Principal Update

November 2021

Whitney Families,

Traducción de este boletín / Translating this letter


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On the right side of the newsletter, a bar will appear with the ADA and translation features. Recipients will be able to translate this letter to their desired language there.


Happy November and Happy Thanksgiving! As I reflect on things I am thankful for, the Whitney students, staff, and families are at the top of my list. I am very grateful for the support and kindness you show to the school, and the support and guidance you provide for your children. Research shows that students do their best when schools and home work collaboratively.


Thank you to those who have served our country in the armed services. Whitney is very thankful for you and the sacrifices you have made.


The number one way to make sure that your child is getting the most out of school is to make sure they are in attendance each day. Since much of what we do at school is direct teaching and practice, it is very hard to put together the lessons as make-up work. When a child is absent they can miss important instruction and the teacher's help with practice. Please consider taking vacations and scheduling appointments when we are not in session. However, if your child is ill or your family is struggling with Covid19, our teachers will do their best to accelerate your child's learning when they return.


Whitney students are able to earn PBIS Rewards points for following the ROAR expectations. They can then use those points to make purchases in the school store as well as their classroom store if their teacher has one set up. Stores offer both tangible items and experiences but funding the store has been difficult. Normally we would ask for parent support via a fund raiser to help support the incentives offered in the school store. We would typically make 25% - 50% of profit off fundraisers like World's finest chocolate, Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, Pizza making kits, and other magazine based fundraisers.


So, instead of asking parents to go sell stuff out of magazines we have set up a way to donate for those that are interested in supporting the purchase of student incentives at Whitney. Many schools are now offering this option instead of doing a fundraiser so that parents don't have to buy or sell items to support their local school. Every dollar donated will go into a general fund set up by the district and will only be used for student incentives. If you are interested in supporting your child by donating please scroll down to the Incentive Donation section of the newsletter where you will find a written step by step tutorial and video tutorial on how to login and navigate the touchbase website.


If you have questions please reach out via telephone (573-1900) or via Let's Talk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Dates to Remember

November 24th - 26th - No School for Thanksgiving

November 29th - Pajama Day

November 30th - Superhero Day

December 1st - Disney Day

December 2nd - Tie Dye Day

December 3rd - Sports Day

December 20th - 31st - No School

Student of the Month

Academic Winners!

Katherine Buck

James Arias

Eliazar Gonzalez

Julian Romba

Primitivo Balderas

Sawyer Olney Mccarl

London Garza

James Buck

Michael Meyer

Emilee Jennings

Aubrey Cardwell

Calvae Thompson

Christian De Jesus

Laela Moran

Kerstin Garces-Garcia

Phoenix Madrigal-Espindola

Layla Myers

Enily Macedonio

Damian Mendez

Thomas Buck


ROAR Winners!

Neliani Nava

Katalyna Cook

Ivan Benitez

Janie Fullerton

Nayeli Trillas

Antonio Chalino Mendoza

Aleyah Ackerman

Kendra Youngblood

Annabelle Cantu-Tisher

Diego Prado

Elliana Sheets

Annabelle Abrams

Alyssa Lopez

Landon De La Torre

Angel Martinez

Ryanna Mather

Noah Garzia

Romeo Mungia

Eric Elkins

Giselle Urbina

New Fence between Whitney and Wilson

The safety of our students is a top priority at Whitney Elementary. Work began on November 8th to install a fence between Whitney and Wilson to better secure our campus. The fence was completed on November 16th.


In order to secure our campus all access points will be locked while school is in session. In the event of an emergency or evacuation all staff have been given a key that will unlock all access points on campus.

Goals

For the next 3 years we will be working hard to close gaps and improve student growth in the areas of math, english language arts, attendance, and behavior/social emotional learning. Our 3 high priority goals are based on areas of growth from our Washington School Improvement Framework data.


High Priority Goal #1 - We will increase our math growth for all from 48 to 60 in the next three years with an increase of 4 Student Growth Percentile points each year. We will also increase math growth for Students With Disabilities from 34 to 60 in the next three years with and increase of 8.7 Student Growth Percentile points each year.


High Priority Goal #2 - We will increase our English Language Arts proficiency for English Language Learners from 15% to 50% by 2024 with a yearly increase of 12%.


High Priority Goal #3 - By the end of the 2021-2022 school year, Whitney Elementary will increase regular attendance of all students from 94.6% to 95%.

Donations for incentives

If you'd like to support the purchase of incentives please sign in to Touchbase and follow the tutorial video or step by step tutorial below.

Spirit Week

Our AMAZING Whitney students have earned over 100,000 PBIS Rewards points this school year, which has earned them a SPIRIT WEEK!!! Our spirit week will be the week right after Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 29th - Pajama Day

Tuesday, November 30th - Superhero Day

Wednesday, December 1st - Disney Day

Thursday, December 2nd - Tie Dye Day

Friday, December 3rd - Sports Day


Information About The ZONES of Regulation

Whitney Elementary will be participating in The Zones of Regulation curriculum (or “The Zones” for short), which are lessons and activities designed by Leah Kuypers, licensed occupational therapist, to help him/her gain skills in the area of self-regulation. Self-regulation can go by many names, such as self-control, self management, and impulse control. It is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. For example, when a student plays on the playground or in a competitive game, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness. However, that same state would not be appropriate in the library. The lessons and learning activities are designed to help the students recognize when they are in the different Zones as well as learn how to use strategies to change or stay in the Zone they are in. In addition to addressing self-regulation, the students will gain an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in reading other people’s facial expressions, perspective about how others see and react to their behavior, insight into events that trigger their behavior, calming and alerting strategies, and problem solving skills.


A critical aspect of this curriculum is that all team members know and understand The Zones language. This creates a comfortable and supportive environment for the student to practice his or her self-regulation skills. It also helps the student learn the skills more quickly and be more likely to apply them in many situations. You can support the student during this process by doing the following:


  • Help the student gain awareness of his or her Zones and feelings by pointing out your observations. • Validate what Zone your students are in and help them brainstorm expected ways to self-regulate so their behavior is expected for the context.
  • Share with the student how his or her behavior is affecting the Zone you are in and how you feel.
  • Help the student become comfortable using the language to communicate his or her feelings and needs by encouraging the student to share his or her Zone with you.
  • Show interest in learning about the student’s triggers and Zones tools. Ask the student if he or she wants reminders to use these tools and how you should present these reminders.
  • Ask the student to frequently share his or her Zones Folder with you and talk about what he or she has learned.
  • Make sure to positively reinforce students for recognizing their Zone and managing their behaviors while in it, rather than only pointing out when students are demonstrating unexpected behaviors while in a Zone.


It is important to note that everyone experiences all of the Zones—the Red and Yellow Zones are not the “bad” or “naughty” Zones. All of the Zones are expected at one time or another. The Zones of Regulation is intended to be neutral and not communicate judgment.


Check out the attachments below in English and Spanish for a Visual and Glossary of Terms.

Holiday Program

Students have been working hard to learn a holiday song during music class that will be featured in a Whitney holiday video. The video will feature one song per grade level. Please be aware that if you opted out of the media release sent out at the beginning of the school year your child will not be in the video. We will be reaching out to those families who opted out or selected situational. Please also reach out to us if you do not want your child to participate due to religious reasons.
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Visitors and Volunteers

Now in effect volunteers and visitors will be allowed to enter YSD schools and buildings with the following requirements.


Visitor/Volunteer Requirements


  1. All visitors/volunteers staying less than 30 minutes are not required to provide proof of vaccination. These visitors must be masked and maintain 6 feet social distancing.
  2. All visitors/volunteers staying longer than 30 minutes will be required to provide proof of vaccination. These visitors must be masked and maintain 6 feet social distancing.
  3. All volunteers must have an application on file with the Yakima School District.