Inspire Elementary Weekly Update
September 6, 2019
The Principal's Corner
It’s great to be off to another school year with fresh faces and great ideas to help us have a successful school year. Many of our students and parents have begun to find their routines and habits that will help make school a fun and engaging experience.
Because routines create the stability young learners need to understand the boundaries needed to perform in school and prepare them as they grow and mature into adolescents, I want to take a moment to share some materials that parents can read and use to understand our approach at Inspire Elementary.
The first book is called “The First Six Weeks” by Roxann Kriete and Paula Denton is a guide that we use to establish routines and set behavioral expectations with our students. It is a part of the Responsive Classroom pedagogy and has been a successful guide for parents and teachers alike in establishing good routines and habits in children.
A key theme is that everyone is a teacher and our goals are to help students learn to manage their behavior through positive instruction and consequences. You will hear our teachers frequently ask students to “take a break” when they become overstimulated and begin making poor decisions. As students begin to calm we begin very specifically teaching the desired behaviors. Students are asked to demonstrate the behavior taught.
Consequences are used to guide repeated behavioral actions after the student has demonstrated an awareness of the appropriate behavior first. Consequences are designed to match specific undesired behavior. For instance, if the student crawls under desks during the reading circle, then the consequence may be to temporarily be removed from the reading circle. Dojo points earned can be spent to buy their way into the reading circle while they are removed. This is both an effective and positive way to keep students focused and learning.
The second book is called the “Trauma Informed School” by Jim Sporleder. This book helps us understand and identify the effects of trauma and stress on the early learner’s mind. All children experience stress and trauma at different times in their lives. For some, it may be the loss of a loved one, divorce, or arguments between parents. For others it can be issues of incarceration of a family member, transitioning to a new home or community or the loss of a parents' job.
What we know about trauma or stress is that when young learners have stress daily, the frontal lobe of the brain is less engaged and learning and development slow down. Some children experience memory loss, depression, hyperactivity or withdrawal as well. Inspire teaches Yoga and fitness to give our students techniques and strategies to reduce stress so that learning can be accelerated.
If you wish to participate in a Yoga session to better understand the techniques and strategies your children are learning please contact our office at 614-505-5718 to register. We will be offering an “adult-only” session each week in the evening with our Yoga instructor Deb Snode.
Please remember that we need to have active contact numbers for emergency purposes for your students to stay enrolled in our school. If you have changed your number in the past month please contact our office.
Personal Learning Plans will go out today for all students prior to scheduling parent meetings to plan student goals for the year. Please complete the parent portion in advance and return it to our office by Wednesday, September 11th, 2019.
Extended Learning Stipends are also being sent to parents prior to parent meetings. Please remember that these are to be used to extend learning beyond the school day. If you have a private vendor you plan to use please forward the contact information to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I may make arrangements for payment and services. If you are wishing to be paid or reimbursed directly, a participation agreement will need to be signed by the vendor in advance.
Finally, Tardiness and absenteeism are serious concerns for the learning and development of your students. Remember that Breakfast begins at 8 am and classes begin at 8:30. Dismissal is from 3:30-4:00. If you need to pick up a student early for an appointment please contact our office in advance.
Thank you for a great start to the new year!