From the Principal's Pen

December 20, 2019

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Principal's Holiday Message

Dear Parents,


During the holiday season and all year long our staff pauses to reflect on what we do to encourage peace in this world and make a difference at our school and in the community. We do this in very basic ways through our school norms daily but we have many other programs that encourage our students to respect and honor one another.


In November we held a Veterans Day Assembly and celebrated the norm “Care for Self and Others !” The theme was focused on encouraging students to Care for Self and Others and explored how this means showing compassion to those around you through many acts of kindness. We also came together as a school community for the Greenwich Alliance Turkey Trot, reclaiming our title as the school with the highest percentage of participation and winning $500 toward new PE equipment. What an amazing show of JC School Spirit!


The Julian Curtiss Service Club led by Mr. Ken O’Brien, PE teacher, and Ms. Heather Stewart, 5th grade teacher, has just completed the collection of food for Neighbor to Neighbor that distributes these goods directly to families in our own community. It stresses the need to help others less fortunate than us. Thank you for participating in this community event!


Our newly elected Student Council has met twice to prepare for how we will work together and collaborate on promoting the positive voices of all our students. They will learn leadership skills, decision-making skills and the importance of effective communication. They will represent their fellow students and find new ways to make a difference at our school!


The Winter Concert was such a joy, and the art of singing and creating music promote peace and tranquility! Performing for others is truly a gift! Add to this the generous gift of the Art Club that came together to create beautiful banners for the event and you have the fully decorated package.


Our teachers and our staff work hard on a daily basis to send positive messages and promote good citizenship with respect and tolerance for all members of our society! We appreciate the partnership of our families in achieving these goals.


As we wind down this year, we want to again thank you for all that you do to make Julian Curtiss such a very special place. We are grateful that our daily work allows us to witness the learning and achievement of our students every day. The laughter, the hugs, and the smiles are pure joy! Our students restore the hope of a peaceful world. Thank you for giving us the gift of your children.


Best of wishes for 2020!


Mrs. McGuire, Mrs. Brush, and the JC staff

A Principal's Life the 12 Days Before Break

Just for Fun!


(to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas)


On the first day before break, my true dream came to me with

A school full of beautiful kids!


On the second day before break, my true dream came to me with

A lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids!


On the third day before break, my true dream came to me with a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids!


On the fourth day before break, my true dream came to me with a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids.


On the fifth day before break, my true dream came to me with visits to the classrooms, a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids.


On the sixth day before break, my true dream came to me with parent-teacher meetings, visits to the classrooms, a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids.


On the seventh day before break my true dream came to me with a student council session, parent-teacher meetings, visits to the classrooms, a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids.


On the eighth day before break, my true dream came to me with a fabulous musical concert, a student council session, parent-teacher meetings, visits to the classrooms, a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids.


On the ninth day before break, my true dream came to me with a closing for an ice storm, a fabulous musical concert, a student council session, parent-teacher meetings, visits to the classrooms, a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids.


On the tenth day before break, my true dream came to me with team collaboration, a closing for an ice storm, a fabulous musical concert, a student council session, parent-teacher meetings, visits to the classrooms, a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids.


On the eleventh day before break, my true dream came to me with a Board of Ed meeting, team collaboration, a closing for an ice storm, a fabulous musical concert, a student council session, parent-teacher meetings, visits to the classrooms, a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a school full of beautiful kids.


On the twelfth day before break, my true dream came to me with twelve days off awaiting, a Board of Ed meeting, team collaboration, a closing for an ice storm, a fabulous musical concert, a student council session, parent-teacher meetings, visits to the classrooms, a principal for the day, a kind service club, a lovely book fair and a School Full of Beautiful Kids.

7 Ways to Help Manage Your Child's (and your!) Holiday Stress

The holiday season is all about fun and enjoying family—but the constant hustle and bustle can be just as nerve-wracking for kids as it is for adults. These expert tips can help decrease your child's stress and make this time merrier for everyone.


For starters, it's important to recognize if your child is stressed. Charlotte Reznick, Ph.D., author of The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success, says some signs of holiday stress may include:


· increased irritability or anger

· clinginess

· more crying, whining, or complaining

· sleep troubles (or sleeping too much)

· physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches

· more or less eating

· isolation and/or refusal to participate in activities

· regressive behavior such as bedwetting or thumb-sucking



To Reduce the Stress:


1. Stick to routines

We know things are crazy. You're going to this and that place to shop for gifts, attending parties, meeting Santa, planning meals and cooking, and possibly traveling to be with loved ones (or doing the hosting in your own home). But do your best to maintain some consistency. Children experience comfort through a routine, so as much as possible, stick to the same naptimes, mealtimes, and bedtimes that are usual for your child, says Jared Heathman, M.D., a child psychiatrist in Cypress, Texas.


2. Give a heads up

Once you've figured out the family's plan for the day, provide your child with a schedule. "Older children can read times on a simple list, but young children can benefit from a picture schedule indicating what order they'll be asked to do certain things," says Celeste Coffman, a Licensed Professional Counselor in Florence, Alabama. If you prefer not to create an actual schedule, it's still a good idea to let your child know in advance when specific things will happen. For instance, explain that the family will watch a favorite holiday movie after dinner. Or let her know the two of you will wrap Dad's gifts in the morning after he goes to work. "Simply being in the loop to prepare for what's coming is a huge stress reliever for children," Coffman says.


3. Schedule in downtime

When coming up with your day's events, pencil in some downtime. "Even a 15- to 30-minute break can help kids recharge and decrease the likelihood of emotional or behavioral problems later on," says Zachary Adams, Ph.D., a pediatric clinical psychologist at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, in Indianapolis. So set aside time to read, play games, talk, or even laze around with electronics.

If you notice your child's anxiety building during other times of the day, let her take an impromptu break. Coffman says it's a good idea to explain to your child beforehand that if she becomes overwhelmed, she can find a quiet room, take deep breaths, ask you to talk outside, or listen to music in headphones to help her feel better.


4. Let your child vent

Give your child permission to come to you if he needs to get something off his chest—even if it's only to complain about how Aunt Maddie keeps pinching his cheeks. Paper and pen (or crayon) also come in handy. "Give your child paper to draw or write about whatever is making him feel sad, mad, or upset," Dr. Reznick says. Allowing your child to express his feelings gives him a chance to release them, and labeling the emotion ("You feel sad because Uncle Johnny is away at the military") can help your child better understand what he's feeling.


5. Work up a sweat

Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, the body's feel-good chemicals, which can reduce stress, Dr. Reznick says. So make sure your kids get lots of physical activity during the day, whether that's going for a walk, playing in the snow, or putting on music and dancing around the house.

Don't forget the exercise when you're traveling. If your child is expected to be in the car for more than two hours (or even less for younger kids), Coffman suggests incorporating a hearty dose of physical activity at intervals throughout the day. "For example, jump on a mini-trampoline before leaving, play a game of tag at a rest area, and lead the family in jumping jacks when you stop for gas," she says. Letting your child stretch their legs and burn off some energy can keep crankiness at bay.


6. Just say "no"

A major way to tame some of the craziness associated with the holidays is to skip out on some activities, Dr. Reznick says. You don't have to attend every gathering, and you and your kids don't have to see every single member of your family. Another option is to not drag your child along all the time. You and your spouse can take turns running errands while the other watches the kids. Or you could ask a family member or hire a sitter (use one your children already know; introducing a new one during this hectic time can cause even more stress).


7. Keep yourself in check

"Children of all ages look to their parents for cues about how they should think, feel, and act," says Dr. Adams. So make sure you manage your own stress. "Parents need downtime during the holidays just like children, so carve out some time, even if only a few minutes, to do something calming or enjoyable for yourself," Dr. Adams says. Setting plans and making lists can help break down overwhelming holiday tasks into less stressful, more manageable ones, he adds. Also, practice healthy coping skills, such as writing in a journal, meditating, exercising, or talking to a supportive family member or friend. Another tension-reliever is to simply enjoy the holidays. Take in the lights, sing some carols, and smell the wonderful aromas, Dr. Heathman says. Soaking in the holiday cheer can make the season more enjoyable for you and your child.


By Tamekia Reece



Reference: https://www.parents.com/holiday/christmas/7-ways-to-reduce-your-childs-holiday-stress

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Julian Curtiss!

See You Back at School on Thursday, January 2nd!

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