Park Place Post

November 5, 2021

From The Principal...

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Next Thursday, November 11, is Veterans' Day. I'd like to thank all the veterans in our community for their service. My own father served in Vietnam and lost his life because of Agent Orange. This is a somber holiday, and an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by veterans and their families. At Park Meadows, we honor our paraprofessional, Mr. Bob Ruskowski, who served in the US Army 1976-1981. If you or members of your family have served or are currently serving, we appreciate you!

Another topic I want to share with you is the current increase in social-emotional needs and behaviors. This is a sensitive topic but one that warrants our attention. We have seen an increase in behavior problems, as have schools across the country. The article linked below gives information about the uptick in behaviors, and might give you some insight into what factors are causing it. At Park Meadows, we are addressing the increase in behaviors in several ways:

  • Training for staff on de-escalation strategies.
  • Training for staff on focusing on positive behaviors and building relationships.
  • Implementation of "Grit Cards" in 5th and 6th grade. This is a way to reinforce positive behaviors and hold students accountable for fixing negative behaviors. It is a way to track student data and reward students for meeting expectations. It's also a tool for daily communication with parents.
  • Continued All Things EQ daily lessons in all classrooms.
  • Continued use of Park Tickets (or Stung Tickets) to reward positive behaviors. Students trade in tickets for cool prizes at Park Place.
  • Frequent communication with parents if there are patterns of behavior. If a staff member contacts you, know we are here to support and not to judge. Please be our partner in identifying causes and solutions to problems.
  • We have a full time counselor who meets with students in crisis, teaches social-emotional lessons in classrooms, and meets regularly with students who need one-on-one counseling.
  • We have a district social-worker who works with several of our families and can refer parents to mental-health organizations.

Finally, I want to say that we know changing behaviors is a "long game". Behavior patterns don't change as quickly as we would like, but we know that with consistency and accountability, we will see progress. We ask for your support with communicating the importance of high expectations for behavior at school. Our ultimate goal is to have a safe, happy campus where students want to grow and learn everyday.

Thank you for your partnership,

Kim Lanese

Staff Spotlight

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Meet Ms. Leman

Courtney Leman is a Second grade teacher at Park Meadows.

Ms. Leman was also selected as a semi-finalist for DVUSD's "Rookie of the Year" for 2021-22.

Each year, DVUSD celebrates and spotlights it's most talented and dedicated first year teachers who have gained the respect of peers and who demonstrate teamwork, creativity, pro-activeness, involvement in campus or district activities/programs, professionalism, pride in school and profession, and above all have a positive impact on students. The Rookie who is selected as the DVEF Rookie of the Year receives a cash award and is honored at an award ceremony and dinner.

Parents As Partners

Grateful Thoughts...

We often think of November as "Thankful" month. In this busy world right now being thankful and showing gratitude can play an important role in someone's well being. Instilling gratitude in our children is one of the best tools we can give them to improve the quality of their lives. Please take a moment to read the attached article about teaching children gratitude.
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Reading Intervention Corner with Mrs. Gibson & Mrs. Hainline

Would your child benefit from having an educational coach? The past year has been a difficult one for students and families. To help families overcome academic challenges, The Arizona Governor’s Office of Education has partnered with Graduation Alliance to provide an extra layer of support for students in grades K-12, and their families, who might be struggling with these changes. Students who choose to participate in the program will get an academic coach to work with them to answer questions, connect them with resources, and develop a plan to get on track and finish the school year strong. What does it cost? ENGAGE Arizona is completely free to students. How does it work? Once you’re signed up, a Graduation Alliance representative will be in touch to connect you with an Academic Coach who will provide support, resources and more to students and families. How do I enroll? Go to, call 803-897-8517, or email to get started.

Math Intervention Corner with Mr. Cookman

What can you do at home to help your child with math?

Ask them what they learned in class each day. Ask to see the homework and if your child is done, check their work. If you see something incorrect, you can say “I got a different answer, can you recheck your work?” or “Can you please explain how you got your answer.” If there are several wrong and you child is not understanding with your guidance, write the teacher a note to let them know so they can review the concepts at school. If they completed the work correctly, ask your child to explain how they did a problem step by step. When they are able to teach others how to solve problems, it helps to reinforce the learning.

From the Shelves of the LMC

Phoenix Public Library is doing presentations for K-2 in the library November 8, 2021. Presentations include facts about public libraries and sign up for library cards.

Thank You to Those Who Supported Our Goodwill Donation Drive!

Life in the Lunchroom

Coming up on Thursday, November 18th, the Park Meadows Cafe will have our annual Holiday Meal Feast. Students look forward to this day all year! Due to COVID restrictions, this meal will be for students and staff only. Outside visitors are unable to join us this year. The following menu will be OUR ONLY MEAL CHOICE FOR THE DAY, so please plan accordingly.

  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Dinner Roll
  • Craisens
  • Pumpkin Pie

Newsletters From The Classrooms