Shorewood Hills Shark Tooth

January 15th, 2021

Hello Shorewood Families and Friends,


Over the next few days, we know the presidential inauguration is on many of our minds. On Wednesday, January 20th, we will witness a history-making moment as the nation's first female, Black and Asian-American Vice President takes the oath of office, along with the President Elect, Joe Biden. As we observe and recognize this pivotal event, we hope our nation will experience a peaceful transfer of power. However, we also know this inauguration, like the last, brings with it heightened levels of fear and anxiety for many.


At Shorewood we want to do everything we can to ensure Wednesday's inauguration, as well as the celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 18th, are both positive events for our students. We hope this living civics lesson is not overshadowed by fear and uncertainty over racial hostility and threats of violence similar to what we witnessed in Washington, D.C. last week and what has been in the news.


Please know, MMSD is in close contact with local law enforcement and is taking precautionary steps to ensure our schools remain safe. There is no indication our school, or any MMSD schools, would be targeted by any protest event; however, the district is remaining on alert and staying in touch with law enforcement as a precaution.


We are here to support you and your children in the coming days. If you are in need of any resources or support, please reach out to me. I also want to share several resources for families for discussing protests, violence, justice and racism with children. You may also be interested in these classroom discussion resources many teachers have utilized when teaching about elections and the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol.


I am proud to be part of a school community that values and celebrates the diversity of races, faiths, national origins, immigration status, political viewpoints, abilities, sexual orientation and gender identities which make our school district, city and nation strong. Please stay safe.


In partnership,

Anne Gillespie

Interim Principal

Tips to Keep Kids Engaged in Virtual Learning

Here are some great tips from Childmind.org on keeping your student engaged during virtual learning!


1. Get to the root of the issue

Pick the right moment to talk with your child about their challenges with being engaged. Ask open-ended questions and validate their experience. Frame the issue as something that’s going wrong for your child, rather than something that’s wrong with your child. The goal is to emphasize that you and your child are on the same team, and that you’re there to help them.


2. Rethink motivation

Of course we want kids to care about school. But right now, that kind of internal motivation might be unrealistic — and that’s okay! Letting go of the idea that your child should want to engage with school can actually make it easier to keep them involved. Figure out what your child really wants, then make a contract to match. The extra motivation can create a positive feedback loop: once kids get into class, the social engagement and sense of accomplishment can boost their mood, which makes them feel more motivated to do it again tomorrow.


3. Collaborate with teachers

A little more communication with your child’s teacher often can go a long way toward improving engagement. Fill the teacher in and let them know what they can do to help. Small adjustments can make school feel more manageable for kids who are struggling.


4. Adjust your expectations

Reframe this school year in a more positive light and help your kids stay motivated along the way by setting realistic goals. By focusing on a couple of important things and easing up on the rest, you’ll decrease pressure on yourself and your child.


5. Give yourself a break

Giving yourself a break sets a good example for your kids. When you take time to rest and relax, you show them that work isn’t everything, and that it’s okay to be less than perfect. Have some fun time with your child to keep that positive relationship.

Middle of the Year Assessments-Reminder

Students took FASTBridge assessments at the beginning of the year to measure their skills. We will have a second administration of these for the middle of the year on January 11th - February 5th.

Resources and Upcoming Dates

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, January 18th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day--No School
  • Friday, January 21st: Teacher Report Card Work Day--No School
  • Monday, January 25th: First day of Third Quarter
  • Week of February 1st: Black Lives Matter in School Week
  • Week of February 8th: Read Your Heart Out
  • Monday, February 8th: K-5th Report cards sent home
  • Tuesday, February 9th 6:30: PTO Meeting
  • Thursday, February 11th: Pre-K Report cards sent home


Crisis Lines