Haymarket Happenings

April 2020

A message from Mr. Baldwin

Dear Haymarket Families,

Let me first tell you how much you are missed each and every day. As I continue to speak with our hard working teachers at HMES, we are continuously telling memorable stories that make us smile so we can remember the great things that were happening at Haymarket before this unexpected building closure. Please remember that our buildings are closed, not our education and assistance!

Before I get into where our weekly resources will be located on our website, I want to remind everyone of some of Dr. Walts' important words from his address to the School Board before Spring Break. One of the most important things is that we can't replicate the school day. Nothing can replace the amazing professional work that our teachers did day-in and day-out to educate your children. We have been tasked with providing 60 minutes of review per content area per week (math, reading, writing, science, social studies). All of these activities that are posted are optional as we can't hold students accountable for work done outside of school. No grades will be given either (report card information coming from PWCS in the near future).

After much collaboration and discussion with all our teachers, we have come up with a plan that follows the guidelines that Dr. Walts put forth before break. Our teams will be posting a Choice Board on their grade level team pages on our website.

1. Navigate to our website

2. Hover your mouse over Class Pages near the top

3. Click on your child's grade level team (NOT individual teacher name)

4. On the left side of the team page you will see a link call ___ Grade Resources...click on that

5. You will then see folders with various weeks...click on the link that pertains to the one coming up

6. Look for the Choice Board and click on that for your activities for the week

7. Resources associated with the Choice Board will also be in the weekly folders

The Choice Board and resources for the upcoming week will be posted by the Sunday evening of the coming week. On this document is also information about class meeting times and teacher office hours for additional help on the assignments. There is also a suggested weekly schedule for content as well, though we would defer to you and your family's schedule of when to complete what activities. You will also see sections call ESOL Considerations on the Choice Boards at times. Parents whose students receive ESOL services should contact their child's ESOL teacher for more information on how to support language development beyond what is posted. Special education inclusion teachers will be reaching out to maintain individualized support using grade level materials.

Also on this page under each picture is a link to a PDF that shows what standards your child will be reviewing during this next 9 weeks as well as what skills they did not get to before the closure on March 13th. Please keep in mind that Dr. Walts stated that our teachers' focus will be on reviewing skills that were taught earlier in the year (the green highlights on the document).

Mental health is a big concern to everyone during this time. Our Professional School Counselors and School Social Worker are here to help at any time so please email them directly with questions or concerns. They will also be participating in class meetings and keeping in close touch with teachers about how their students are doing. You can check their web page this week for valuable information and how to get in touch with them.

Mrs. Vaneman - vanemarl@pcs.edu (Grades K-2)

Mrs. Schenck - hudspern@pwcs.edu (Grades 3-5)

Mrs. Plitt - plittar@pwcs.edu

Ms. Mallory - mallorjr@pwcs.edu (School Social Worker)

Knowing that not everyone has access to a computer, we are looking into correspondence learning folders that those without electronic access can pick up at their convenience. This planning takes time and we needed to have our virtual learning/review set up first. Look for more information about this in the coming week or so.

A couple other points:

- no student can be held back due to COVID-19 building closures

- no one is allowed in the building without permission (including Mr. Baldwin!)

- we will continue to follow guidelines from local, state, and federal personnel

- we will not be grading any work that is done after March 13th

- handing in work can be done in a way that works for you and your child's teacher so they can give feedback

- we are highly encouraging everyone to continue to read daily as they would during the school year

We realize that this is a challenging time for everyone. We all have to be kind, patient, and understanding as this is new territory for us educators and also new territory for us parents. Patience is key...patience to allow ourselves to make mistakes...patience to forgive another when they make a mistake...patience as we roll new things out...patience with our own children. Take this time to get strengthen that family bond by creating new memories by getting some fresh air (safely), learning to ride a bike, playing board games together, having a movie night once a week...the possibilities are endless. Know that we are here to help as every single one of cares deeply about you, your child(ren) that you "loan" us each day, and the entire Haymarket ES family.

Lastly, every couple weeks I will be sending out a survey to see how everyone is doing. This is not instructional help, but rather a way to just seeing how everyone is doing in order to keep a pulse on the health of our students and families. This is completely anonymous unless you choose to share information on the form.

Be safe and well,

Mr. Baldwin

Counseling Corner

Please visit our School Counseling webpage for some resources and information to support both you and your children this month.


Included are a few parent articles on coping with stress and talking with children about the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as some read-alouds of books that counselors have used with students.

Disclaimer: While we may provide a specific article or web resource, we cannot vouch for links or ads included on the webpage. We encourage parents to be present with children if they are accessing a story read-aloud video via YouTube.

We also have a special review lesson on our website for your children on our People Problem-Solving Star! With siblings and family together at home, this is a great way to review and practice ways to solve small problems and when to report big problems.

- Mrs. Vaneman, Mrs. Schenck, and Mrs. Plitt

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Video Conferencing

Now that we're all Zoomers, you may have seen reports in the media about Zoom meetings getting hacked by people who then take over the meeting with disruptive and often disturbing behavior.

There have also been reports of uninvited people hacking into a meeting and then sending malicious links in the chat, stealing people’s Windows credentials. Here are some tips we are using from the FBI to prevent “Zoombombing”:

  • Meetings and classrooms will be private. We do this by requiring a meeting password. Additionally, the “Waiting Room” feature can help us control who enters.
  • We will not be sharing Zoom meetings on social media. Instead, we will only send the meeting password directly to attendees via email. Please DO NOT share this information with anyone.
  • Teachers will change screen sharing settings to “Only Host,” so no one but the host can control the screen. The host can also mute participants in their settings.
  • When applicable, teachers will lock a Zoom session that has already begun so no one else can join.
  • Teachers will monitor participants carefully and quickly remove participants by hovering over their name in the Participants menu, and clicking the “Remove” option. The removed participant will not be allowed back in, according to Zoom’s website.
  • Make sure you have the most updated version of Zoom’s software. A recent security update added default passwords and disabled the ability to scan for meetings to join.

Adding a password seems like one of the easiest ways to protect our meetings going forward. When scheduling a meeting, our teachers will ensure the box is checked next to “Require meeting password."

PWCS has deemed this a usable resource and we will continue to monitor our conferencing rooms.

Other tips for you as parents:

  1. Be around and within earshot of the video conference. It is for the students, but you should be around to help with technology stuff as well.
  2. Participate behind the scenes if you child needs some help.
  3. Ensure you limit background noise so the focus can be on the students and teacher.
  4. Students should be in a common location such as the living room, kitchen, etc. Bedrooms are NOT permissible areas to video conference from. If a student is in a location that is not deemed "common" to adults, your child's teacher will ask student to move to another location to see/hear their parents.
  5. Consider background when preparing your child for a video conference call.
  6. This is not a time to do a house tour. Students should be in one location throughout the call unless directed differently by his/her teacher.

Help With Tech

Our technology page, Technology@HMES, is a link that has a ton of information for parents and students alike. There is troubleshooting directions as well as a form to complete if you have having a specific issues. Follow THIS LINK to get to the page.
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Care for our Caregivers: Tips for Families and Educators

From the National Association of School Psychologists:

Parents, teachers, and other caregivers play a critical role in helping children cope with crises, often ignoring their own needs in the process. However, caregivers must take good care of themselves so they are able to take good care of the children in their charge.

  1. A natural instinct for parents and other caregiving adults is to put their personal needs aside in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the children in their care. It is extremely important, though, for caregivers to monitor their own reactions and take care of their own needs, because failure to do so can result in stress and burnout. This is particularly true for crisis situations in which normal support systems and routines have been severely disrupted and for which recovery will take a long time.
  2. Burnout interferes with one’s ability to provide crisis support and intervention assistance. This can be true in the aftermath of an immediate crisis like a natural disaster or terrorist attack as well as during extended periods of stress and anxiety like war.
  3. In addition to burnout, caregivers also may experience secondary trauma or stress that results from learning about another’s traumatic experience and/or helping someone who has been directly affected by such tragedy.
  4. While any caregiver may exhibit signs and symptoms of stress and secondary trauma, caregivers who have their own histories of prior psychological trauma, loss and grief, mental illness (including substance abuse), or who lack social and family resources will be more vulnerable to these issues.
  5. Some reactions are commonly experienced by caregivers after a crisis; however, others may warrant professional support or monitoring. These include:
    1. Cognitive reactions such as an inability to stop thinking about the crisis, loss of objectivity, an inability to make decisions, and/or express oneself verbally or in writing.
    2. Physical reactions such as chronic fatigue and exhaustion, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and other aches and pains, loss of appetite, or difficulty sleeping.
    3. Emotional reactions such as excessive worry or anxiety, numbing, irritability, anger or rage, distressing thoughts or dreams, and/or suicidal thoughts and/or severe depression.
    4. Behavioral/Social reactions such as alcohol and substance abuse, withdrawal from contact with loved ones, or an inability to complete or return to normal job responsibilities.
  6. All caregivers need to consider the following suggestions to prevent burnout:
    1. Physical self-care: Maintain healthy eating habits and drink plenty of water; limit the use of alcohol or other substances; get adequate sleep.
    2. Emotional Self-care: Know your limitations; recognize that your reactions are normal and occur frequently among caregivers, including many well-trained crisis professionals.
    3. Social care and connection: Maintain normal daily routines; connect with trusted friends or family; connect with systemic supports such as your faith and school communities; process or debrief the events at the end of each day with other caregivers or colleagues. This is especially important for crisis responders.
    4. Adequate support resources: Acknowledge that you and your family may need additional help. Access crisis support resources provided by community and volunteer services, including social–emotional and mental health supports.
    5. Systems/Procedural Care: Advocate for and set limits on the number of consecutive responses; promote policies that allow for crisis responders to step away from a response if the crisis hits too close to home; ensure that crisis team leaders establish a supportive atmosphere of self-care.
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Amazon Smile

If you are like me, you have been ordering online more than ever! Please consider using Amazon Smile and marking our PTO as the beneficiary...start by searching Amazon Smile and following the online ordering instructions.

Yearbook Update

Our PTO partnered with us to help this year...big task!

We can tell them that we will have yearbooks this year and that more information is coming soon. We’re working on gather all the pictures and getting the individuals from the photography company, which their warehouse was closed for few weeks and now working with a limited staff.

Kindergarten Registration

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, there will be no in school Kindergarten registration. Online registration is now available to enroll children in kindergarten. Children who will be five years old on or before September 30, 2020, are eligible to enroll in kindergarten in Prince William County Public Schools for the 2020-21 school year. Parents may use the Find Your School site to locate the school their child will attend.

Please note: parents whose students are currently enrolled in any PWCS preschool program (preschool or special education) do not need to complete the online kindergarten registration process. Instead, once schools re-open, they should contact the registrar for the school where their student will attend for kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year.

If you are able, please upload all your documents in the system. All registrations are on hold until all documents are received. There is not waiting list for registration!

Here is the link to register your Kindergartener for next year!


PTO Meeting

Tuesday, May 19th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Virtual Meeting... board positions and to let everyone know PTO has no other info than what is being put out by the county.