Raleigh Hills Newsletter
September 13, 2019
Dear Raleigh Hills Families,
This week is memorable in many ways. We had our first full week of the 2019-2020 school year! We had lights all week. Kindergarteners began their first week of their educational journeys. Buses became more consistent at arrival and dismissal.
In reflecting upon this week, a common theme connected us all. We gathered. Students gathered in the classrooms for community circles. Kindergarten parents gathered for a parent coffee. Sixth grade families gathered to hear about Outdoor School. Families and our community gathered at our K-5 Back to School Night. Classes gathered at our schoolwide Friday assembly.
Priya Parker, author of the Art of Gathering, discusses that “gathering--the conscious bringing together of people for a reason--shapes the way we think, feel, and make sense of the world.” In Parker’s decades of work around this topic, she places “people and what happens between them at the center of every coming together.”
These purposeful gatherings that give students a sense of belonging is so important. One way we do this at school is through Community Circles (sometimes called Morning Meetings). Students need to feel connected, heard, and seen. In classrooms, students may be in a circle and the speaker holds a talking chip. Sometimes students are responding to a teacher directed prompt that allows them to find commonalities amongst each other and an appreciation of their differences. When challenges arise in classrooms, a foundation of trust has been established through the consistent meetings, and classroom communities can then problem solve together. Research indicates that belonging is linked to better academic, psychological, and health outcomes (Jose, Ryan & Pryor, 2012).
This year holds many more opportunities for gatherings. In all of these, we look forward to connecting, hearing, and listening.
Jennifer and Lindsay
Learning Connections at Home
One acronym, SEL, transcends the educational world. SEL, social emotional learning, is meaningful in all settings. CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, Emotional Learning, is the national agency that works with districts around the country researching the impact of SEL, providing guiding practices, and informing policy. We have linked the CASEL website here as it has an abundance of SEL resources for both parents and educators.
One of the many resources is this CASEL video (English/Spanish) for families and parents that provides an introduction into SEL and parenting practices that help to support children's social and emotional development. This article from Edutopia, "A Parent's Guide to Social Emotional Learning," also has tips to help your child foster skills like kindness, empathy, resilience, perseverance, and focus. As you are your child's first teacher, we will be partnering with you in your child's SEL education.
Middle School Connection
We will gather in the gym from 6:00-6:25 to hear a message from the principal and our PTO. Families will then follow their middle schooler’s class rotation schedule.
For both evenings, we have translators available in Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese.
We look forward to seeing you!
Talented and Gifted (TAG) Information to Parents/Guardians
All 3rd and 5th grade students will be administered the CogAT Screener (Cognitive Abilities Test). This 30 minute test measures student learned reasoning abilities through verbal/picture analogies, number analogies, and figure matrices.
The CogAT screener will be administered on October 7th.
Teachers can recommend students for the CogAT test if students are in 1st and 2nd and Kindergartners in the spring.
Parents can fill out a form to recommend their child for TAG testing. Here is the link to the form. This must be completed and returned to our TAG facilitator, Mary Towell.
Teachers will be filling out the Kingore Observation information (KOI) for students in K-5th grades.
If you change your child's backpack, please help us by transferring this bus tag to the new backpack.
Thank you for your help with this!
Greetings from the Raleigh Hills Library
There are lots of new books for students to read this year. Thank you PTO! Students are checking out books and most classes have visited the library.
Please have a safe place for books away from pets and young children. Backpacks are a good place to keep library books when your child isn't reading them.
If you have books from last year still at home, please send them to school. There is no need to wait for library specials day. We take books from classrooms everyday. Please send us any books checked out during summer school from other schools too. We will send them back to their home school.
I will send out reminders to return books from last year this weekend. If you get an email notice please look for the book and send it to school.
Thank you and happy reading!
Announcement about Emergency Supplies
We are grateful to parents, Amber Horey and Jodi Whisman, for updating our emergency supplies for teachers' classrooms.
We have purchased granola bars for students. However, if your child has specific allergies, please send a ziplock bag to school with a snack that would have a school year shelf life.
A Note from Our PTO Volunteer Coordinator
Thank you for taking time to help out at RHS. A few reminders/ information:
- Always sign in to Better Impact when you arrive on campus. There is a computer in the office or you can download the mobile app. When you sign in, choose Raleigh Hills K-8, then Start Clock. Then use Search to find your intended activity and hit Start Clock. DON'T FORGET to hit Stop Clock when you are done!
- Put on a volunteer badge located near the sign-in computer. You may also use your old badge if you have one.
- If you need to contact me, please feel free. My information is below.
Thanks so much!
Volunteer Coordinator, Raleigh Hills K-8