The PRES Press
Principal's Monthly Newsletter, April 2020
A Message from Mrs. Fishkin
- New Skills Required: Students (and parents) are being asked to manage new technology tools and structures (such as Google Classroom) in ways they’ve never been asked to do before. Students are being asked to work independently, manage their time and materials, all on their own without the support of a teacher and classmates. Usually, in the school environment, teachers are there to prompt, provide visual supports, offer explicit instruction, model, demonstrate, and then provide immediate feedback. This way of teaching and learning is so far from what we are doing now. It is extremely hard for many of our students to cope, plan, and organize themselves for learning at such a young age.
- Being Both Parent and Teacher: We are also asking parents to do a job for which they have not been trained. And, we are asking parents to do three things all at once. "Working, parenting, and teaching are three different jobs that cannot be done at the same time," said Emily W. King, Ph.D. And, even if the parent is a trained teacher, children don’t respond to their parents in the same way they respond to their teachers. I see it in my own children. Even though I was an elementary teacher for 10 years, and have been in education for 23 years, my own children have repeatedly said to me, “Mom, you are not my teacher.”
- March is When We Hit our Stride: Lastly, the challenges you are feeling at home are real and complex. March is usually the time of year when teachers are really getting into a groove with their students and learning starts to really take off. It is especially challenging and disappointing, for all of us, that the momentum we built this year has now come to a screeching halt and we are all managing the loss of that reality.
Despite all these challenges, we are seeing our students produce incredible work and we are so grateful for your partnership. We are here to support you. Here are some articles I found helpful during this challenging time:
Here is a helpful resource from our regional partner, Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES: Five Family-Friendly Activities, which includes:
- Need Help Developing Routines at Home?
- Tired of the Rain and Staying Inside?
- Looking for Outdoor Ideas for Your Family?
- Read, Wonder, and Learn
- Need a Mindfulness Minute?
SECOND Virtual Parent-Principal Coffee
Join by phone:
+1 707-366-0552 PIN: 740 605 680#
Field Trips Canceled Through June
5th grade trip to Broadway (5/27/2020)
Kindergarten trip to Norwalk Aquarium (5/28/2020)
2nd grade trip to Teatown Reservation (5/29/2020)
NEW: 4th grade trip to Ellis Island (6/4/2020)
A New Phase of Distance Learning
One assignment daily in reading, writing, and math.
One science activity weekly.
Social Studies will be integrated through reading and writing assignments.
Students should engage in at least one specials activity daily (Art, Music, PE). Specials activities are posted on our school/department websites.
New Learning in Music, PE and Art
Here's what's been happening in Music, PE, and Art!
Music with Mrs. Donnavan:
Since we began Distance Learning, music students in the upper grades have had the opportunity to do some composing. Students created rhythmic compositions and then added some fun movements. They also continued to reinforce note naming skills, as well as explore different instrument websites. The younger students have been practicing familiar songs, listening to new orchestral selections and illustrating their favorites. Students have added movement.
Physical Education with Ms. Mazzilli:
The Elementary Physical Education Staff created a website for our Bedford Elementary students. The PE website contains many valuable resources to get you moving and grooving your body. Each day a new PE lesson is posted to engage our students to be active at home. A fitness calendar with physical fitness exercises is also available to challenge our students everyday. Ms. Mazzilli has also visited classrooms during their virtual Google Meet sessions to say, “Hello.” Ms. Mazzilli surprised one particular class, 3CD, with a “Masked Singer” performance!
Art with Ms. Goodrow:
PRES students have been encouraged to continue their creativity at home by engaging in a choice of art activities as part of our distance learning program. Students are invited to use materials they find at home, and engage in the studio habits of mind: envision, express, develop craft, engage & persist, stretch & explore, and observe. Students have done a wonderful job submitting their art work to Ms. Goodrow's Google classroom. Thank you, students and parents, for keeping art alive while doing "school" at home. If your child hasn't already joined Ms. Goodrow's Google Classroom (grades 3-5), please email Ms. Goodrow (email@example.com) for support.
See some of the wonderful artwork our PRES students have already created:
Attendance During Distance Learning
Message from Nurse Jill
I hope this newsletter finds you all healthy and well. I miss seeing all of your children everyday and I hope they are making the most of this unique time in our lives.
I am passing along some coronavirus-related tips, as well as some other resources to help you stay as mentally and physically healthy as possible while cooped up at home.
First and foremost, I’m sure you all know to stay home as much as possible and maintain social distancing (at least six feet away from anyone who does not live with you). If you must go out, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that everyone wears a mask now. Please keep your children away from stores, restaurants, and crowded parks. Really, just stay away from anywhere that has a considerable number of people.
Here is some information from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding masks, as well as other important advice and tips from this leading health organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks
How to make a mask at home from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
The CDC is also recommending frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces at home (i.e. phones, doorknobs, faucets, etc.).
My children and I have been trying to get outside as much as possible. I am attaching a great article about staying safe while playing outside. As mentioned above, the key is maintaining social distance and avoiding crowded places like playgrounds or parks. We’ve tried to create our own fun by building obstacle courses, organizing family races, rollerblading and riding our bikes. I thought this article was very informative and recommend reading it, or even listening to the podcast: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/817423237/yes-you-can-take-your-kids-for-a-walk
If your children haven’t tried Cosmic Kids yoga yet, I highly recommend for a rainy day or anytime they need a little break from school work: https://www.cosmickids.com/
We are in the process of uploading most of this information to the BCSD webpage so be sure to check there soon for updates. I hope you all stay safe and healthy, and I cannot wait to be back at PRES soon. Please email me if you have any questions.
Meals Available for BCSD Families
As a result of school closures, the Bedford Central School District will continue to provide meals to all K-12 students. Aramark food services will provide a grab and go brown bag breakfast and lunch.
The meal distribution will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 am -1:00 pm from two locations as follows:
- For students who reside in the Town/Village of Mount Kisco - Pick up at MKES bus loop
- For all other BCSD students - Pick up at BHES bus loop
On Mondays and Wednesdays, each student will receive two days of meals. On Fridays, each student will receive two meals: one breakfast and one lunch. Each student will need to provide his/her name and school of attendance for record keeping.
April is Earth Month!
Consider these 10 ideas to celebrate Earth Day:
1. Listen to a read aloud of The Earth Book by Todd Parr.
2. Watch this Brain Pop video on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
3. Visit Bash the Trash website to learn how to make a musical instrument from recycled materials.
4. "It's just one straw," said 8 billion people. Pledge to eliminate your use of plastic straws.
5. Reduce your use of single-use plastics. Take the Kids vs. Plastic Pledge.
6. Turn off lights and water when not using them.
7. Take the Earth Day Quiz on National Geographic for Kids and find out how green you are.
8. Check out the Save the Earth tips recommended by NatGeo for Kids.
9. Learn more about Climate Change, what does it really mean, and how can we help.
10. Join our Community Compost program in Pound Ridge and start composting food scraps at home. It's easy.