Sayéik GastiNEWS

October 5, 2022

Happy October!

Tire Swings: The tire swings are BACK! Last spring I had the tire swings removed as there were multiple behavior issues associated with the swings and kids were getting stomachaches! Three of our 4th/5th grade students presented me with a petition to bring the tire swings back. They put together a slideshow to teach students the rules and went class to class teaching their peers how to use the swings properly and safely. Democracy in action! Be sure to ask your child what the rules are and if they're enjoying the tire swings.

WIN: Every grade level has started WIN (What I Need) rotations. This trimester we are focusing on reading skills. To learn more about WIN, read this letter.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: You should've heard from your child's teacher regarding the upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences (October 18-19). Please make sure you respond and get an appointment to meet with your child(ren)'s teacher!

Have a great week!
Stacy Diouf

SGCS Principal

Fall Book Fair Opens TOMORROW

Bolder. Prouder. Stronger. Reader. The Scholastic Book Fair opens this week on Thursday and will continue through October 12. It will reopen during Parent-Teacher Conferences on October 17 and 18. It will also be open for families after school each day and after the Sing-Along on October 7 till 8:45 AM for parents only.

Please consider volunteering during your child’s library class during the week of book fair. All volunteers will receive $5 gift certificates for books for each hour they volunteer. Volunteers are also needed for after school and during conferences. Please email Ms. Ferguson and/or Ms. Brann or call the library at 907-796-5038 to sign up for a volunteer slot.

Remember reading is FUNdamental!

Spirit Gear Drive Ends Friday

There are TWO more days to order your Sayéik Gastineau spirit gear. It closes on October 7. We wear our gear on Fridays to show our spirit!

Counselor's Corner

These past weeks we’ve been studying neuroscience in our counseling lessons. Really! It’s such an exciting time to be teaching students about how their brains and bodies work together as many neuroscientists and neuropsychologists are making new research available to us common folks!

So, if your child comes home from school talking about a guard dog in their brain, it’s because we are using some animals as metaphors for parts of our brain:

  • The Wise Owl is our PFC (prefrontal cortex). This is the part of our brain that helps us make wise decisions and to think before we act/speak.
  • The Elephant represents our memory center, our hippocampus. This is the part of our brain that stores and retrieves memories.
  • The Guard Dog represents our amygdala - this is the part of our brain that alerts us of danger and helps to keep us safe.

Ask your child to show you their hand model of the brain and where these parts are.

The gist is that our amygdala is REALLY helpful when we face danger, like a speeding car heading our way. It tells us to act without thinking and run out of the way. Its primary actions are to Fight, Flee, or Freeze. The problem is our amygdala doesn’t know the difference between a monster who is about to eat us and the kid who just cut in front of us in line. When it’s activated, its only choices are to Fight, Flee, or Freeze. We need our wise owl to help us know the difference, but our PFC (wise owl) has flown away and our amygdala (guard dog) is in control. We have flipped our lid. We then have to help ourselves calm down to re-engage our PFC.

Here is a great video that talks about some parts of our brain and Flipping our Lids.

When we practice ways of calming down, like taking deep breaths, it helps us build practiced pathways to follow when we are upset - we can’t learn to breathe to calm down WHEN we are upset! This video talks about some other strategies as well.

Finally, I’d like to let you know I’ll be starting a parent group on October 21. It’ll be a 7- or 8-week class using the Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) Curriculum. COSP is based on attachment theory and provides a helpful framework for understanding what children are trying to communicate with us through their behavior. It gently helps us look at how we were parented (without any blaming) and helps to develop new ways of meeting our child’s needs.

The group will meet on Friday mornings in my classroom from 8:10-9:45. It will be right after our sing-along. This has been a helpful time in the past since families are often here for sing-along, and the kids are in school so there is less need for childcare. IF you have a younger child AND you would like to attend, please reach out to me as we have been able to provide childcare in the past. For more about this program, you can watch this video or give me a call.

Happy Fall!


Deb (aka Ms. Spencer)


Parent-Teacher Conferences Staff Potluck

Parent-Teacher Conference days are BUSY for our teachers! Please consider joining other parents to bring in food on October 17 and 18 to keep our teachers fueled while they meet with parents. Drop off breakfast items between 7:30 and 8 and lunch items by 11. Anything is appreciated!

Sign up here:

Friday Fun Night is Back

Looking for something FUN to do on Friday, October 21, from 6-8pm? We hope that you will join us for Sayéik: Gastineau's FIRST Friday Fun Night in over two years! With its Halloween theme, it is sure to be a spooktacular event!

Please join us for an evening of pumpkin bowling, Halloween arts and crafts, a GIANT bouncy house, and much, much more!

Admission is only $10 per child and EVERYTHING is included. All proceeds go towards Mrs. Dorsey's 1st grade and Ms. Watts' 5th grade classrooms.

PLEASE NOTE: All K/1 students must be accompanied by an adult.

Students are encouraged to come in costumes. However, face-paint and sharp objects will not be allowed on the giant bounce house, so please save those for Halloween night.

Thank you for supporting this important classroom fundraiser!

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Ocean Guardian News

As part of our kick off event for Ocean Guardians, our wonderful school participated in a school-wide litter pick up and lunch waste audit on September 16th. Our amazing students and staff picked up 66.7 pounds of trash and recycling from the playground and surrounding areas. This is 66.7 pounds of waste that will not end up in the oceans. We also had two marine specialists from NOAA help us learn about food waste. After three lunches we learned that our school:

  • composted 33.5 pounds of food waste - yay!
  • had 31.2 pounds of trash that was thrown away during lunches.
  • and we recycled 11 items.

Our goal is to teach students how to continue to sort lunch waste and reduce, reuse and recycle.

Students are also working together to make some classroom Ocean Guardian Goals. Ask your child about this important work!

More about Ocean Guardians:

Sayeik Gastineau first became an Ocean Guardian School five years ago. An Ocean Guardian School makes a commitment to the protection and conservation of its local watersheds, the world's ocean, and special ocean areas, like national marine sanctuaries. The school makes this commitment by proposing and then implementing a school- or community-based conservation project. The Ocean Guardian School Program is managed by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries with funding coordinated by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

Hallway Art

NO SCHOOL October 12 & 13 (Staff Inservice)

NO SCHOOL October 17 & 18 (Parent-Teacher Conferences)