Penngrove Press

January 23, 2019

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Penngrove families, my heart is heavy with some of the conversations I've been having with students lately. Please forgive me if this message doesn't apply to you, but…the amount of unsupervised time many of our students are spending on devices is excessive. I don't mean to send you in a panic, I don't want to overstep, and I'm certainly NOT judging anyone. For those of you who know me, you already know that I do ALL the things I said I'd never do before I had a child of my own. :) I get it.

However, I need you to know that 7 year olds are telling me they are spending time on apps that are designed for 16 year olds. I'm feeling alarmed and I am asking you to join me. The content some of our students are being exposed to is absolutely not designed for students their age. In recent studies, psychologists have explained how the brain continues developing through childhood, adolescence, and well into early adulthood. The brains of elementary age students are not capable of processing content designed for teenagers or adults. Even if you think your child is just chatting with their friends on Snapchat or Instagram, they still have access to tons of "stories" and video content with all the things you'd find in a Rated X movie. The scary part is you don't even have to go far to find such content. It pops up right on the home screen.

This afternoon I met with about 8 teachers and we talked about some of the apps that currently scare us the most. I asked the room if anyone had heard of the latest popular app called Tik Tok (once No one had. Tik Tok is designed for 16 year olds and yet our students are talking about it. You can read more about Tik Tok on Common Sense Media.

What can you do? Limit screen time. Make sure you can physically see screens at all times. Look through the pictures on the camera roll, including the folder "recently deleted". Ask your child to show you how their favorite apps work. If your son has Snapchat (which is an app designed for 16+), you should also be using it so you know how it works and what to look for. If your daughter is playing Fortnite with friends, ask to listen in on her headphones for a moment.

Recently, Mrs. Tracy shared an article her families recently titled, "5 Media Resolutions Every Family Should Make in 2019." Although the WHOLE article is worth a read, I loved this resolution the most:

Help your kid learn to manage themselves. Two things make it really hard for kids to get off their devices. First, they're not great at self-regulating yet. And second, games, apps, social media, and even streaming services are all designed to keep them hooked as long as possible. The path to independently managing their time is going to be rocky. But ultimately your goalis to help them find the right balance. Use tech such as screen-time settings and parental controls as tools to help your kids gain the skills they need to draw limits. (Sometimes you may need a blunt-force tool such as turning off the internet.) If they prove they're good at sticking to limits, ease off a bit. If they falter, keep your eyes on the prize. With your support, encouragement, and guidance, they'll get there.

Again, please please please know that I'm coming from a place of love, concern, and a real burden to support you all as you educate yourselves about the realities of our world. Let's keep these precious little ones little for as long as we can, shall we?


What's Happening at Penngrove?


Thanks to everyone who came out! We are so grateful to be a part of the 2018 National PTA STEM + Families Fun Night Grant Sponsored by Mathnasium!

Do you use Verizon?

Sorry to say but you will no longer receive Remind text messages beginning on January 28th. Educators and parents around the country are begging Verizon to #ReverseTheFee. There IS a work around, but you'll need to read this FAQ for more details. Please remember that Remind is a very important form of communication at Penngrove. Please stay connected!…/360002396740-Service-disruption-f…
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Schoolwide Acceptance & Inclusion Assembly

This Tuesday, 1/29!

This special assembly will be led by Jessica and Larkin, mothers of two exceptional children who happen to have Down Syndrome. Read more about them in this March 2018 article from The Press Democrat. The duo will read a book and talk about the many differences and similarities kids can have. Students will participate in activities to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to have a disability. All students will receive an informational packet about what they learned during the assembly and activities.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the activities. The sign-up sheet is located here. Parents are encouraged to join us for the assembly to learn from these two amazing mothers!

Pancakes and pajamas on World Read aloud Day!

February 1st is World Read Aloud Day.

This year, we're adding some coziness by bringing back Pancakes and Pajamas as part of this special school day!

Parent Volunteers are needed for this event.

Please sign up to help here. Thank you!


Did you know we have already started ACCEPTING families for the 2019-20 school year? New to our district this year is a platform called SchoolMint to help streamline the enrollment process. If you have an incoming kindergartner (must turn 5 BEFORE Sept. 1) or an incoming TK student (must turn 5 between September 2 and January 15), we need you to pick up an enrollment packet in the office ASAP! Classes are filling up! We have over 100 families who have expressed interest in our TK/K program. Thanks in advance for connecting with Yesenia ASAP! Her email is:

Lego Contest is Ongoing!

3 Divisions:

Kindergarten and 1st Grade (ended January 18)

2nd and 3rd Grades (Last call for entries! 1/22- 1/25)

4th, 5th, and 6th Grades (1/28-2/1)

How to enter: Pick up an entry sheet in the main office to enter. List your name and your teacher's name so we can be sure to get your Legos back to you.


Create any Lego sculpture/ figure using 150 lego pieces or less.

We will not use Lego baseplates this year to save space.

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Penngrove Talent Show: Sunday, April 7th, 3pm at the Petaluma Vets Building!

Get your ACT together! Please sign up to enter your act here.

If you want to help with the talent show, please email

Thank you!

Can you spare an hour a week to help a child?


There are currently 11 lovely, kind and amazing Penngrove students on the waitlist. That means 11 children are just waiting to meet their Mentor. Did you know it only takes one hour a week to become a Mentor? Just one hour a week to make a big difference in a child's life! Please take a moment and talk to a neighbor or a friend or a grandparent who has an extra hour a week and encourage them to become a Mentor. If you have any questions or thoughts feel free to contact Sarah Keiser 707-332-5969 Thank you!

Parents, it’s that time of year to step up and get involved!

Elections are coming up for the FOPPTA Executive Board!

Serving on the board is an amazing experience. You get to work with a wonderful group of parents, make decisions that truly affect Penngrove and your kids, all while learning the inner workings of a national nonprofit organization. Following is the election schedule:

February 25th - nominations close

March 4th - Nominating Committee reports to the association

(3/4 is an added meeting, not on your magnet!).

April 8th - Elections will be held at our association meeting

If you or someone you know seems right for the job please send your interest or recommendation to

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What’s on your mind?

Please email your questions, comments, ideas, sonnets: