Comet Chronicle, Jr.

March 26, 2021

Round Up

We have a final session of Young 5s/Kindergarten Round Up tomorrow!
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Spirit Week

Have fun with Spirit Week next week!
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Behavior Support Assistant

Ethan Jasper started as our Behavior Support Assistant (BSA) in January. You may have noticed his smiling face in the mornings as he welcomes our car riders. Mr. Jasper has a degree in Psychology from Andrews University as well as 6 years working with youth 8-17 years old at a summer camp. The BSA is part of the office staff and is the first responder when students are in need of behavioral support. He also helps investigate incidents and works with me to decide on appropriate consequences. With 360 students in our building, it can get pretty busy. We're thankful to have Mr. Jasper on our team!

Literacy News

It is our hope that everyone has enjoyed March is Reading Month! We sure made some incredible memories here at school reading together and talking about Fern, Wilbur, and Charlotte! We started the month with the exciting vending machine and book reveal. Throughout the month we have had the opportunity to do trivia questions about the book, design Wilbur a new home, the classes participated in a door decorating contest, and we have gotten to hear staff members read each chapter of the book.

Next week we will be finishing strong as we head into Spring Break. We hope that you have been following along with us and reading at home. We have just a few chapters left to go!! Remember to keep encouraging your child to read and send in their minutes… we are digging in here at school so we can reach our goal of reading 100,000 minutes. Don’t forget that next week is our Dr. Seuss themed Spirit Week with Coloma Intermediate. On Friday the classes will spend part of the half day celebrating all our hard work with a Charlotte’s Web movie watch party.

Make sure that March isn’t the only time you focus on reading at home!! Students need to be reading and talking about books all year long. We will be sending information home next week on how your child can use their reading skills to help provide meals to families facing hunger over Spring Break and all through April!

-Mrs. Wheeler, Literacy Specialist

-Mrs. Vanderboegh, Title I Teacher

School Social Work Scene

Anniversary dates of traumatic events can reactivate thoughts and feelings from the actual event, and survivors may experience peaks of anxiety and depression.

Stephanie Grant, PhD says, “When we talk about trauma, we’re talking about an event that is deeply distressing to someone whether that’s physically or psychologically. So, having experienced a trauma event is not all the same thing as being traumatized. Traumatization is the body and the brain’s response to that event and specifically response that doesn’t go away even with some support and a little bit of time.”

“If you had asked me a year and a half ago before this hit, ‘what are the top three characteristics of trauma events that make it much more likely to be traumatizing?’ I would have told you that there are three things: that if those events felt uncontrollable and inescapable, if we had no idea if or when the event was going to end, and if they somehow separated us from our relationships and our community and our support systems that would normally help us buffer those events.” Stephanie says that the COVID-19 pandemic has ‘checked all of the boxes’ that define whether something is a traumatic event, and that experts are calling this “a collective trauma.”

Around the anniversary of a traumatic event, people are likely to remember events clearly and many will feel emotions more intensely than usual. Reliving the emotions is a very natural part of the healing process. But just as there is no right way to feel, there is no one right way to heal. Try not to compare your reactions to those of others. Each person is different, and each individual will find their own way of coping.

The past 12 months have affected all of us in very different ways. But, Stephanie says, “It’s not over because honestly nobody has had time to grieve...It will not look the same for everybody. We have a lot of stuff to heal from.”

❤ ~Mrs. DeMercado, School Social Worker

Reading At Home

Encouraging students to read at home is so important. We recommend creating a routine of reading (or reading to a child) at least 20 minutes a day. Take a look at the graphic below to see the impact of that routine.
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Coloma Public Library Offerings

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Outdoor Recess

We will be outside for recess everyday as long as the temperature is above 10 degrees (including wind chill). Please be sure that your students is dressed for colder temperatures.

If there are snow gear that your student needs, please reach out to your child's teacher and we will do all that we can to support!

Dropping Off and Picking Up Reminder

When dropping off or picking up your student in the car rider lane, we ask that you:
  • Pull all the way forward so that we can unload/load as many students as possible. This will make the process more smooth and efficient.
  • Do not attempt to make a left turn into the car rider lane. Traffic is often backed up down S. West St. for drivers making a righthand turn into the lane. Instead, join the back of the line and make the righthand turn.

A safe and smooth process is our priority. Thank you for your support!

Late Start Wednesday

Don't forget that we have a late start on Wednesday, March 24th!
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24 Hour Rule

When it comes to responding to calls, emails, or messages Coloma Elementary staff follows the "24 hour rule." In other words, we will make every effort to respond within 24 hours. We often do so before that, but sometimes our schedules can get busy. We appreciate your understanding.

Mask Care

Students have been given two face masks from their teacher. Per our Safe Return to School Plan reusable face masks must be washed daily. Please help us in our efforts to keep our students and staff healthy and safe!

School Messenger

Communication is a priority for all Coloma staff. We use SchoolMessenger to share information electronically with our families. Over the last few months we have received feedback from parents that they are not receiving emails with important messages, reminders, and newsletters. If you find yourself in that group, please reach out to our office staff to make sure we have a current email address in PowerSchool. If we have the correct email address, then the situation is that the parent may have changed their settings to have our emails blocked. If you would like to fix that, our office staff can help you with that too.

CARE Expectations

Coloma Elementary's schoolwide expectations for student behavior follow the acronym CARE. It stands for:
  • Come ready to learn
  • Always respectful
  • Responsible
  • Exceptionally safe

Expectations for the hallway, bathrooms, cafeteria, playground, arrival, and dismissal are posted throughout the school. We teach the expectations and review them throughout the school year. Students also earn CARE tickets when they follow the expectations. The office does a ticket drawing where students pick a prize from the CARE Box.

Stay Connected!

How can you stay connected to what's happening at Coloma Elementary?
  • Follow us on Facebook.
  • Make sure the office has your email address on file so we can communicate via SchoolMessenger.
  • Read the Comet Chronicle, Jr. (twice a month).
  • Read your classroom newsletter.

Box Tops

Check out how you can support our school through Box Tops for Education!

A Common Question

One of the most commonly asked questions is: “How long will someone have to quarantine if there’s a case of COVID-19?" Our response is:

“The health and safety of our students, families, and staff is and will always be our primary concern. We have been working diligently over the past several months to prepare for the safe return to school for our students and staff—implementing sanitization and social distancing protocols across the district. In the event of a COVID-19 situation in one of our buildings or classrooms, we will work with the Berrien County Health Department to assist in contact tracing to determine who needs to quarantine and for how long as every COVID exposure is unique. Ultimately, the BCHD will provide specific guidance related to quarantining and isolation.”