December 2022 Principal Newsletter

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Para ver este boletín en español:

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Ahhhhh, December

Perhaps my favorite month of the year for all the good that finds its way into this amazing month. I hope you will find smiles each day in the simple things like an extra couple of marshmallows in your hot chocolate, that first deep, cold breath when walking outside for an early morning walk, or curled up time on the couch with your favorite blanket. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season with your family.
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Social Emotional Development - Home School Connection

This month is the second in a recurring theme for my newsletters: social emotional learning competencies, which our teachers are fostering throughout the day.

Responsible decision making is the focus this month.

Responsible decision making is "the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others." -CASEL 2017

During the school day and at home, the opportunity for responsible decision making is ever present. Here's how you can support your children in developing this competency.

In order to support our TK-2 students with developing and growing their responsible decision making it is worth focusing on just one or two areas at a time. Kids at this age are capable of recognizing they have choices in how they respond to a situation. They are also quite aware that all choices have consequences; some are positive while others not so much. When students are in school with us, I sometimes find myself sitting in my office with a student (sometimes a couple students) working through a response that didn't have a very good consequence (ie. someone was hurt). A big part of my discipline process is working with students to identify alternative responses to a situation which would have been in alignment with our school rules/expectations. It can be time consuming, but is so very important to give students the opportunity to process and navigate. Helping students get their needs met in appropriate ways is key to developing responsible decision making. The power of taking a breath when frustration or anger is beginning to peak is a powerful strategy adults can model and instill in our kids. TK-2 graders are capable of making stop, take a breath (we call them brave breaths), think, and act a go to habit.

Our 3-5 students are generally more skilled and can not only demonstrate sound decision making for themselves, but participate in the process within a group. Just this week I found myself listening to a group of students interact, ask for clarification, and then assuring agreement prior to deciding on a change in their created game at recess. At home, you have ample opportunities to practice responsible group decision making - something as simple as movie night or which park to ride bikes to are opportunities for developing this important social emotional competency.

There is a lot more to this competency, but I hope each month's brief introduction serves as a catalyst for your support at home with your children.

In my January Newsletter I will explore relationship skills . . .

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Together We Are Stronger!

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