The Village Bluebird

June 2020 Ediction

Greetings to Our Families

It is hard to believe that the 2019-2020 school year is winding down. We are so proud of our teachers, staff and all of our families for their daily dedication and hard work during this distance learning experience. We are grateful for the innovation and support of our entire team in support of all learners! We would also like to thank Mrs. Huntley, Mrs. Kim, the PTA executive board and all volunteers for working tirelessly and creatively to support VES in a special and unique way. We appreciate you!


Friday, June 19th, is our last day of school. We will keep you informed as soon as we have updates from the state regarding our reopening date. In the meantime, we are still planning for some fun events including a virtual Fun Day, end of year celebrations and more!


All the best to our fourth graders moving up to LMS. We look forward to welcoming our incoming third and fourth grade students on the first day of school.


In light of current events that are impacting our nation, our team has come together to discuss this and is here to support students and families with education and helpful resources. See articles below regarding our VES Comfort Corner, our Counselors Distance Learning Site as well as websites and articles that can be found in the Speaking to Children About Current Events section of this issue.


Thank you, VES families for your involvement and support. Have a safe, healthy and relaxing June and summer recess.


Ms. Lacy and the VES Team

VES Distance Learning Site

Our Learning Plans will remain visible on our site throughout the summer and are visible at this link: MTSD Distance Learning Site

VES Comfort Corner

Hello Village Family,


The VES staff has worked together to create a special resource for our students as they navigate this difficult and confusing time. We know they may be experiencing different feelings about the change in their routine, their time away from school, and what they may hear in the news.


We've created an online library, called Comfort Corner, for students to visit and choose books to be read to them by their favorite VES staff members, based on how they're feeling! For example, if they are feeling nervous, they can click on that emotion and then pick a book to hear read to them. Comfort Corner can be found on a tab on our Distance Learning Community Page or you can check it out here: VES Comfort Corner


We hope this website brings as much joy and love to our students as it did for us to create it!


VES Teachers

Requests from the VES Health Office

Health Forms for the 2020-2021 school year will be sent to parents electronically. Please log onto your Parent Resources account to ensure the email address on file reflects a current working email address.


If your student has a Life Threatening Allergy or Asthma please have the appropriate medical forms completed by your child’s physician for the 2020-2021 school year. We will provide instructions for bringing them to the Health Office (along with any medication) before the first day of school. We cannot use this year’s completed forms.


Thank you!


Mrs. Cizin and Ms. Woodard

Upcoming Events


  • Student Belongings Pickup and School Material Drop Off – June 3-5 (see details in blasts that were sent home).
  • Medication Pickup – June 4th (see district eblast for details).
  • Virtual Fun Day/Play Day and Class Parties – June 17th
  • Distance Learning Reports will be available to parents - June 17th
  • End of Year Celebrations will include virtual concerts and our Clap Off with a Sing Along and Slide Show - stay tuned
  • Orientations: 3rd graders will create a slideshow with activities and advice that will be shared with our 2nd graders. 4th graders will either receive similar advice from 5th graders or learn more about the LMS experience as school reopening plans unfold. Parents will hear more from Mr. Richards or Ms. Lacy about orientation information once we know our plans for next year.

Instrumental Music Introduction and Signup for 3rd Graders

Dear 3rd Grade Parents,

Please view this informational video regarding our instrumental music program and how your child can sign up to play an instrument in 4th grade. Please be sure it is in present mode when viewing.

The VES Instrumental Music Team

Distance Learning Reports

Dear Parents and Guardians,


Thank you all for your support and dedication to your child’s education during this time of distance learning. We appreciate the time, effort and patience that is needed to support students at home with their learning while working and parenting from home. The success of our daily learning plans would not be possible without your support. We are proud to be a part of a collaborative community, especially during these trying times.


Due to the decision to keep schools closed through June, and because parent-teacher conferences were cancelled, we have had to make many adjustments to our typical end of year practices. In lieu of the Standards Based Report Card, parents will receive a Distance Learning Report during the final week of school. This report will provide an overview of your child’s learning and engagement during their time participating in distance learning. Teachers will be reviewing students’ participation during Google Meets, reviewing students’ completed writing pieces, and monitoring students’ participation and progress on RAZ Kids and Splash Math, as well as any other completed work assignments that you have shared with your child's teacher.


You will be able to access this report in the Genesis Parent Portal under the Documents tab on June 17th.


Again we thank you for your support and applaud our students for their hard work during distance learning.


The OHES and VES Teams

The VES Placement Process

As the end of the year approaches, plans for classroom placements are being made. Ms. Lacy and Mrs. Camuto work closely with teachers, supervisors, and guidance counselors to place current 3rd and 4th graders. OHES administrators, Mrs. Scotti and Mr. VanHise, place current 2nd graders into 3rd grade with our assistance. Ms. Lacy and Mrs. Camuto will place all 4th graders into 5th grade with assistance from Lower Middle School administrators, Mr. Richards and Mrs. Kichura.


All students will be placed in heterogeneous classes with the best possible teacher match, and a positive group of classmates. Any specific academic needs, as identified by classroom teachers, will be taken into consideration first. We cannot honor requests for specific teachers, and requests for specific students can present a challenge. However, we will consider input regarding special circumstances or information the school does not already have. Pertinent information shared in previous years must be resubmitted via email. Information for 4th to 5th grade placements was due by May 15th and information for 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th grade placements is due by June 12th.


Please trust us to make the best placement possible for all children. It is important to us that students have successful academic and developmentally appropriate experiences in school with talented and caring teachers. Final placement information will be available in August.

General 2020-2021 Supply List Ordering Option for Incoming 3rd and 4th Graders

Dear Incoming Third and Fourth Grade Students and Families,


In an effort to make your supply shopping easier, the third and fourth grade teachers have teamed up with the PTA and 1st Day School Supplies to get you the exact supplies needed for next school year in a convenient, easy and hassle free way! You'll get guaranteed competitive prices on the highest quality brands while shopping from home. If you choose this option, you can make your purchase right now by clicking the link below. The deadline to order is July 1, 2020. If you choose to shop on your own, the supply list is visible to you when you click on the link. Shipping is included in the price and add on items including spirit wear are available.


VES School Supply Order Link


Please note that you will also need to purchase comfortable headphones or earbuds with a 3.5mm jack for your personal use (see image above) and bring them to school in a Ziplock bag with your name on it. As you shop for a backpack, please DO NOT buy one with wheels. Your choice of a backpack must fit easily into your cubby in the classroom.


Toward the end of the summer, your teacher may request additional items that will be needed for your classroom.

General 2020-2021 Supply List for Rising 5th Graders

Summer Reading Suggestions from Mrs. Franey

Just because school ends for summer break, the reading doesn’t have to! In fact, lazy summer days are the perfect time for students to relax with some great books and ensure that they maintain the reading skills which they worked hard to build all year long. Need some reading inspiration? Coming soon, suggestions for some awesome summer reads will be shared on Mrs. Franey’s VES Media Center website. There, you’ll find recommendations of authors, series, and books in a variety of genres that your child might enjoy this summer - or anytime! A link to the VES Media Center can be found on the Village Elementary School website under Site Shortcuts, or click this link to take you there: VES Media Center. While you’re there, you’ll find much to explore, including Mrs. Franey’s Virtual Library, where interesting websites and digital reading resources are just a click away!

Moving?

If your family is moving out of district, to any other address within district, or if your child will not be returning to Montgomery Schools next year, please notify Mrs. Fischer, in the main office, as soon as you have finalized your plans. She can be reached at tfischer@mtsd.us.

Speaking to Children About Racism and Recent Events

Please visit our Counselors Page on the Distant Learning Site for family support resources to assist you with conversations about COVID-19. With regard to the heartbreaking current events in our country, we respect that students will come to us with varying levels of knowledge. Should students ask questions, teachers and counselors have been responding in a developmentally appropriate manner. Students will be encouraged to speak with their parents to continue the conversation.


Parents are encouraged not to be afraid of these conversations. It is wise to keep graphic details out of the conversation and to keep race in the conversation. It could be helpful to reflect on previous conversations held at school about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and fairness. When people feel they are being treated unfairly, because of their race or other differences, they peacefully protest like Dr. King did because they want things to change so we can all live harmoniously. However sometimes protesting can become hurtful and scary just as it did when Dr. King was alive.


We can reassure children that there are many good people who are united and working hard to solve these problems. Ms. Lacy reminded students in her Monday morning message that students can help by always being kind, respectful and fair to others no matter their background. They can be upstanders when they see others being treated unfairly. Caring people of all racial and cultural groups are united and doing just that.


Students that have shared thoughts thus far are inspiring and demonstrating that they are kind, wise and caring!


Please see helpful resources and article excerpts below for you and your family to draw from as well:

VES Comfort Corner


https://www.embracerace.org/


https://www.parenttoolkit.com/social-and-emotional-development/advice/social-awareness/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-race-and-racism


https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/us/cnn-sesame-street-standing-up-to-racism/index.html


https://www.adl.org/


https://www.facinghistory.org/


https://www.tolerance.org/


Talking Race with Young Children (National Public Radio)

Talking with Children After Racial Incidents Penn GSE

Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Talk to Kids about Discrimination (American Psychological Association)

Talking to Children About Racial Bias (Healthy Children)

Talking about Race (National Geographic)

These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protests to your Kids (NY Times)


31 Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance (Embrace Race)


Here are excerpts from a May 31, 2020 USA Today Article by Alia E. Dastagir entitled: George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. What Do We Tell Our Children?


"Silence will not protect you or them," said Beverly Daniel Tatum, a psychologist and author of, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race. "Avoiding the topic is not a solution." Racism persists, experts say, because many parents avoid difficult conversations. "One of the most important things to remember is that you may not have all the answers and that is OK," said Erlanger Turner, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychology at Pepperdine University who studies mental health among racial communities.


Beverly Daniel Tatum: Even young children may see or hear about highly publicized incidents like the George Floyd case – perhaps overhearing the TV or the radio – and may ask questions. Or if parents are upset by the news, the child may perceive the parent’s distress and ask why mom or dad is upset. In either case, an age-appropriate explanation is better than silence. Older children with Internet access may see online images on their own. Initiating an age-appropriate conversation can give children a helpful frame for understanding difficult realities. If parents are silent, children will draw their own often faulty conclusions about what is happening and why.


Erlanger Turner: Many adults are hurt and angered by these events and their children may notice changes in their mood. It is helpful to have a healthy conversation around what happened and also talk about ways to cope when you witness social injustice.


For younger children conversations about racism should be limited to basic facts about how people are treated differently due to the color of their skin but also acknowledge that not everyone treats people differently based on race. For older teens, parents can consider exposure to news or social media posts as discussion points about this issue.


BDT: Regardless of the age of the child, it is important to balance acknowledging the reality of racism, or unfairness, with messages about the possibility of change, and the community of allies who are working together to make things better.


Excerpts from: Some Guidance for Talking with Kids about the Protests that are Sweeping this Country - Teachers College Columbia University, May 31, 2020

One way to do this is to talk about the history of protest in this nation, pointing out that America was born in protest. The American Revolution--an entire war--was fought because early colonizers resisted taxes that they thought were unfair. The famous Boston Tea Party that we speak of now as a patriotic event was actually a riot. We refer to those looters now as patriots, but they carried torches and destroyed property. They threw the British tea overboard in an effort to say, ‘Enough.’ We refer to that event as the ‘Boston Tea party’ but it was not a party--it was a riot, and there was violence and looting. Throughout history, there have been many other times when important freedoms have been won only after protests erupted across the land, some of which became violent. Just two weeks ago, hundreds of armed protestors stormed the state capitol building in Lansing, Michigan in protest of the stay-at-home mandate due to COVID-19.

So yes, we all wish that change occurred in this country through peaceful means but historically, there have been times when anger erupts and protests are not peaceful, and in the long run, sometimes that has unfortunately been the means through which injustices are finally, finally, addressed. As Eddie Glaude Jr., chair of the department of African-American Studies at Princeton University said, “Anger, going all the way back to Aristotle, announces that something just happened here. It puts folks on notice that something must change.”

When you embark on this conversation with your students, you will need to have thought about ways to help your children hold tight to hope. You’ll want to tell them that the only response to a moment such as this one is for each of us to resolve to do more to create communities of care in our physical and virtual classrooms and in our home communities.

You can remind your students that onlookers have a deep level of responsibility. To see injustices and say nothing is to condone them. When things are unjust, we must speak out. We must be allies. Being allies means we are willing to take risks on behalf of each other, to stand alongside each other.

Finally, we hope that you help your students realize that creating communities of care within their own lives is not enough. People also need to be able to see racism and call it by its name.