March 27, 2020
Message from Mrs. Mamon
Hello MPES families,
The news on Monday that our schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year was heartbreaking for us all to hear. It is hard to imagine that we will not be all together in person during these upcoming months. However, while our school building may be closed, that doesn't mean that we will not continue learning and staying connected with each other as our MPES family! Everyone in our school division has been working hard to develop a plan to best support our students, families, staff and the Manassas Park community during this time. Dr. McDade will share that plan with everyone once it is finalized.
The Virginia Department of Education has issued an online guide for parents and other caregivers. COVID-19: A Parent Guide for School-Aged Children is available on their website and includes information on in-home learning activities, social distancing and other topics.
I encourage you to continue to focus on adjusting to new schedules and routines at home and spending time with your families. I am excited to see that so many of our students are taking advantage of the lessons, learning activities and assignments that our teachers are creating and sharing. A reminder that these activities are for review and enrichment only, but we do encourage students to participate to keep their learning going! Please reach out to me or your child's teacher if you have questions about any of the learning activities or online programs (Achieve3000, Smarty Ants, Imagine Math or Canvas).
A new MPES Learning at Home newsletter will come out next Monday morning, March 30th.
Thank you to all of our students, teachers and staff members who participated in our virtual spirit week! Check out some of the fun in the pictures below and on our school's Twitter page (@MPEScougars). Stay tuned for more exciting ways for us to stay connected as a school community during these next few months!
Please continue to send pictures of our students learning at home or spending time with their families. I love seeing and sharing them! Snap a picture and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See below for some at-home learning pictures from this week.
I hope that you are all staying healthy and safe during this time.
At Home Learning In Action
MPCS Food Distribution Continues
MPCS is providing prepackaged grab-and-go meals at no charge to all children, age 18 and under. Meal pickup will take place on Tuesdays at the main entrance of Manassas Park High School between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
In order to minimize the number of times parents must bring their children to the distribution site, a weekly set of prepackaged breakfasts and lunches will be provided on Tuesdays. All meals will be the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.
For the safety of everyone, it is important to follow the guidance supplied by our volunteers to maintain safe social distancing practices and vehicle passage.
Virtual Spirit Week Fun!
TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT THE VIRUS
While we are all appropriately concerned and arming ourselves with information to help limit the spread of COVID-19, be aware of ways in which children watch us respond to the news around us.
Here are a few little things you can do to reduce anxiety in children. This is particularly important for children who may already feel stressed or in recovery from a stressful or traumatic event:
- Stay informed but limit information gathering to when children are outside earshot distance.
- Reassure children of their immunity more often than reminding them of the risk of illness.
- Limit conversation about the spread of this virus to a few minutes with an emphasis on “less is more” for children. They just need to know they and their parent(s) will be okay and are doing everything required to stay healthy and safe.
- Do most things the same (routine) so their homes remain a respite from external stress and a protected space from frightening world events.
- Be vigilant about cleaning but be mindful a hypervigilant parent can cause children to feel uncertain. Children have fewer resources than adults to cope with uncertainty and cannot exercise the kind of critical thinking that we can. They need our words to feel secure and our ‘wise brain’ to reassure their ‘feeling brain!’
- Reassure them with the facts of the flu and the low risk of serious illness this virus poses to children. Just like in the past, they may get sick and they will recover.
- Remind them that the hand washing, hand sanitizing, and other precautions are important to protect the community, but these efforts do not imply they will become seriously ill if they “forget.” That is, these precautions are a community effort to mitigate the risk of healthy individuals carrying the virus and exposing a vulnerable individual.
- Explain that community responsibility is the reason for these precautions versus a fear that they or their parent will become seriously ill.
- Children are watching and listening! Let them see grown-ups “got this” and will inform them if there is a reason to worry. Until then, keep up the play and maintain a relaxed and calm environment at home so they can bring their worries to you and not worry that you’re too worried to hear about it!
The health and wellness of our community continues to be of the utmost importance. If you would like more information about COVID-19, contact your health care provider or refer to the Virginia Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.
Also, be sure to check the division website and social media channels for the most up-to-date information as this situation evolves.
We sincerely appreciate the support and feedback received from the community.
Click on the Link below for 2020 Census Information
School Board Meetings and Work Sessions Available on YouTube!
Ways to Support the PTO and our schools
Start your shopping at smile.amazon.com! All it takes is a Smile to help raise money for our schools! If you are already an Amazon shopper, be sure to link your account to the Manassas Park Cougar Parent Teacher Organization and do your shopping directly on smile.amazon.com. A percentage of your order amount will be donated back to the schools!
Shoparoo Mobile App
Support our schools by downloading the Shoparoo Mobile App to your mobile device! After each of your grocery store shopping trips, open the app and snap a picture of your receipt! That's all it takes to earn money for our schools!
Harris Teeter VIC Card
Do you shop at Harris Teeter? Do you have a VIC Loyalty Card? Helping our schools to earn extra cash is as simple as visiting www.harristeeter.com and following the online steps to link your VIC card to both Cougar and Manassas Park Elementary!
Manassas Park City Schools will continue to offer MySchoolBucks. This convenient online payment service provides a quick and easy way to pay for school-related purchases. You can pay for items such as meal payments, field trips, and more using your credit/debit card or electronic check. Register for your FREE account today at https://www.MySchoolBucks.com.
There will be many exciting things happening throughout the next school year. I encourage you to stay up-to-date with important information and follow highlights of our learning at MPES and in Manassas Park City Schools.
You can stay connected by:
- Checking your child's Monday Folder each week
- Reading the MPES weekly online newsletters emailed out each Friday afternoon
- Following MPES on Twitter @MPEScougars
- Following MPCS on Twitter @MPCSchools
- Liking and following the Manassas Park City Schools Facebook page
- Checking the MPCS website frequently at www.mpark.net
Be sure to also keep up to date with PTO happenings!