Glacier Ridge Gazette
Glacier Ridge Elementary School | October 15, 2021
What Teachers & Students Need Right Now!
There is a lot of stress and pressure on everyone right now. Educators are no exception. While students are back in school full time, the effects of COVID on instruction continue to have a significant impact. This goes well beyond the health protocols of masks and distancing. I’m specifically speaking about the impact COVID has had on the academic needs of students, as well as social emotional needs of everyone.
You may have read in the newsletter on October 8th, that we are incorporating social interactions and communication among students, which we have noticed is more needed now (during a pandemic) than ever before. In addition, last year, students received different or less instruction than in a typical school year, which creates the unintended pressure to “catch them up.” This article, Teachers Are Not Ok, Even Though We Need Them To Be, summarizes what many educators are feeling right now.
The good news is, your children are in good hands. As many families already know, teachers at GRE take such ownership of the growth and support of every child. The ownership the teachers feel is both a benefit and detriment. We want teachers to work hard and provide high quality instruction that is designed to their specific needs. However, research states that increased stress can negatively impact performance.
So, what can you do to help? Family conferences are a great time to help collaboratively support the development and growth of your child. Below are a few examples of what parents can do?
Focus on Strengths - Research states that focusing on strengths builds self-efficacy, which in turn leads to increased performance. Our natural tendency is to focus on areas of growth. With the constant pressure on everyone, focusing on strengths helps build the confidence to tackle the areas which need growth too. Some questions you can ask the teacher:
What personality strengths does my child have?
What academic strengths does my child have?
What is an area (academic or social) they have improved in the most?
Camera on during conferences - As a collaborative team to support each other, having the camera on will help with the engaging conversation about your child.
Asking the right questions - With the natural focus to hone in on deficits, sometimes we forget the important things - like, is my child happy? If you’re familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, basic human needs must be met before students can perform higher level functions, like learning. Therefore, focusing on their overall wellbeing is equally important. Below are just a few questions you can ask your child’s teacher:
Is my child happy?
Is my child engaging with their peers?
Is my child kind and empathetic?
Focus on growth and effort, not the outcome - The MAP assessment is a benchmark to allow staff and families to identify apples to apples comparison of their own performance throughout the year. It is certainly a good way to do that, but there are significant gaps with solely using that as a measure of progress and performance. Teachers use that test as a tool to guide their instructional planning. Although the percentile is listed, focus more on the growth and effort, rather than the performance and percentile. Don’t over emphasize the MAP assessment. Instead, focus on the daily effort and behaviors of your child’s and their perseverance and resilience when things get hard. I suggest not even talking to your child about their MAP score or performance. Some questions you can ask the teacher:
What does my child do when things get hard?
What are their work habits when they are working independently? Or, working collaboratively in a group?
How is my child as a thinker?
Collaboration - Family conferences are often an opportunity for the family and school to come together to communicate and develop a plan for the student’s growth - that collaboration should include the student. Although a conference is often the teacher delivering much of the school information, the parents and students also have a role in the growth. I often suggest having the student involved in the conference so they are aware of what and how they need to work on things. The student can be dismissed for any sensitive information. Some things you can ask the teacher:
What can I do to help support this plan at home?
What can my child do to help their growth?
What are the most important things to focus on right now?
These are just a few ideas to help with the tripod of student growth (student, parent, teacher). Each one plays an integral role, especially during a pandemic. So, be cognizant of the pressure that is already on everyone right now. Asking the right questions will help put emphasis on the most important aspects to support students.
Pete Kurty, Ed. D
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If your child will be absent from school, late to school, or leaving early, please notify the office in writing whenever possible. Email notification is the preferred and most effective way. To notify the office of an absence, please do one of the following:
Email the attendance line at email@example.com
Complete an absence notification form (forms are located in the office or vestibule)
Send a note and/or medical excuse with your child upon their return.
Please note that for any absence to be excused it must be received in writing AND fall into one of the following excused absence conditions: personal illness, illness in the family requiring the presence of the child, quarantine of the home, death in the family, observation or celebration of a religious holiday, national "take your child to work day", and travel (up to 4 days per school year) to participate in a district-approved enrichment activity. If your child is out for a reason not specified above, the absence will still be marked as an excused absence; however, notification is still much appreciated to help us account for the safety of our students.
Coming to School Early
Yearbook Art Cover
Students will be coming home with the yearbook art cover design sheet. Students in all grades have the opportunity to design the cover of the yearbook. We incorporate as many designs into the yearbook as possible, which include one on every teacher page and a few dozen on the back page. We often select designs that reflect effort and thought. Students will bring home the cover Monday and should be returned to the office by Friday, October 29th.
Book Fair: October 11 - 22
Adopt a Family/Welcome Warehouse
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Oct 18 - Yearbook Cover Art Contest Begins
Oct 21 - Family Conference Night
Oct 25 - PTO Cookie Dough Sale Ends
Oct 26 - Operation Kids for Troops Collection Begins
Oct 27 - Picture Day Make-Up/Re-takes
Oct 29 - Yearbook Cover Art Contest Ends
Oct 29 - Harvest Parties
Nov 1 - Operation Kids for Troops begins
Nov 2 - No school - Staff Professional Day
Nov 8 - PTO Cookie Dough Sale Begins
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The latest COVID-19 data for Dublin City Schools is posted at this link.
Coffee with Dr. Marschhausen
Join Dr. Marschhausen for coffee at the Emerald Campus Cafe at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19.
Raising Mentally Healthy Kids on Oct. 20
Join PERC and Dr. Parker Huston for “Raising Mentally Healthy Kids:” at 9:30 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the Dublin Rec Center.
See Something, Say Something
At times, social media can fuel rumors of threats toward our schools or individuals. When school administration is made aware of any such allegation, it is thoroughly investigated in collaboration with law enforcement, and appropriate legal counsel. The outcomes of these investigations are not a matter of public record.
We offer a number of avenues for students and parents to provide information to us. If you or your child has been directly affected by an incident at school, you may do any of the following:
Call or email an administrator, school counselor, or other trusted adult.
Submit a report via Stay Safe. Speak Up app or website or call 1-866-LISTEN-2-ME.