The Tiger Times

December 2021

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From the Principal

Dear Mohawk Families,

Happy Holidays to each of your families. We are so fortunate to be in a community that blends many traditions and cultures each day. During the month of December, families celebrate different holidays. It is a great opportunity for your child to share yours with others in the classroom. It is also a time for teaching our students about how to be kind, show compassion and be generous to others. Too often, we go about our daily lives forgetting about how truly fortunate we are.

Thank you for your gift card donations to our teachers through the School Store Program. Your generousity is overwhelmning and I know they are extremely appreciative.

Lastly, on behalf of the Mohawk staff, we would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Ms. Andrea Verellen


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December Calendar

Friday, December 3rd

End of 1st Trimester

Life Touch Group Pictures

Last Day for Santa Shop

Wednesday, December 8th

Report Cards Go Home

Friday, December 10th

5th Grade tapes "A Christmas Carol"

Tuesday, December 14th

CVVA Materials Pick-Up

December 21st

5th Grade Wax Museum (Will be recorded)

December 22nd

Classroom celebrations

December 23rd-January 3rd

Holiday Break

Tuesday, January 4th

Classes Resume

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Behavior Concerns

Students have not been in school regularly for two years and it shows in many of the behaviors we are currently seeing daily. Students are disrespecting staff and one another. It seems as though they have forgotten how to act in school because we are continuing to see extreme behaviors like no other year. As a staff, we have spent a lot of time discussing ways to improve student behaviors and we need your support.

One example of these behaviors was recently discovered by a staff member. Students were posting things on social media that were extremely concerning. Although this happened outside of school, the issues were brought into Mohawk during school hours. When this occurs, students can have consequences . Therfore, we need parents to be diligent about monitoring their child's behavior online. Below are two examples of online concerns you may want to investigate:

Did you know children can play Squid Game on Roblocks? If you don't know, Squid Game is a show on Netflix that has extreme violence.

Have you heard about the TikTok Challenge for the 2021-22 School year? During the month of September our Mohawk students were vandalizing bathrooms by clogging toliets with toliet paper, putting soap on the mirrors, throwing paper towel on the floor and locking bathroom stalls.

These outside influences can have a negative effect on student behavior. Additionally, social media can cause low self-esteem and poor self-image, especially at the elementary level. Students at this age do not have the impulse control or the maturity to handle difficult situations and they can often be very mean to one another.

Research suggests that young people who spend more than 2 hours per day on social media are more likely to report poor mental health. The use of social media increases the likelihood that your child will be exposed to cyberbullying.

1. Make sure to monitor your child’s social media profiles.

2. Check his/her phones regularly for texts and posts.

3. Monitor your child’s contacts and don’t be afraid to reach out to other parents. It takes a village!

4. Control your child’s device to ensure they don’t have access 24/7.

5. You are a role model, so be sure to show your child how to use social media appropriately.

Below is an article on how to teach your child to be smart on social media.

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Social Emotional Learning

Teaching our students about social emotional learning, SEL, is more important than ever. SEL is an integral part of your child’s education and development. It helps shape the kind of person he/she will be now and in the future.

SEL is the process through which children and adults:

  • Acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop positive identities
  • Develop positive character
  • Manage emotions
  • Achieve personal and collective goals
  • Feel and show empathy for others
  • Establish and maintain supportive relationships
  • Make responsible and caring decision

When reading the list above, it is easy to see how these things are important so students can have good character and be a contributing member in society.

The Positivity Project and PBIS are two programs we use to teach key character traits and expected behaviors. I have included more information in this newsletter about how we are teaching SEL and behavior expectations.

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Character Education

The Positivity Project

Character education is taught on a daily at Mohawk Elementary and the surrounding elementarys in Chippewa Valley. We work hard to instill the value of character in our students because it is important how we treat others.

A student's character and effort are important for them to succeed in school and in life. Their work ethic, having a Growth Mindset, Resiliency, and how you treat others means everything and will make all the difference now and later in life.

One way we work to help teach and instill good character with our students is through using The Positivity Project.

During the month of December, we are focusing on the following character traits:


-Other People Matter (OPM) Knowing my words and actions affect others


Talk with your child about how they might shows these traits both in and out of school.

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Promoting Positive School Culture

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

During the 2018-19 school year, Mohawk was one of four schools in Macomb County to be awarded Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative Grant. We used this opportunity to revamp our Positive Behavior Initiative and Support (PBIS) program. The framework of PBIS is to develop social, cultural and behavioral expectations to support students’ social and academic success.

Through the program, we defined key behavioral elements using a variety of strategies. One of the strategies was to create lessons to teach and acknowledge appropriate behaviors throughout the school environment. By teaching expectations, and creating predictable environments, problematic behaviors can be eliminated. In doing so, we can increase time spent on academic instruction.

Another strategy was to create a simple way to remind students of how to behave. We developed the idea of “Stripes”. Students can earn their stripes by meeting behavior expectations through being safe, respectful and responsible. If a student is showing their stripes, they can earn a ticket to be placed in a weekly drawing. If their name is chosen, they can choose a variety of awards such as Picnic With the Principal, Treasure Box item, Morning Announcement Helper and many more. All tickets earned go toward a school wide reward such as a movie day, or dance party.

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Emergency Prepardness

In light of recent events, it is important that you are aware of our procedures at Mohawk. The most important thing is to let your child know, school is a safe place to be. We have several measures in place in case of an emergency and prepare our students by doing drills regularly. Our safety drill log is located on our website.

1. Fire Drills are done 5x per year.

2. Tornado Drills are done 2x a year

3. Lockdown Drills are done 3x per year

An emergency blue light system is connected directly to the Macomb County Sheriff Department, emergency buttons to lock doors, safety glass, and walkie talkies are just some examples of what we use to keep students safe.

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Winter Bus Rules

Basic bus rules apply all year long, but now that winter is here we would like to review some that specifically pertain to this time of year.

  • Students should be at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the bus normally arrives. Drivers are not able to wait for tardy students

  • Wait on the sidewalk for the bus to arrive or stay as far back from the roadway as possible. Icy conditions can make it difficult for drivers to stop.

  • Do NOT approach the bus until it has come to a complete stop.

  • Cross in front of the bus ONLY after you receive a signal from the driver. Visibility may be limited due to weather conditions.

  • Students must remain seated at ALL times. They should only leave their seat when the bus comes to a complete stop.

  • Students need to dress appropriately for the weather. Coats, boots, mittens, hats, scarves need to be put on BEFORE entering or leaving the bus. If you forget something, just ask the driver.

Please be patient when waiting for the bus to arrive before and after school. Snow, rain, sleet and other inclement weather will cause traffic delays and the buses may run behind schedule. Student safety is top priority and drivers will use caution when driving in poor conditions. Feel free to contact the office if the bus is more ten minutes late.

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Parking Lot Issues

Morning Arrival

  • Crossing guards are there to help your children out of the vehicle and keep traffic moving. Pull forward as far as you can and have your children exit on the passenger side of the vehicle.

  • If you choose to not utilize the circle drive, park your car and walk your child to the sidewalk or door.

  • Park in designated areas. Handicap spaces are for those who truly need them and have a permit.

Afternoon Dismissal

  • The circle drive is for busses only. The sidewalk from Mohawk to Iroquois (otherwise known as the hill) is an ideal place to pick up your children without exiting your vehicle.

  • If you park in the parking lot along Romeo Plank, exit your vehicle, and greet your child near the playground. All students need to be escorted to a vehicle. DO NOT allow your child to run through the parking lot to you.

  • The small parking lot in front of the school fills up fast, so plan on another spot to meet your child.

  • If your child cannot find you, he/she may get anxious. Talk with your child and plan on the place to meet at the end of the day.

Student safety is always a concern for school staff, but keeping children safe in the parking lot requires everyone’s cooperation.

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Food Service and Meal Benefits

Just a reminder that ALL students enrolled at Chippewa Valley Schools can receive 1 free daily breakfast and 1 free daily lunch at NO CHARGE for the entire school year!

If you need further assistance please contact the Food & Nutrition Office at 586-723-2110.

Lunch Plus and Snacks

If your child wants lunch plus, they will be charged $1.50. First thru fifth graders can also purchase snacks for an additional charge. You can put money on your child's card via the "Send Money to School" app. Please see below for the link.
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Quarantine Reminders

1. ONLY students who are in quarantine due to COVID are allowed to stream into the classroom. Streaming is NOT available to students on vacation or for other illnesses.

2. Parents have 3 options if their child is quarantined:

  • Stay out of school the entire duration of the quarantine (10 days)
  • Stay out of school for most of the quarantine and five days in take a test to return on the 7th day of quarantine.
  • Test daily (the day before), using our service, to attend school the next day. The testing will need to occur daily for seven days.

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Executive Board Members

President-Sara Musayeb

Vice President-Katie Ruszala

Treasurer-Gigi Kort

Room Parent Coordinator-Ashleigh Balsamo

Social Committee Co-Chairs-Katie Fohey & Nicole Milam

Publicity-Courtney Hanna

Historian-Julie Hasse

Kroger Rewards

Calling all parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and friends, Mohawk needs your help! Have you joined Kroger's Community Rewards Program that allows Kroger to make donations to Mohawk? This is a simple and no cost way for you to help Mohawk with your everyday shopping trips. Click the link below to sign up today! Each of the last 3 quarters Mohawk has recieved between $360-370.00 from our community rewards. This quarter can you help us reach $400.00 or more? Thank you to our families that have already signed up and we are excited to reach our goal this quarter with your help!

Santa Shop Ends December 3rd!

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Holiday Staff Luncheon

Mohawk PTO would like to treat our staff to lunch and are asking our Mohawk families to help. If you are able to help please click the link to our sign up genius below.Then, select what you are able to donate. All items need to be dropped off to Mohawk no later than December 14th by the end of the school day. Thank you to all of our families!

Staff Holiday Luncheon

Staff Appreciation Video

This holiday season we would like our staff to know just how important they are to us here at Mohawk. Please follow the link below to submit your child's appreciation picture or video clip. This is a quick and easy way to let our teachers and staff know just how much we care!

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