All-Star Announcements

What's happening at Venable, December 2018

Book Fair and Winter Concert Coming Next week

The book fair books have arrived, and students will be creating wish lists on Friday. Families will receive a copy of their child's wish list so that, if you choose, you may send in money for specific book(s) off the list. Parents are also welcome to come browse and make selections in person--we will have a copy of each child's wish list at the fair. Monday night is a perfect chance to come get a book and hear joyful music performed by our 3rd and 4th grade chorus students. If you'd like to donate to the Book Fairy Fund, please send in cash or check designated for that fund, which helps us provide a book for all students who might not otherwise receive one. Click here for more information and hours for the book fair.

Upcoming Events in December

Monday, December 10
  • Book Fair opens
  • Winter Concert (3rd/4th grade chorus), 6pm in the auditorium

Monday, December 17

  • Winter Concert make-up date (if needed)
Wednesday, December 19
  • Last day of EBL (resumes January 28)
Friday, December 21
  • School-Wide Morning Meeting (concert reprise)
  • Last day of school before Winter Break
Monday, December 24- Friday, January 4
  • Winter Break. School building closed.
Monday, January 7
  • School resumes in 2019!
Monday, January 14
  • PTO Meeting, 6pm in the library (presentation and Q&A about gifted education)

iSTEM/Math Night Coming in January

Save the Date: January 15, 2019. Come tinker, experiment, play, and solve problems together as a family. The fun begins at 5:30pm. Pizza provided by PTO.
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The Venable Kindergarten Squad

This committed, talented team of teachers has fun inside and outside the classroom. Featured: Mr. Satterthwaite, Ms. Efford, Ms. McDonald, Ms. Payne, Ms. Schettler, Ms. Hamilton, Ms. Wasilko.

Safe Zones and Emotional Regulation at Venable

Each classroom space in our building has a designated Safe Zone. The Safe Zones are designed to be places in the classroom where a student who is feeling out of sorts can go to re-regulate and then re-engage with class activities when he or she is ready. Different from a time out, and even from the "take a break" model we used last year, Safe Zone acknowledges that students always want to do their best and demonstrate expected behaviors. If they are not, there is something that is interfering with their ability to regulate their emotions or behaviors, and they need some time, space, and resources to re-regulate. We as the adults need to provide extra care and support in these times for students; they need to know that we will keep them safe and help them get back to showing their best.

In each Safe Zone, teachers have placed one or two resources such as deep breathing prompts, mandalas to color, or low-intensity exercises that students can do. We are using a curriculum called Zones of Regulation in the Safe Zones, which helps students identify when they're in the green, yellow, red, or blue zones and gives them strategies for working their way back to green. This curriculum is being explicitly taught in Kindergarten this year, and will grow with the students as they move up. Ms. Redden uses the same system to help students re-regulate in her office, and the administrators use the Zones of Regulation as means of debriefing with students and making a plan to repair big problems that may have arisen as a result of a disciplinary issue.

The Safe Zone is one example of how we are moving toward a more trauma responsive approach to student behaviors at Venable. We are finding that students are becoming more self-aware and better able to self-regulate as we give them language and tools to do so. We are also finding that being more trauma responsive helps to strengthen the relationships and trust between adults and children such that most problems are able to be resolved in the classroom and learning can continue. We are excited about the journey that we're on to learn more about how we can better respond to the needs of our students in a way that promotes the health of our entire community. The PBIS team at Venable--comprised of Ms. Martin, Ms. Jacobs, Ms. Hawkes, Ms. McClellan, Ms. Paige, Ms. Redden, Ms. Kayser, and Ms. Kershner--is leading this important, exciting work for our staff.