Crestwood Comments

November 2020

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Dear Families, Staff, Students, and Community Members

I hope everyone is having a healthy autumn season. I appreciate everyone's effort in taking the appropriate measures to keep our students and staff safe. This effort will be even more critical as we move to family gatherings and other activities indoors. Our goal is to keep our students in our school buildings, healthy and engaged in learning. To do this, we need all your help.


Back up. Mask up. Wash up.


When children and adults follow these small steps, it can make a big

difference in preventing the spread of COVID19. What happens outside of the classroom impacts whether we can be together in the classroom.


As the pandemic spreads throughout the state, Portage County is currently at the Red level relative to the Public Health Advisory System. If the county and the community spread results in raising the county to the Purple status on the health advisory level, we will transition to at-home remote learning. The students will access their assignments through their Chromebooks and Google classrooms at home. Our teachers will provide assistance and instruction through these means. This transition to remote learning is necessary to keep our students and staff safe. Please begin to prepare and arrange for child care if this indeed happens. Other factors that may even cause this transition to remote learning would be the inability to operate the school district due to lack of staff attendance due to these employees' isolation or quarantine.


Finally, relative to extracurricular activities, if Portage County is Purple on the advisory system, we will not be conducting these activities during this time. These activities will be postponed until further notice. Also, we will not be scheduling any teams located in a county designated Purple on the advisory system.


As always, we need to be flexible with these plans. There may be adjustments after consultation with the Portage County Health District. Ultimately we believe our students are better off in school and not learning remotely. Nevertheless, we have to be concerned about their safety and our staff regarding this pandemic.




Thank you,


David Toth

Superintendent

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Covid Mental Health Tips for Teens

Mental health issues are a growing concern for today’s teens. During the pandemic, the problem is worse. Many are struggling with more significant mental health effects because of this “new normal.” Disrupted routines, uncertainty, worry about world events, separation from friends and peers, and second-hand stress from parents and adults around them compound their stress levels.


In a national survey of more than 1,500 teens, seven out of 10 teens said they are experiencing mental health effects from the pandemic. This survey was completed in May; the results are likely more significant after several more coronavirus uncertainty months. Findings, published in Huffpost.com, include:

  • More than half said they’d experienced anxiety.
  • 45% said they’d felt excess stress.
  • 43% identified that they’d struggled with depression.

For some context, roughly 12% of American teens meet diagnostic criteria for depression, and approximately 30% generally meet the criteria for having an anxiety disorder by the time they are 18. However, that data is by no means identical.


“It is clear to us, based on the survey findings, that COVID-19 has had a measurable adverse impact on teens’ mental health,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of 4-H. “For example, 61% of teens said that COVID-19 pandemic had increased their feelings of loneliness.”

https://bit.ly/2Gkonrp


Mental health tips for teens


This is a tough time for everyone, but teens and younger kids may be grieving the loss of regular activities, milestones, and friends/support groups. And they do not have highly developed coping skills to help them through these feelings.


Mental health professionals have published teen-specific mental health tips for teens who may negatively impact the current environment. These tips, from UNICEF, include strategies for a new (temporary) normal. https://uni.cf/2Gvgtv0


1. Recognize that your anxiety is completely normal

Your feelings are also a “new normal” for you. If school closures and alarming headlines make you feel anxious, you are not the only one, and your stress is normal. Stress can actually be productive by creating greater awareness of the situation to help shape decisions.


Remember that communication is essential. If you have symptoms, speak to your parents, and seek medical guidance. Do some research about the virus, but be sure the sources are reliable. Follow standard health advice on hand-washing, social distancing, and masks.


2. Create distractions

According to psychologists, a helpful response is to divide a difficult problem into two categories: things you can do something about and things you can do nothing about. Create a sense of empowerment by identifying tasks that may help improve things and things you are powerless to change. It can be very freeing to let go of the worry that you have no responsibility for and no ability to change. After you have dissected the source of your stress, it may help to engage in a distracting activity, such as homework, reading, or watching a favorite movie.


3. Find new ways to connect with your friends

Your friends are essential. During social distancing, social media can help fill the connection gap. Find ways to group chat, video conference, and spend virtual time together. While it doesn’t replace in-person socializing, it can be a good substitute if you observe healthy limits. Too much social media can add to anxiety.


4. Focus on you

A positive of the pandemic is the extra time you have to focus on learning something new. Take this opportunity to explore new interests. Learn an instrument, practice painting, read more books, or start to code. You may already have projects, or you can find an online tutorial for almost any new skill. Focusing on yourself and finding ways to use your time is a productive way to look after your mental health.


5. Feel your feelings

Missing out on activities with friends, school events, or sports matches is disappointing. Experts say the best way to deal with this disappointment is to let yourself feel it. If you’re sad, let yourself feel sad. It is not comfortable, but it isn’t fatal either. Try to observe your emotions so that you can understand and process them. There is no right way. Do whatever feels right to you.


6. Be kind to yourself and others

Remember that we are all in the same boat. We share this experience and try to navigate life changes, uncertainty, and fear or worry. It is helpful to remember that others need the same compassion and empathy that we need. Treat others with kindness and do what you can to stand up to bullying behavior toward others.


Online classrooms may offer new ways for some kids to be targets of the bullies. In new school online programs, classroom management is still a work in progress. If teachers don’t catch some of the hurtful comments during class, be a bystander against bullying. Kids who are being bullied need other kids to stand up for them. If you know a friend is being bullied, offer support. You can make a difference.

The District's 5 Year Financial Forecast

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5 Year Financial Forecast Presentation/Information

As a result of the unsuccessful ballot issue this November and the district's 5-year financial forecast, if the school district does not receive any additional revenue, a reduction to the budget will need to be made for the 2021/22 school year. These budget reductions will be between 500 to 700 hundred thousand dollars and will include staff reductions as well as other services provided to our students.
CPS Veterans Salute 2020
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Socktober


Mrs. Leahy coordinated our Socktober Sock Drive at CPS. Our goal was to collect 500 socks for The Haven of Portage County. We were able to collect 635 socks to donate! Mrs. Leahy and Miss Smith are working on our KWM (kids Weekend Meals) Food Drive in November and our Giving Tree in December.


#smallactsofkindness
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Free School Meals!

You may already know, but we wanted to send out a reminder that Crestwood Local Schools have been approved to offer FREE MEALS TO ALL KIDS (AGE 18 & YOUNGER) for the REMAINDER of the school year!!


Who can get free meals?


Whether they are doing in-person learning at school or virtual/remote learning at home, any student can get free meals. Free meals are also available to children 18 years & younger who are not enrolled in our school district. This includes younger children who are not in school yet, younger siblings, children enrolled in other districts and homeschooled children.


Where are the free meals available?


There are three ways our children can access meals~

  1. Attending school (K-12th). Students attending CPS, CIS, CMS, or CHS are offered one free breakfast and one free lunch daily.

  2. NOVA/On-Line- Please contact Mrs. Herbold at 330-357-8202 ext. 4015 to sign-up. Once you are registered, you will pick up 5 days worth of breakfast and lunch once per week, unless it is a shortened school week. Children do not have to be present for meal pick-up.

  3. Community kiddos NOT enrolled at Crestwood/NOVA- Please contact Mrs. Herbold at 330-357-8202 ext. 4015 to sign-up. Once you are registered, you will pick up 5 days worth of breakfast and lunch once per week, unless it is a shortened school week. Children do not have to be present for meal pick-up.


Why have things kept changing?


Our nutrition program has to follow certain rules set at the national level by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). We have made changes based on what is allowed by the USDA to serve our entire community best.


How can I learn more?


If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Bujak-Hirsch, Nutrition Services Director, at 330-357-8206 ext. 5004.



Sincerely,



Mrs. Bujak-Hirsch


~This institution is an equal opportunity provider~

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Lunch was an all-American feast of deli sandwiches, chips, apples, carrots, and a special Election Day treat!!

Middle School Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held virtually on November 19th and 23rd from 4:00 to 7:30. The last day of the first trimester is Tuesday, November 24th. Teachers have been directed to start reaching out to parents they’d like to meet with in order to schedule a conference and discuss ways to assist students to reach success.


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Student of the Month Luncheon

CMS celebrates its students who exemplify the care for school, self, and others' motto. On Friday, November 11th CMS hosted a student of the month luncheon. Each grade level as well as the elective teachers nominate a student for the award. Also, one student in the online NOVA program is also nominated. As a small token of appreciation, the students are treated to pizza for lunch. As you would expect from this group of students, the lunch is a “WORKING” lunch with students answering questions related to various activities they enjoy in their free time. Students in our NOVA program also participated in the luncheon by joining the group in a virtual session.

CHS Students of the Month!


September Students of the Month



9th grade - Aspen Baynes



10th grade - Harmony Rezabek



11th grade - Marckayla Hackney



12th grade female - Anastasia White



12th grade male - Austin Campbell




September Athletes of the Month



Elaine Guyette for Cross Country



Johnny Peters for Cross Country





October Students of the Month



9th grade - Charlie Schweickert



10th grade - Bryce Papp



11th grade - Adelaine Oliphant



12th grade female - Autumn Sindelar



12th grade male - Payton McMahon




October Athletes of the Month



Louis Blasiole for Football



Ava Mory for Soccer



Maddie McBride for Cheer

COVID Can’t Stop Annual Community Clean-Up

Although COVID has changed a lot about the way our schools are operating this year, students who are looking for ways to serve their community could not be stopped by a pandemic. For over a decade, Crestwood High School students have annually worked alongside members of the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation (DMRC) to spruce up parts of the downtown area and Buchert Memorial Park. Each year, students who participate in various service-oriented classes and clubs volunteer part of their day to give back to their community. And while things may have looked a little different in 2020, this year was no exception in terms of students giving back.


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Kindergarten

Kindergarten has had an exciting month! We decorated a family leaf with our families filled with pictures of our loved ones to present to our classmates. During our Fall Festival Parties, we played a game, made a craft, ate yummy treats, and completed fun ELA and math activities to go along with our special day. This month, we also went on a virtual field trip to Guyette's Farm and learned a lot of facts about their farm and pumpkins. We visited the "Pumpkin Patch" in front of CPS (courtesy of the Guyettes) and each child was able to pick their own pumpkin and decorate it!

Student Principal Advisory at CIS

We are starting a Student/Principal Advisory Committee this year to add the student voice aspect of our school in some activities and decisions here at school. This PBIS initiative will have approximately twenty students who will represent the diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences of students in the school. Students will be selected via an open application process based on character, the rationale for joining the committee, commitment to serve, and the unique perspective he or she brings to the committee. This committee will have a direct role in improving Crestwood Intermediate School for all students and the committee members will Gain important leadership, public speaking, decision-making, and team-building skills.
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