Newsletter for Galesville and Ettrick families
Hello all and Happy New Year!
If you're anything like me, your resolutions may not be starting off as planned. I don't really like eating breakfast, so I decided I was going to start my days with a healthy smoothie. Well, I got to work and opened said smoothie only to have it spill all over my pants, shoes and the floor of my office - like I told the staff...that's what I get for eating healthy...a donut would have never spilled like that!!!
Despite the fact that I might go back to just skipping breakfast, I do feel like the change in the calendar brings about a sense of renewal. I can't say that I've done anything earth shattering in 2018, or will in 2019, but I try to remember - and I hope I do a good job of instilling this in staff and students - that the past is in the past, and you can only do your best moving forward. Today and tomorrow can always be better than yesterday!
I hope you and your families had an opportunity to relax and unwind a little over the past week (or at the least, I hope that you get that chance now that the kids are back in school!) and I look forward to an amazing new year together!
A Reminder About Safety - ALICE Response
As you know, schools do drills for various purposes throughout the year. For example, we run a fire drill every month to ensure that our safety notification alarms and procedures are functioning and would work appropriately in the event of a real fire.
While we certainly hope that all of the events that we drill for are highly unlikely, one event that is particularly difficult to talk about and drill for is the presence of an unsafe person in our school. A lot has changed in the world in the past twenty years or so, and with that has come a new understanding of what keeps students the safest in the event of an armed intruder.
Gone are the days when best practice is staying put in a darkened room. Unfortunately, there have been enough school intruder events in our country and around the world that there is now research on the subject. That research points to the fact that students and staff are safest when staff are allowed to make a logical informed decision in a moment of crisis. It may be true that in a specific scenario the safest thing to do would be to stay put, but it may also be true in certain scenarios that the safest measure may be to barricade a classroom door, exit the building and proceed to a rally point, or even create a distraction.
Because of the variety of responses that are shown to be effective, we believe it is important first and foremost that staff and students understand these different options, as well as the importance of following adult instructions in the case of a crisis. You may have read in our District newsletter about ALICE (A=Alert, L=Lockdown, I=Inform, C=Counter, E=Evacuate). The words that make up the letters of ALICE represent the idea that there are many ways to respond to a situation, and it is important that the adults involved in an event make an informed decision as to what is best for their group at any given time.
Throughout this school year and going forward into the future, our school district will be working through a variety of responses with staff and students. The focus of our drills, as with every drill, is safety and they are not meant to, nor do we intend to conduct them in such a way to, scare students. Rather, our purpose will be practicing following adult instructions, just like we do with a fire or weather drill.
We encourage you to talk with your child about things they could do if they ever felt unsafe. Your guidance as a parent is invaluable and will be the first thing a child remembers if they were ever in the unlikely event of a real crisis!
Thank you for your continued support of our school, and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns!
5 Tricks for Making Rules Stick!
1: Focus on what's most important
Try to stick with limits and rules related to health, safety and respect for others. For example, be firm about bedtimes, wearing a bike helmet and being kind to friends. But consider letting it go if your child wants to eat carrots for breakfast instead of toast or wear and outfit that doesn't match.
2: Keep it simple
Keep rules and explanations short and sweet. For example, say, "You need to brush your teeth to keep them healthy" instead of "...to avoid getting cavities, which can hurt, cause bad breath and infections, be expensive to fix and..." After a few times, drop the explanations when giving reminders. For example, just say "Teeth!" to remind your child to brush before bed.
3: Give your child a say
Just like adults, children tend to cooperate more when they feel like they have some control over things. To get your child on board with rules and consequences, let him or her help choose some of them. For example, you could have your child pick a chore all on his or her own, or offer two options to pick from (such as setting the table or feeding the dog).
4: Let consequences happen naturally and logically when safe
Natural consequences are one of the best ways to teach responsibility and improve decision making. However, do not use natural consequences when your child's health or safety is at risk. Some examples might include taking away the internet or electronics if guidelines aren't being followed, or allowing a meal to go cold if a child is taking too long to come to dinner.
A Moment of Kindness
Important January Events
- Jan. 17 - End of 1st Semester
- Jan. 18 - NO SCHOOL (Teacher Inservice)
- Jan. 25 - Ettrick Field Trip to Whitetail Ridge