Lighthouse School Newsletter

November 11, 2020

See translation information below / Consulte la información de traducción a continuación.

Mr. B's Corner

Lighthouse Community,

Lighthouse Facilitators have come to anticipate the middle of November as the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) host their annual conference. I have had the privilege to attend multiple times and have loved sharing this opportunity with Lighthouse Facilitators. This year, unfortunately, we will not be attending, but it is nostalgic to reminisce on last year’s conference. Last year, Minneapolis hosted this event and we had the great fortune to meet and learn both from distinguished research luminaries in the field and from “boots-on-the-ground” practitioners. Both perspectives added to the experiences we offer your children as we digest our learning and add it into our community practice.

Although there was much to learn, my favorite moment was listening to Dr. James Delisle read one of his poems, “Don’t Mention the ‘G’ Word (Shhh!).” Dr. Delisle is both an unapologetic advocate for gifted children’s rights and one of the kindest practitioners working with gifted children. Although some worry that his approach is elitist, he started his career as a Special Education teacher. He sees Gifted Education as akin to Special Education. Both educational paradigms seek to meet the needs of unique populations that are, traditionally, not appropriately served. Please enjoy his poem!

Don’t Mention the “G” Word (Shhh!)-This poem is dedicated to Dr. Seuss.

-Jim Delisle

This poem originally appeared in the 2001, Spring edition of “Understanding Our Gifted.”

It used to be, when folks were bold

And words weren’t minced, and truth was told,

That people spoke a common tongue

They used a term we all once heard,

Simply put, the big “g” word.

But now….shhh! can’t say ”gifted,”

For if you do, you will have drifted

To a place of ill repute

Where malcontented folks refute

There’s such a thing as a higher state

Of mind, of heart, of depth or rate

Of thinking, feeling, knowing, being,

Sensing, asking, crying, seeing.

These “g” word critics have lost their balance.

They think that “gifted” equates with “talents.”

And the “g” word (shhh!) is just taboo.

Away! Away! They say to gifts

Thinking this denial lifts

All children to a common place

Where people do not have to face

The truth, that some have deeper thoughts

Than others, not by plans or plots,

To use their wits and thus, have gained

A higher ground of greater knowing,

A deeper depth, a profound showing

Of empathy, knowledge, wisdom, wit

That “g” word (shhh!), it still doth fit

These children, who’ve become a part

Of a world that’s known right from the start

That some are gifted, in both mind and heart.

Sadly, though, too few take heed,

They spout “All children can succeed!”

“…Yes, that is true!” in haste I add

But when did it become so bad

To use the “g” word to define

Those able few whose intact minds

Race forward, faster, ever strong,

‘Tis not a question of right or wrong,

Or better than, or me ‘gainst you.

”But I know that the gifted, too,

Have special needs” we must now say

For if we don’t, they’ll go away

To a place where “gifted” equates with “bad.”

It’s way too wrong, and downright sad.

For when all are treated just the same

In this “multiple talents” or “inclusion” game

Then no one need be tagged or labeled,

That “g” word (shhh!), it can be tabled,

Pushed far into the deep, dark past,

That “g” word (shhh!) might breathe its last.

(Some may be happy, I’m aghast!)

For the gifted (shhh!) have always been

They always shall, for it’s no sin

To be smarter than some, more able than most.

My dream? To someday serve as host

Of a feast where famous athletes talk

Of that new sensation, the “knowledge jock,”

And swim for miles in big, deep pools

Of learning, hoping that others see

That knowledge jocks. Yes, they deserve to be

Applauded and cheered, as their minds are set free.

And if it should happen that this day should come,

I’ll lead a parade with a big, bold bass drum

With a rat-a-tat loudness that gives out a cheer

That the gifted are with us, they‘ve always been here.

They won’t go away, never will, never can,

So let us just hope that each woman and man

Will embrace the idea “It’s OK to be smart.”

And my idea of a good place to start?

Let’s deliver the “g” word from persona non grata

And make it a good term, for it truly does matter

That the “Shhhing” end soon, so our children can know

That it’s OK to be gifted; it’s OK to grow.

We celebrate, as we should, athletic abilities, but for some reason, society treats giftedness as elitist. Being a gifted kid should not be hidden. It is who our kids are and we need to embrace giftedness as part of identity rather than hide it or explain it away.

As always, thanks for entrusting your child(ren) to Lighthouse School for Gifted and Insatiable Learners,


Thank you to our Veterans

We had the opportunity to hear from two of our very own SLP Veterans. Thank you to all Veterans who have served our country.

Thank you to our Veterans
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Experiences from distance learning

There are 1,973 Spring Lake Park Schools students at all grade levels who have been learning in the SLP Extended Flexible Learning (distance learning) model this fall. There are more live interactions, creative ways to engage students and more and more personalized feedback.

With virtual lockers, rainbow and beach-themed backgrounds, an algebra version of the popular game "Code Names" . . . teachers are going the distance to keep learners learning from home. Teachers, students and families are sharing their experiences with a learning model that’s come a long way from the spring. Read the full story.

COVID-19 dashboard available on the website

Spring Lake Park Schools is working with our regional support team – including public health experts from Anoka County and Minnesota Department of Health – to understand county infection rates and trends, rates within the district zip codes and impacts to our local schools. A dashboard is now available that shows county 14-day numbers, daily county infection rates and key data points from our school district. This dashboard will be updated each Friday going forward. See the dashboard. This will be updated on the 2020-2021 School Year page on the district website.

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Learning Model Transition Requests: Grades 1-6

At this time we are asking our families if they would like to transition into a different base model for second trimester with the knowledge that Learning Models may change based upon the Minnesota Department of Health’s 14 Day Covid-19 Case Rate by County guidance.

Currently, families are able to choose:

  • Modified Campus Learning Model
    • 2 Days at School, 3 Days at Home
  • Extended Flexible Learning
    • All Learning from Home

Please contact Ms. Dougherty by November 15 if you would like to switch your current model:

Those families who do not contact Ms. Dougherty will remain in their current model. We'll review requests against current staffing plans and communicate with requesting families the week of November 30 for any transitions to begin at the start of the second trimester on December 8.

COVID-19 Case Data Increasing in Anoka County

We continue to monitor increasing case rates in the county through the weekly report we receive from the Minnesota Department of Health and through daily county case numbers. We want all of our families to know that it is our intent to remain in our current learning model for grades K-6 for as long as possible and prioritize learning at school.

  • We will continue working with our regional support team, which includes public health experts, to thoughtfully consider county, district, and school data/trends available and make sound decisions for health, safety, and learning for students, families, and staff.
  • We know any transition is disruptive to families.
  • We want you to have insight to what we are seeing and be informed should the public health situation necessitate a change in the future.
  • We’ll have more information as we have updated data in the coming days.

Class of 2021 – Order your cap and gown by December 31

Our official partner for graduation, Herff Jones, gives families a wide selection of unique and custom graduation items including caps and gowns, graduation announcements, senior jewelry, frames, senior gear and more. Cap and Gowns must be ordered by December 31, 2020 to ensure proper sizing and availability. For information about how to place your order and to view full product offerings, visit the graduation page of the website.

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3-D Pen Projects

Thanks much to the Lugo family for donating a 3-D Pen to Lighthouse School. This year, students have really enjoyed using this tool for a myriad of projects. 4th Grader, Evelynn Sobolewski, used the 3-D pen to produce awesome texture when she created a portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
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Mark your calendar: EFL Picture day is coming!

Due to a scheduling error Lifetouch has moved the EFL Picture day to November 18th.

Mark your calendars for LifeTouch student pictures to be taken at school:

  • Wednesday, November 18 – Students in Extended Flexible Learning (distance learning), students that were absent during the October picture dates, and PSEO students.
  • Please call Donna Dougherty at 763-600-5200 or 763-600-5258 to schedule a photo time between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
  • Only Lighthouse students having their photo taken will be allowed in the building.
  • Students must wear a face mask to enter the building. Face masks will not be worn during the photo session.
  • Students must use hand sanitizer upon entering school.
  • Students must maintain physical distancing (6 ft. +) while in school.
  • Students sick or exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 may not come to Picture Day.
    • New onset cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever of 100 degrees without fever reducing medication
    • Chills
    • Muscle pain or body aches
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste and smell
    • Diarrhea
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Headache

Ordering Lifetouch School Pictures (November 18 Picture Day)

Lifetouch pictures can be ordered up to 48 hours after picture day on the Lifetouch website.

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Community Education Youth Take-Home Kits

Take-home art and science activities are available for pick-up on Wednesdays and will keep your child's mind active and creative! Visit the website to view full details and sign up or call Community Education at 763-600-5050. Different offerings for these take-home activities include make a fleece tie blanket, build a birdhouse, sun catcher, wooden treasure box and NEW Science Activities such as STEM science explorers.
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In case you missed important information from last week's newsletter, check out the topics below and click to learn more.

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