Weekly Communique

December 17, 2021

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Thoughts from Dr. Pacatte

As we break for the holidays, I would like to wish all of you a happy holiday season. Enjoy your time with one another and please take care of yourselves. I would also like to thank everyone for hanging in there with us! I am very proud of the work taking place, the stamina and our ability to bring some sense of normalcy back with extra curricular and sports activities. I cannot predict how long we will be able to sustain these, it is simply great to see our students having fun. As I shared with the staff, I hope the upcoming Winter Break allows people the time they need to rest, read, stream, cook, or whatever it is that fills you up and allows you to recharge. This year’s break has a couple more days than usual as we try to align with the high school. It turns out to be a great time to have a couple of extra days!


Some simple thoughts on growing up...


Last weekend, we celebrated my mother’s 93rd birthday. With that and the holidays, it is a time to reflect on memories and how different life is for children today. I am not sure what the long- term effects of social media will be on our world, but am convinced there will be an impact. My mom has no understanding of what social media is, yet I wonder how she would have managed that as my parent. I’m certain I would have been the last one to have a phone and then it would have been limited in what it could really do. Things were strict, comparatively, and over the long run it made a huge difference in who I am today. I know that learning takes place in many forms, not just the formal curriculum taught our classrooms. Children start learning appropriate social interactions through trial and error. That is simply what kids do. They learn that if they play rough other children won’t like it. That is when they learn to adjust their style of play so they have plenty of playmates to choose from. They learn that if you don’t play properly with playground equipment you may get hurt. They learn that if you call each other names, someone’s feelings will get hurt. There are instances with some children that it takes more than once or twice to figure out that what they are trying isn’t working. That is when our teachers and parents step in and coach. “How do you think that made them feel?” “Are there ways you can play so that the two of you can each get turns?” “Maybe you need to take a break and not play with each other. There are lots of kids to choose from, see if you can find two or three other kids you’d like to get to know.” “You really need to apologize. Do you understand why?” Life skills.


When I was a kid, I was told to go outside and play and don’t come in unless there is blood or the need for the bathroom. (Times were different.) There were plenty of arguments and scrapes amongst the kids in my neighborhood, yet my parents never jumped in to solve the problems, they always asked me what I could have done differently (even when I swore it wasn’t my fault). I remember being grounded from my friend for three weeks because we were just arguing over everything. The last straw was the removal and hiding of all of my Barbie Doll heads. My mom called her mom and said I was taking a break so I could think about being a better friend. We were both being brats, but my mom was pushing me to see how I could be better. I have a vivid memory of a classmate that was a bigger kid, who ran around the playground knocking kids over, including me. My mom explained that I needed to get back out on the playground and keep my eyes open and pay more attention to what was going on around me. Make sure you tell him to “watch where you’re going”. It worked.


As an adult, I continue to think about how I can handle things better when I don’t think something has gone well or I have miscommunicated. I ask myself, “what could I have done differently?” I pay attention to what is going on around me, the body language of others and try to anticipate what may be coming my way. These habits came from the life skills my mom and dad were teaching me without telling me that was what they were doing. They coached me from the side and made it clear that I had ownership in all of my interactions and that I could always do a better job on my end. I learned that you can and should stand up for yourself, that it takes effort to find and make friends and you can always take a step back and try again. Life Skills. They stay with you.

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D56 Pediatric Vaccine Clinic Information

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Covid-19 Update

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Tweet of the Week

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River Trail Elf

The kindness elf of River Trail School gave Ms. Sincora's class the task of drawing a picture for their amazing office staff. The students did an awesome job!

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BINGO

4th Grade VIP students at Prairie Trail played a special VIP-only bingo game this week!

Just one perk of becoming a VIP at Prairie Trail!

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Friendship Walk

Spaulding School's physical education classes took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to go on a "Friendship Walk". Classes walked and jogged around the school property. Along the way, they stopped to discuss what makes a good friend, how they can make others feel welcome, and what it means to be considerate. Students even walked on the "secret path" behind the District Office.

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Warren Township Youth & Family Services

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Warren Newport Public Library

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