Ridgeview Weekly Newsletter

March 20, 2016

Resources for handling the loss of our student

Dear Teachers,


I am hopeful everyone was reached this weekend regarding the loss of our 4th grade student, Tucker Ward. Many thanks to Stacy Durham, Renae Dove, the district counseling team, and Teresa Laster for their support this weekend. Also, many thanks to Sarah Hepworth and Stephanie Davis who have been part of the process since Friday evening and who helped me make phone calls Saturday afternoon.


We had a big turn out this afternoon at Ridgeview for the voluntary staff meeting, followed by support to the Boys and Girls Club Staff. Thank you to everyone for your time this afternoon. I know this is a loss that we are all feeling and processing in our own ways. Please know that tomorrow we will have counseling staff at Ridgeview to help with our students and also to help you. For those of you who were not able join us this afternoon, please reach out to me if you need anything at all (970) 620-1595.


Additional Information:


  • We have started a list of kids who may be impacted by this loss and we will keep a close eye on them through the day. If you would like to add to that list or if you notice any students who need extra support, please contact the office and we will get a counselor to you.
  • Cyndee has been very helpful (as always) and we have extra subs in the building tomorrow. If you are having a hard time, please notify the office.
  • Expect emotion to come in waves for both you and your students. You may be fine at one moment and then overcome with emotion the next. Please know that is why we have subs standing by to step in to give you a break. Sometimes a walk is very helpful - physical movement helps.



The following decisions were made with the staff this afternoon:


  1. We are NOT PARCC testing tomorrow. We will have plenty of time to make up this time without being in a time crunch - so don't worry about timing. We will figure it all out.
  2. We have a plan to speak directly to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes. See message below.
  3. We are NOT planning on speaking directly to PK, K, 1st, and 2nd. We have provided a script below for your use should you need it. The advice from the counseling team is to not use the script unless your class seems to be struggling or is asking questions. Also, it is not advised to read the script if you are struggling with emotion. If you need any assistance at all - we have lots of counselors in the morning who are ready to enter your classroom and help.


If you missed the phone calls this weekend, were not at this afternoon's meeting and/or need more information, an update, etc - please see Amber directly.

Plan for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades

Stacy, Amber and support staff will start the day in 3rd grade, proceed to 4th grade, and then to 5th grade. While the team is with 3rd grade, 4th grade teachers will let their kids know that they are do something a little different and are going to go to the library first thing in the morning.


4th grade will take roll, lunch count, etc and then both classes will go to the library (we are hoping this will give us enough time to be in 3rd grade and then come to 4th grade, where we expect it will take a little longer).


Eric and Shannon will start the day with 5th grade and we will have counselors available for 5th grade as well. It is our hope that kids will be able to go to PE and Music. We are hoping routine will help. There are enough Counselors that no one will start of the day alone. If students are grieving, they can go to a safe place outside of the classroom with support.


3rd Grade Message (read by supporting counselor or Teresa - not by Classroom teacher, Amber or Stacy):


  • For those of you who don’t know, one of your classmates, Hayden Ward, was in a car accident on Friday night. The good news is that Hayden is ok. He is with his family and will be going home from the hospital soon.
  • If they ask questions about Tucker, we will follow up with this message: It saddens me to talk to you about the death of Hayden’s brother, Tucker. For those of you who don’t know he passed away in the auto accident on Friday. It is important that when we talk about this, that we do so respectfully. Some of you might experience this loss in different ways. If you are feeling extremely sad or feel like you need to talk to someone, Mrs. Durham and other counselors are here to help you. Just let your teacher know if you need anything.
  • We will leave some support counselors with 3rd grade if needed and then the rest of the team will head to the library for 4th grade.


4th grade message (read by supporting counselor or Teresa - not by Classroom teacher, Amber or Stacy):


  • It saddens me to talk to you about the death of your classmate, Tucker Ward. For those of you who don’t know he passed away from an auto accident on Friday. Shortly we will return to your classroom and to routines as normal. It is important that when we talk about this, that we do so respectfully. Some of you might experience this loss in different ways. If you are feeling extremely sad or feel like you need to talk to someone, Mrs. Durham and other counselors are here to help you. Just let your teacher know if you need anything.


We will take the time to answer a few questions and gage how the class is doing. For those that seem ok - they will return to class with their teachers and support. For those that are emotionally upset, they will stay behind in the library with counseling staff. If teachers would like to stay with their students in the library, substitutes and support staff will go back to class with those that are not as affected.

At 9 a.m. all 4th graders will be dismissed for a 10 minute recess and then will transition back to normal schedule and routines. It is very important that we not take more than the first hour of the day to process the loss as routine will help everyone with their grief. For those that need extra time, the classroom is not the environment to grieve. We will offer support and then if they continue to grieve we will call parents.



5th Grade message: (Likely read by supporting counselor - not by Classroom teacher, - HOWEVER if the classroom teacher, Eric or Shannon want to be the ones to deliver this message and can do so without transferring emotion to students we will respect your wishes):


  • It saddens me to talk to you about the death of one of our 4th grade students, Tucker Ward. For those of you who don’t know he passed away from an auto accident on Friday. It is important that when we talk about this, that we do so respectfully. Some of you might experience this loss in different ways. If you are feeling extremely sad or feel like you need to talk to someone, Mrs. Durham and other counselors are here to help you. Just let your teacher know if you need anything.

  • Amber and Stacy will come to 5th grade as soon as we can

  • Counselors will be in 5th grade from the beginning to support


If anyone has any worries about this plan - please grab Amber immediately tomorrow and we will work through it. I will be there by 7 am or shortly thereafter.

Plan for PK, K, 1st, and 2nd

We are not expecting as emotional of a response from the younger grades - however we don't really know what to expect. As stated above - we are NOT planning on speaking directly to PK, K, 1st, and 2nd.


The advice from the counseling team is to not use the script below unless your class seems to be struggling or is asking questions. If you need any assistance at all - we have lots of counselors in the morning who are ready to enter your classroom and help.



Script for PK, K, 1st, and 2nd grades as appropriate -

It saddens me to talk to you about the death of one of our 4th grade students, Tucker Ward. For those of you who don’t know he passed away from an auto accident on Friday. It is important that when we talk about this, that we do so respectfully. Some of you might experience this loss in different ways. If you are feeling extremely sad or feel like you need to talk to someone, Mrs. Durham and other counselors are here to help you. Just let your teacher know if you need anything.



If anyone has any worries or concerns with this plan please grab Amber 1st thing. I will be in by 7 am or shortly thereafter.

More Information and tips:

  • We did an all call tonight at 5:30 p.m. and a mass email with resources for parents to help their children process loss. We are hopeful parents took time tonight to help their children, however we know some may not.
  • It is the professional opinion of our mental health experts to keep the processing of loss to as short of a time as possible. Even 4th grade will be limited to 1 hour of processing time. By 9 a.m. every class needs to be in routine.
  • Some kids will not feel the need to grieve and they need to be able to move on as normal.
  • Some kids will be grieving and they should have a quiet, private place to do this with support. If they can not regroup, we will call home to parents.
  • Routine, routine, routine is what will help everyone the most.
  • Be genuine with kids, it is OK for them to see you cry. However, if you are struggling to maintain or transferring emotion to your students - you need to take a break.
  • If you are struggling, call the office and we will send someone to relieve you. Take a walk, get a drink, and take some deep breaths. Allow yourself the time to process.
  • If support staff senses you need a moment or suggests a break, please do not be offended and take a break.
Big image
Big image
Big image
Big image

Keep the main thing, the main thing

Instructional Rounds, interventions, Life Skills, and Library

All cancelled for this week due to PARCC testing. We expect to restart PARCC testing as normal on Tuesday. Standby for an update tomorrow.

Happening this week . . . .

Monday - March 21, 2016

  • PARCC Testing Cancelled
  • 5:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Rec in Gym - K-2 BBall


Tuesday - March 22, 2016

  • PARCC Testing to resume
  • 12:00 p.m. Interest Based Strategies (IBS) meeting at Admin
  • 3:30 Spanish After School Program
  • 5:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Rec in Gym - K-2 BBall


Wednesday - March 23, 2016

  • PARCC Testing
  • 8:30 admin team meeting
  • 2:15 RV Child Study Team
  • 5:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Rec in Gym - K-2 BBall
  • 6:00 Community Budget Meeting at Clarion Inn


Thursday - March 24, 2016

  • PARCC Testing
  • 9:00 a.m. Counselor Collab
  • ART @ RV - C Day (may have to switch art around a bit for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade due to PARCC schedule)
  • 3 p.m. School Board Meeting
  • 5:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Rec in Gym - K-2 BBall


Friday - March 25, 2016

  • ART @ RV - D Day
  • Amber and Stacy in Maybell
  • PARCC Makeup Testing
  • 5th/6th Grade Collaboration (See below)
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade Scope and Sequence Work at Admin



Happening Next Week. . .

Monday, March 28

  • may or may not PARCC Test - standby for more info
  • 1:00 p.m. Meeting with Ava at Admin
  • 3:30 PBIS Team
  • 4:00 p.m. New Teacher Orientation
  • 5:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Rec in Gym - K-2 BBall


Tuesday, March 29

  • Instructional Rounds - Brent will NOT be joining us to see our Assessment Matrices. Regular Co-planning
  • 3:30 p.m. Spanish After School Program
  • 5:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Rec in Gym - K-2 BBall


Wednesday, March 30

  • 8:30 Elementary Principal's Meeting
  • 2:15 p.m. RV Child Study Team
  • 4:00 p.m. Benefits Committee Meeting
  • 5:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Rec in Gym - K-2 BBall


Thursday, March 31

  • Learning Walks with Brittney Miller
  • 9:00 a.m. Counselor Collab
  • 2:30 p.m. 1st and 4th Grade Music Concert - School Performance
  • 6:30 p.m. 1st and 4th Grade Music Concert - Community Performance


Friday, April 1st

  • 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Dental Hygiene Presentations for K-5th Grade (see below)



SPRING BREAK!!!!

5th and 6th Grade Collaboration on Friday

Questions for 5th Grade Teachers

March 18, 2016


  • What are the homework expectations in Fifth Grade?

  • Are students required to read a certain amount of minutes each night (Reading Log)?

  • Is it possible to collaborate with Fifth Grade teachers once each quarter?

  • How can we find out the reading/writing levels of students at the end of Fifth Grade so Sixth Grade teachers have an idea of reading abilities of students at the beginning of Sixth Grade?


Writing:

  • What are your expectations for writing expository essays? Topic sentence? Text evidence? How many paragraphs?

  • What are your expectations for writing narratives?

  • How do you grade the writing? Rubrics?

  • What are five things you want students to know about writing before Sixth Grade?



Reading:

  • What support is provided for low readers? Do students receive fluency support?

  • Are there any novel units taught in Fifth Grade?

  • What are five things you want students to know about reading before Sixth Grade?

  • What kind of reading program do you have? Basal? Balanced literacy?



Spelling:

  • How do you teach spelling?

  • What are your expectations for spelling? Homework? Tests?

  • What are five things you want students to know about spelling before Sixth Grade?



Vocabulary:

  • Greek/Latin Roots and Affixes: What vocabulary do you teach? How do you teach them?

  • What are five things you want students to know about vocabulary before Sixth Grade?