completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors. The questions they were asked are seen below:

Prior to your 18th birthday:

  1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  4. Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  7. Was your mother or stepmother:
    Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide? No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  10. Did a household member go to prison?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your ACE Score

The important thing to remember is that an ACE score does NOT define a person, but it is important to understand the health implications. Over the next few weeks, I am going to focus on understanding ACES, health implications, and ways that we can work together to counter adverse childhood experiences. (Thank you, for the research).

The video this week features Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, surgeon general of California discussing how childhood trauma effects health outcomes. While the video is 16 minutes long, it is both fascinating and applicable to communities worldwide.

Her book, The Deepest Well, is an easy read and provides a lot of insight into the subject.

How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime | Nadine Burke Harris
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For the latest information from OUR GRAY HAWK PTO check them out on Facebook @grayhawkpto458

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USD 458 Safe Return to School Plan 2021/2022

Please click the link for more information about USD 458's Safe Return to School Plan. Thank you.
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