News from New Haven
Posts from the Principal / September 2021
That being said, I work very hard to focus on our students' needs, and keep my personal opinions and views from skewing the work that is before me, after all that is what all educators should do. To say that it is getting more difficult these days is an understatement. I've been in education for over 21 years, and have been in administration for 11 of those years. I love being an educator and mostly importantly serving our kids and leading our staff, but, full transparency there are so many other things that force my work in other directions, and respectful interactions are at an all time low.
There have been many assumptions about where my staff and I stand on mandates, political views, etc. We have been screamed at, cursed at, hung up on, and accused of horrible things. We are at school to educate and provide opportunities for our students, yet it is assumed by some that we maliciously show up everyday to ... (fill in the blank here). We HAVE to find a way to get back to a more respectful and civil way of communicating.
I have been reserved about the chaos that surrounds us these days, but I recently came across a letter that Superintendent, Nick Carter (Breckinridge County) wrote to his community and I believe it could not have summed up my thoughts and feelings any better. I have included the original letter below (please forgive the quality- it is available on-line) I have taken excerpts from his letter below to share my stance, but wanted to give him full credit he is owed.
..."I have watched so much change in our nation about how we as a society communicate. Civil discourse, agreeing to respectfully disagree, and kindness have slowly faded away and are becoming a thing of the past. Unfortunately, social media has become the preferred method of expressing anger, resentment, or disappointment. For far too long, I have held back my feelings publicly about the use of social media platforms for the purpose of sowing hate, resentment, and creating a firestorm on individuals working in the public" ... "Recent actions on social media have caused me to watch wonderful and caring people working with our children to be judged and treated without kindness, compassion, or respect."
"I realize our nation, state, and local community is very divided on political, social, and pandemic issues. Former President George W. Bush spoke to this at a 9/11 memorial ceremony ... saying "malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument and every argument into a clash of cultures." Differences of opinion will exist among us until the end of time. Facebook and other social media outlets are not the best way to solve differences or disappointments anywhere, but especially within our school district."
I can promise you that there is not 1 person at New Haven that went into education to harm students. We work very hard to not only educate but truly KNOW everyone of our children. This is one of many things that New Haven is known for, our culture and character. We care about every part of our kids, and dedicate time and energy far beyond the school day to ensure they are receiving a well rounded experience. We are open to communication, feedback, and building a strong school and home relationship, but we will not listen or engage in disrespectful behavior.
We are definitely not a perfect system. We are human, and we will make mistakes. We will own those mistakes and we will work to rectify them. We won't always agree, and that is ok. However, while I am at New Haven, we will always focus on our students first. I will communicate regularly with you and be as transparent as possible. I will run a system where the safety and needs of our collective body is the basis of decision making. I will continue to make the best decisions for the good of all, and follow the specific procedures required by district leaders.
I am just asking all of us to pause and reflect on how we want our kids to be treated, how we expect them to treat others, and remember that we are modeling that behavior for them. I know that civil discourse and kindness are still capable.
Experiences for our kids this year
As we continue to maneuver all of the requirements of this school year, while keeping our kids at the forefront of our planning. We just recently took our 5th graders to our annual overnight at Camp Carlisle in Carlisle, Kentucky and it was absolutely amazing. The weather could not have been more perfect and the kids were amazing. The 4H camp did a wonderful job with sanitizing and providing the perfect facility for this trip. Most of all, we learned a lot of new things and built great memories together. I love this trip and am thrilled we could still provide it this year.
That being said, I am going to continue to approve field trips for our kids as long as it checks all of the boxes. I want our kids to have the experiences that add to their learning. Each team is discussing, planning, and organizing a field trip or two this year that strengthens the teaching/ learning processes happening in the classrooms. There will be occasions in which parents can chaperone, and there may be trips in which space will not allow for chaperones. Your child's teacher will give you details that are pertinent to each grade level trip.
If you do not feel comfortable sending your child on a specific trip, we respect that, but will still require your child to attend school. We will make arrangements for similar concepts and content to be explored with students who stay at school. We would never want the kids to think they are being punished, and will do our best to create a day of activities for them.
Doors open at 4:50 and we will begin with the administration team in the gymnasium going over some general information such as programs, district attendance policies, and access to information. We will also have Ms. Aker share about the FRC and parent programs that will be offered.
At about 5:30 parents will then meet with their child's grade level teachers (either in the gym, media center, or cafeteria) to discuss grade level expectations, programs and field trips specific to that grade level, as well as, communication and grading.
We hope that you are able to make it this week.
Tuesday, September 21st is kindergarten through 2nd grade
Wednesday, September 22nd is 3rd through 5th grade.
Students who have had breakfast are permitted to go to the gym and sit with their grade level friends and socialize before school.
We are not trying to discourage anyone from eating breakfast at school, but we wanted to make everyone aware of the current situation.
Say Cheese! It's picture day
We try to set the schedule so students get photographed before lunch. However, there are times when students have really gone "all in" during recess, etc. and may need someone to tame a wild hair or two. There are sometimes though that students do not want anyone to fix them up. There will be a makeup day in November for those that are interested or those that miss out on the 30th.
You will need to let the teacher know if you would like your child to take part in makeup pictures.
PLEASE READ THE FLYER BELOW SO YOU ARE AWARE OF THE ORDERING PROCESS.
School Based Decision Making
Voting took place on Wednesday, September 15th all day. We had just under 70 parents vote in the election process, which is actually more than typical years, so thank you for that as well!
I want to congratulate Bill Thornton for being elected as our additional parent representative on our council.
I look forward to not only working with Mr. Thornton, but also many of you in future opportunities. Your perspectives are important to us.
COVID- exposures and positives
The district dashboard reports the positive cases and quarantines for each school. Please be aware that the data is sometimes lagging because we are working with families affected first before completing the paperwork. My understanding is that the dashboard is not a cumulative record, but a reflection of the daily counts.
** REPEAT INFORMATION**
If you, your child, or a family member that lives with you test positive for Covid we require you to contact our school nurse, Lori Loschiavo, as soon as possible. We are required to report, as well as, contact trace. You can reach Mrs. Loschiavo at 859-384-53258 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
She is available to answer questions you may have as well. We will be offering the ability to test students for COVID at school. The test is not as invasive as the full nose swabs. More information regarding that will be shared soon.
We will notify families of any students within a class that have potential exposures. Students who have to quarantine will be given work from the classes either via Google classroom or given work packets (age dependent) to complete while in quarantine. Please keep an open dialogue with your child's teacher so that we can make arrangements with you.
Odyssey of the Mind - Kindergarten through 5th grade (small teams) - Parent / student informational meeting will be at New Haven on Wednesday, September 29th from 6:30 to 8:00. Dalynn Jenson will be the facilitator of the meeting. Meeting will be held in the library.
Academic Team- Mrs. Shields will be the sponsor of New Haven's Academic Team this year. The team is comprised of 4th & 5th graders who travel within the district and compete against other 4th and 5th graders. Similar to "Jeopardy", it is an academic competition. Students interested or recommended will be given an opportunity to try out. (Academic quiz) -
Girls Basketball- We are exploring the opportunity to have basketball for our 4th and 5th graders this year. Information will be sent home from our sponsors, Mrs. Grant & Mrs. Haley.
Keep'n up with the Calendar! (dates will be added/ revised each month as needed)
20th- MIDTERMS go home for 4th & 5th graders!!!
20th- 24th- Resiliency Poll (3rd-5th)
21st- Primary Curriculum Night (5:00 to 7:00) ... K-2nd
22nd- Intermediate Curriculum Night (5:00 to 7:00) .... 3rd- 5th
29th- Odyssey of the Minds Awareness meeting for parents and students/ 6:30 - 8:00 pm
30th- Picture Day for all students
5th - CASE assessment Reading (2nd- 5th)
6th- CASE assessment Math (2nd - 5th)
8th- No school
11th- No school
13th- Book Fair begins
15th- Popcorn Friday!
18th- 1st quarter ends!
25th- Report cards go home for all students
29th- READ-A-THON school celebration!
9th- Parent / Teacher conferences 4:00 - 7:00 pm
11th- Veterans Day! /// Parent / Teacher conferences 4:00 - 7:00 pm
18th- SBDM @ 4:30 pm
19th- Popcorn Friday
24th- 26th- No School / Thanksgiving Break
29th- Dec. 3rd : SEL survey
3rd- "PNO" (parent's night out) 6:00 - 9:00 (PTO sponsored event) more to come
10th- TIGER SURPRISE
16th- SBDM @ 4:30
17th- 2nd Quarter ends!
20th- Jan. 3rd - WINTER BREAK
See you in 2022!!!!