Saint Michael Episcopal School

Late July 2020

In This Issue

  • New School Start Date
  • Teacher and Class Reveal
  • Extended Day Update
  • Enrichment Survey
  • Health Forms
  • Town Hall Recording
  • Social-Emotional (SEL) Corner
  • Upcoming Dates

New School Start Date, September 9!

The adjusted start of school for SMES is now Wednesday, September 9. The first two (2) days of school will be "soft start” days for all children in an effort to provide a more comfortable and smoother transition for everyone back to campus after such an extended time away. On September 9 and 10, our school day will end at 11:45 am. Friday, September 11 will remain the normal schedule of dismissing at 11:45. We will begin regular school days on Monday, September 13.


As mentioned in the SMES email communication last Friday, the implications for health and safety matters from the Dallas County Health and Human Services were considered for SMES as a religious private school. Given our flexibility as to the impact of a Dallas County directive on SMES, we have delayed our start date by four days.


Teachers, staff and Administrative teams will continue to plan and prepare on campus for the start of the school year. Additionally, with the provisions and plans SMES already has in place with our flexible school calendar, we will not start in a Remote Learning Environment with Toddlers and Preschoolers as some other schools will be moving to Remote Learning as their first days of school. Thus, we will extend the school year in order to “make up” these four (4) instructional days at the end of the year as previously explained in the event of a COVID-19 related closure.


If you have a questions and are not sure who to send it to, please email us at information@smesdallas.org. We will ensure we answer you in a timely manner!

Teachers and Class Reveal, August 3!

Exciting news! We are elated to share the creative and child-friendly plans for building connections and relationships between our students and teachers. We are preparing for a successful start to the school year even before the doors open on the first day of school!


In an effort to begin making memorable moments and special connections with our little ones in this unique school year, SMES will host Meet the Teacher gatherings in small group settings in shady, quaint areas on the Saint Michael and All Angels campus from August 5-20!


We will also reveal your child’s teachers and classmates for the first time ever more than a month before school begins. On August 3, between 12:00-12:30 pm, you will receive an email with details on how to sign-up to meet your amazing teachers for the 2020-21 school year. Make sure to check your spam folder if the email does not arrive in your inbox.


The process of classroom placement for the 2020-2021 school year began this past spring and has continued through the summer. This process is complex and includes input from administrators, teachers, and parents. As we determine the makeup of a given class, we consider a variety of factors, including boy/girl ratio, unique learning styles, and social relationships among students. Achieving a balanced classroom for our students is our overall goal as we take into consideration all of these factors.

Important Extended Day Update

SMES is committed to keeping our entire school healthy and safe. During regular school hours, students will remain with their teachers as a cohort throughout the entire day. In order to protect the effectiveness of the cohorts and maintain each classroom environment, Extended Day programs will not be available this fall.


During a typical school year our Extended Day Program consists of Morning Extended Day from 8-8:45 am and Afternoon Extended Day from 2:45-4:30 pm. If it is feasible to offer these programs later in the school year or in the spring, we will do so as we recognize that some of our families continue to have a need for an Extended Day option for their student.

REMINDER - Preschool Enrichment Survey

If you have not already done so, please take a minute to fill out a brief survey letting us know your enrichment needs for this fall. A survey was sent out to Preschool families earlier in July and they are linked below.


PreK 3 and PreK 4 Half-Day Enrichment Survey

PreK 4 Full-Day Enrichment Survey


Please submit by JULY 25!

Health Forms due by first day of school, September 9

You can find the forms on our website under the parents tab/parent handbook & resources or by clicking here:

https://www.smesdallas.org/uploads/images/health-care-professional-statement-20-21_152.pdf.


The healthcare professional statement must be signed by the physician (highlighted in yellow). You can obtain a copy of the physician's vaccination record instead of filling out the state licensing health requirement form that is attached to the health statement form. Please remember licensing requires a physician's signature on BOTH the vaccination record AND on the health statement form.

In addition, if your child is 4 years old by September 1, please submit their vision/hearing screening report that was performed at their 4-year wellness checkup.


Please do not drop off forms at school. You may email the forms to mlohner@smesdallas.org or turn in to the school after August 17.

With You in Mind - A Summer Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Corner

Summer SEL Check-In with Your Child and You

As we continue work to be hopeful and optimistic during these unprecedented times, this month is a good time to “check in” with your child about how they are feeling. This builds self-awareness and reminds your child that you are a source of support. It also provides your child with an opportunity to extend feelings vocabulary through conversation with you. Here are some questions you might ask:

· What was the best/worst part of your day?

· What is one thing that felt good today? One thing that felt hard today?

· Name one kind thing you did for someone today.

· What is something you would like to do tomorrow?

Respond to your child by validating their feelings (i.e. “Yes, taking a walk outside was really fun today!”) and introducing new feelings vocabulary when appropriate (i.e. “I noticed you were yelling and feeling really disappointed when it was time to leave the park today. What could you have done differently?”)

This is also a time for you to take note of how you are feeling and identify any supports you may need. How do you, as parents, take care of yourself each day? Consider engaging in self-care practices, such as calling a friend, spending time outside alone or with family, reading a book or engaging in any preferred activity. Identify people in your life who can help you with new emerging challenges as we transition forward.

Top 3 Ways to Navigate Anxieties and Make the Most of Summer

1. Turn off the television

Be sure to monitor how often children are exposed to the daily news on T.V. Research has shown that children are negatively affected by the images and looping negative stories they are exposed to on television. They pick up on it younger than you would think, too!

2. Go Outside and Get Moving

Play is a part of learning and a foundation of healthy social and emotional function. Making sure children have time in nature every day can do wonders. Time outside can enhance concentration, encourage imagination, and foster positive mental and physical health.

3. Create Something to Look Forward to as a Family.

There has been a lot of change on a child’s daily life due to our country’s current state along with vacation changes/cancellations, play dates deferred, etc. Decide what type of future activity might excite your child and involve them in the planning. At our house, we planned a water balloon fight. My son made signs to advertise (practice writing and drawing!), they earned more water balloons with happy and helpful attitudes that week and he chose the menu for our post-water balloon fight dinner.

Resources:

Watch: Answering Children’s Difficult Questions

Read: How to Talk to Your Children about COVID-19
Read: Should My Child Have a Playdate During COVID-19

Do: Print and Read with your child: The Task of the Mask (Free log-in)

SMES Town Hall Recording and Documents

We are very grateful for the support of our families as we prepare to return safely to SMES this fall. The following link will enable you to watch the Town Hall webinar from Monday, June 29.

Town Hall Meeting Recording June 29, 2020 This recording will be available until the end of July,

You can also visit www.smesdallas.org/town-hall for the presentation and Pandemic Protocol.

Upcoming Events

August 3 - Teacher and Class Reveal

August 5 - 20 - Meet the Teacher - Small Groups

August 31 - Virtual Parents' Night

September 9 - FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

Visit www.smesdallas.org/calendar for the 2020-21 calendar