Ohlone Family Connection
December 4, 2020
I hope that your November break was restful in just the way you needed it to be. While I was unable to spend Thanksgiving in-person with my older son and mother, I still made all of our favorites and brought them dinner via Meals on Wheels. We had pumpkin pie Zoomsert as a way to connect!
I know it is hard to truly feel restful amidst the health crisis and social injustice happening daily. Just last week, we lost another black life, Aidan Ellison, a young teenager in Oregon, to racist violence. It is beyond disheartening.
On a positive note, I have spent the past three days attending the Teachers College Racial Equity Institute, and I have some real gems to bring back to Ohlone. Many of our teachers have attended antiracist workshops and conferences. Site Council is dedicated to our equity work and bringing the conversations and work forward within our parent community. I am looking forward to engaging with you all in the new year soon.
Please read the important information on the new stay at home order. There is also a link to the updated Wednesday Cohort A/B schedule. Changes were made to ensure equity. It will be important for hybrid families to note these dates in their calendars.
Have a nice weekend. I wish you and your families well.
Important Dates Ahead
*Inclusive Schools Week has been postponed to January 25-29
12/7 - Farm Council - 12:00-1:30pm
12/8 - PAUSD Board Meeting - 6:30pm
12/14 - Site Council Meeting - 2:30-4:00pm
12/15 - PTA Executive Board Meeting - 3:15-4:45pm
12/16 - Student Council Meeting - 3:00pm
12/16 - Ohlone Times Meeting - 3:45pm
12/18 - Minimum Day - 1:30pm Dismissal
December 21 - January 6 - Winter Break
New Regional Stay At Home Order
Please read the recent press release regarding the new Regional Stay At Home Order from today, 12/4/20. Guidance related to schools remain in effect and unchanged.
Regional Stay-At-Home Order - California Department of Public Health
Thank you for continuing to make choices for yourself, your family and our community to reduce the spread.
Registration for 2021-22
Registration for the 2021-2022 school year opens on January 4, 2021. Families with children who are not currently enrolled with PAUSD, and want to enroll a child to attend a PAUSD school starting in August 2021, must follow all the instructions at the PAUSD Enrollment web site starting on January 4: www.pausd.org/Enrollment. If you have any questions about if you should enroll your child, please send an email to RegistrationServices@pausd.org.
Affective Factors that Impact Learning
The PAUSD website, Supporting Learning at Home, includes resources that explore the connections between emotions and readiness to learn. Parents and teachers intrinsically know the importance of addressing emotions in order to set the stage for learning. When students feel known and appreciated, they can learn more effectively. This module explores this connection and suggests ways of addressing distance and hybrid learning challenges such as using conversation starters and parent-teacher partnerships. Check out the “Affective Factors that Impact Learning” to learn more.
Ohlone Parents Mental Health Hour - December 10th
We hope this message finds you healthy and in good spirits. With all of the changes and higher demand on our teachers and administrators, we have postponed our first CVC meeting until January. We do miss you, though! So we would like to invite you to an informal get-together over Zoom. A place where we can reconnect and check in about how things are going, a replacement for the sweet and nourishing interactions we used to have with each other during drop-off and pick-up.
We will start with a short mindfulness practice, to help us slow down and tune in, something you might not have had much time to do in the last 10 months. We will then go into break-out rooms to share some of the struggles and triumphs we are all experiencing in our homes.
We hope you can join us for this Ohlone Parents Mental Health Hour on Zoom.
All Students Need Anti-racism Education
A Bit About Readers
What We Know About Growing Readers
- We know that children who read every day grow as readers. The more minutes, the stronger readers they become. Kind of like weight lifting for your brain.
- We know that children need access to books inside and outside of school to increase their reading stamina. This is why we have robust classroom libraries for book shopping and an overflowing school library for weekly book selection and a PTA that funds new books in our school library. Thank You, PTA!
- We know that children need books that they are interested in and want to read if we expect them to read for a sustained amount of time. Children love books in a series (Dogman), books in the same genre (fantasy is popular in 5th grade), graphic novels, (they were called comic books when I was in elementary school), and books by the same author.
- We know that our youngest, emergent readers benefit from being read to by adults or older siblings. Yes, I know you may be tired of reading The Hungry Caterpillar one more time, but you've got to! It makes a difference!
- We know that children acquiring English or any other language benefit from being read to in their home language. Children grow their vocabularies and nuanced understanding as they develop their language acquisition in English through a strong foundation in their first language. So keep reading, and talking in your native language.
Our Commitment to Our Growing Readers
- Children are given time during the school day to practice their reading skills and strategies. They should also be reading outside of school. Thirty minutes, please. Yes, even the kindergarteners. This can be broken up into small chunks and includes being read to or sharing the reading with an adult or older sibling.
- Real books that children can hold and smell are available from classroom teachers and our Teacher Librarian, Grace.
- While I am not a fan of reading online, during these times, it is essential, and we offer a few options for each child. Lexia, RAZ Kids, and Epic. Not familiar with these online reading programs? Talk to your child's teacher or look on your child's Clever page on Rapid Identity.
Your Partnership Matters
- Talk with your child's teacher to find out what you can do at home to promote and support your child's growth as a reader. Do they need more books? Different books? Should they work on their reading fluency or comprehension? Or is reading and talking about what they have read enough?
- Set a timer to help your child build their reading stamina outside of school. Our students are used to reading for 30-minutes a day at school. They can do it at home too.
- Talk with your child about what they have read. What did they learn? What was surprising? How is what they read deepening their thinking? How did the character change? What was the theme of the story?
- Have your child spend 20 minutes on Lexia. I know, it's an online reading program, and I am an old-school lover of real books. AND, Lexia is a researched-based program developed to support children in growing specific reading skills to get them to grade-level benchmarks when accompanied by strong classroom reading instruction. Children only need to spend 20 minutes each day on Lexia. In this case, more is not better.
Stanford's Free Parenting Webinar Series
When: December 11, 12:00-1:00pm
Speakers will discuss the stress associated with homeschooling children during the global pandemic. Effective strategies for creating a homeschooling environment (e.g., consistent schedules, screen time breaks, creating school and play stations) as well as parent management techniques in addressing outbursts associated with school-related stress will be presented. Additionally, speakers will provide an overview of recommended self-care strategies for parents as well as ways in which to provide children with opportunities for socialization.
If you missed the last one, click here for the recording: Is it Stress or a Pediatric Anxiety Disorder?
Other recorded webinars can be accessed here.