Patrick Henry Post

January 29th, 2021

Safety Report

As we say goodbye to January and hello to February, it is important to make a few notes of congratulations to our students, staff, parents, and community partners for keeping our school community as safe as possible. We have had no student-student transmissions of Covid-19. Our custodial staff has kept our classrooms and common areas sanitized every day. Our cafeteria staff has served breakfast and lunch in the classrooms and ensured that all students are receiving an individually packaged meal. Our teachers and support staff make sure that all students remain socially distanced and still stay connected, even if a student has to stay home. Our students keep each other safe by wearing their masks, washing their hands frequently, and maintaining social distance in the classrooms and hallways. I am so proud of the way they have taken each new measure in stride. Our parents keep students at home when they have symptoms, and make adjustments every time we have a virtual day, and our virtual parents make sure our students are logged on. Our community partners have pivoted and created virtual programs so they can continue to help our students in reading, math, and extracurricular activities, even from afar. I am so proud of our first month of second semester, and the safety measures that have made it all possible.

This week we had our first real snow of the season, and it was a winter wonderland here at Patrick Henry! Thank you to all of our students, teachers, support staff, and parents who made sure that everyone was safe getting home during the snowstorm. It was amazing to watch everyone pivot with last-minute plans to change dismissal, and we still had everyone picked up safely and on time. Well done, Patrick Henry!

This week we also had our first fire drill of 2021, and even though it was a chilly day, our students and staff were safe and efficient. We were out of the building in record time, and back into our classrooms in under 5 minutes. Thank you to all students who are doing their part to stay safe, and thank you to all of our staff who are making sure to lead our students well!

Take a look below for the highlights from our academic week here at Patrick Henry, and keep up the great work keeping our students and staff safe!

Highlight on 5th Grade

Ms. Von Behren's students have been working hard this semester to keep their academics at the forefront of their day. Procedures have tightened up and allowed for more instructional time in the day to focus on reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. It has been really incredible to watch their progress from the beginning of the year, and I am so proud of the work they have put into it!
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Highlight on 3rd and 4th Grade

Ms. Jackson's class and Ms. Hammock's class show us how to incorporate technology even into their in-person days. Pictured above and below, our fourth and fifth grade students are modeling how to remain socially distant in class, participate with their virtual classmates, and have fun while learning!

Highlight on PreK/KG Building Adventures

Our preschool and kindergarten students were showing off their amazing building skills as they played architect and contractor with one another. It is so fun to see the pride in their eyes after they finish a particularly challenging project! Equally as rewarding is watching their collaborative spirit in working with one another, sharing materials through our Covid-19 protocols, and creating together!

Highlight on Reading Buddies

Our students were able to enjoy some 1:1 time with their HomeWorks! reading buddies this week under the supervision of Mr. Dale and Ms. Evans. It was awesome to see our students connect with readers, even when our volunteers can't come into the building. You can also see one of our amazing construction projects that is taking place at Patrick Henry right now - replacing pipes and installing water bottle filling stations!

Highlight on Centers

Pictured below, students in various classrooms enjoy their centers time. Our youngest students are able to explore a variety of activities, materials, and lessons in small, collaborative groups. When they're not in a center, they are meeting in small groups or even one-on-one with their teacher to review work on their exact level. It is an amazing time of the day where students are fully engaged in the work but also learning through fun, imaginative play.
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Highlight on Elementary Magic

One of the BEST parts of working in an elementary school is celebrating life milestones with our students. Pictured below, we got to celebrate two birthdays this week and the loss of a tooth! Stay tuned for even more elementary magic as we get to celebrate Valentine's Day together!

Highlight on HomeWorks!

Thank you to our community partner, HomeWorks! for their dedication to Patrick Henry's students, families, and staff members! We were lucky to work with them this week in the following areas:

  • Writing Inspiration: This week, Bryon stopped by while Dr. Rogers was meeting with our HomeWorks! team, and they happened to mention that Bryon aspires to be a writer. Right there on the spot, the HomeWorks! team found him a buddy to work 1:1 with him on his writing. Our new volunteer was a professional writer and has a wealth of knowledge to share with Bryon. Thanks to Ms. Von Behren's constant encouragement in class of his writing potential, Bryon saw a new interest blooming in himself. Now we can continue to foster this growth and development in him as he grows into an even more proficient writer. We are so proud of Bryon, and so thankful for the partnership between school and community to make this possible!
  • LaunchCode Training: This week, Ms. Versen's first and second grade virtual students were treated to a 50-minute training in which they learned five key virtual practices to make their day easier. Families were invited to attend the training so that the parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling who is working with their virtual child can also benefit from the technical training and understand best practices.
  • Attendance Incentives: This week we were able to expand our attendance incentive program from first and second grade all the way up to fifth grade! Starting next week, if any student in 1st-5th grade has perfect attendance for the week, they will receive a $10 gift card to Schnucks! Any 1st and 2nd grade families who have not picked up their gift cards from the last weeks are able to still do so at the front desk!
  • Attendance Buddies: Volunteers meet with our students in a mentorship capacity to discuss attendance and focus on reading. Volunteers and students read together for at least fifteen minutes, and students get 1:1 attention to make sure they feel well cared for! This week we added five new buddies to the program, and we cannot wait to connect them with our students!