Midland Messenger

September 27-October 1, 2021

Dear Midland Families,

Student mental health and behavior is a topic that is so important for our children in today's world. I talk with parents every day who ask for resources and help with their child's social-emotional wellness, mental health, or behavior and de-escalation strategies. I am excited to share some free resources with you this week!

First, Kids' Mental Health Pierce County is an organization that is offering monthly webinars on the topics mentioned above. The series will occur monthly from October to June and monthly flyers will be released with session information and links to register. The topic for October is Supporting Mental Health through Social Emotional Learning (Understanding the function of behavior). You will come away from the session with steps to support your student with behavior at home. Below is the flyer to register for this FREE session on October 6th from 4:00-5:30pm.

Next, our school district has a partnership with Greater Lakes Mental Health, to support students and families with counseling that is deeper that our school counselor can provide. Midland has a Greater Lakes counselor who comes to our school, to provide weekly, confidential counseling. If you are interested in a referral for your student, please contact our school counselor, Ms. Morgan Stephens at 253-298-4510.

Last, our school is so fortunate to have outstanding staff to support our students with behavior and mental wellness. Anita Blaisdell teaches Social Emotional Learning, Social Skills, and Skills for Success to all students at Midland who see her at least once per week. Mrs. Blaisdell will contribute information for families as a regular column in this weekly newsletter (see her article below). Additionally, our counselor, Ms. Morgan Stephens and our Positive Behavior Intervention Para, Ms. Amanda Anderson, also work with students individually and in small groups to help them with social skills, behavior, and skills for success at school.

I encourage you to reach out to our school for services you believe will help you and your child. We are here to be your partners!

It's great to be a MUSTANG!

~Dr. Paula Dawson

Important Dates to Remember:

September 29 ~ HOPE Assembly

September 29 ~ 1:55 Dismissal

October 4 ~ No School for Teacher Training

Oct 5-8 ~ Fall Conferences. Dismissal @ 11:55 am

October 13 ~ 1:55 Dismissal

October 15 ~ Picture Day

**For additional future scheduled activities, please check out our Midland calendar at https://midland.fpschools.org/**

Student Led Conferences are coming soon!

Fall Conferences are October 5th-8th.

Students will have early dismissal at 11:55 during this week.

Please make sure to schedule a conference time with your child's teacher.

Picture Day is coming!

October 15th is Picture Day for our students at Midland. Look for Photo Order Envelopes to come home during the second week of October. Picture envelopes should be returned on picture day with exact change enclosed or a check made payable to QSP. Please see below for a copy of the Picture Order Envelope so you can pre-plan your order. You may also order pictures online at www.qualityschoolportraits.com with the online code: MIDL7

LPN Opening!

Do you know an LPN who is looking for steady hours and a great place to work?

Midland has an opening for an LPN for our health room! If you might be interested, you are welcome to call Dr. Dawson for information. The job is posted at fpschools.org, go to Human Resources, and click Join our Team. Please share this with your friends who might be interested.

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Social Emotional Learning:

Social emotional Learning corner

Content by Mrs. Blaisdell

September 27th

Your amazing scholars have been learning Brain Science! 😊 You should be oh so impressed.

Why learn about our brains?

When we know more about how our brains function to help us learn and regulate our emotions; then we can be more successful in the ways we learn and manage our emotions in our school day and in life.

Kindergarten and first are learning the basics of our brain’s job and how we can take care of our brains.

Take care of your brains with adequate amounts of sleep—exercise—giving and receiving love/connection—reading or looking at books. 😊

In grades 2nd – 5th we are focusing on three parts of our brain that lead to learning and emotional regulation and we will also learn about neurons and neurological pathways:

The Prefrontal Cortex

The Hippocampus

The Amygdala—*The Amygdala is a set of jellybean sized structures deep in our brain, at the ends of our hippocampus.

*The Amygdala is the brain’s security guard. Ancient human brains had amygdala that responded to unsafe situations with the Fight—Flight—Freeze response to keep them safe in life threatening situations. (like being chased by a saber-tooth tiger 😲)

*Our modern human brains sometimes react with Fight—Flight—Freeze response when we feel unsafe, as well as when we feel stressed or less in control than we would like to be.

*It is important to know that our “thinking brain” shuts down when the Amygdala is in charge. Our thinking and decision-making brain is disengaged and not able to help us to make proper decisions about our behavior and emotional regulation. We must calm the Amygdala with a pause and with breathing. (oxygen stops heading to our thinking brain to prepare for Fight—Flight—Freeze and we can get the thinking brain back in control with deep and relaxing breathes)

*We need our Amygdala to keep us safe. However, we do not need our Amygdala reacting when we are simply in a stressful situation or when we are not getting our way.

*Simply being educated about the Amygdala’s functions and what an Amygdala “take-over” might look like in ourselves will empower students. Understanding the concrete things we can do to reengage our thinking brains and calm the Amygdala will also empower students with strategies that they can enact themselves.

Tackle an “Amygdala Take-Over” or an “Amygdala Hijack” with deep breathing.

Reengage your Thinking Brain to Make Decisions for SUCCESS!

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Healthy and Safe practices at Midland

Midland families,

Just a reminder of the things that we'd like you to consider before sending your child to school each day:

  • A temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above?
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

These are some safety precautions we will be practicing at Midland:

  • Students will be required to wear a mask on the bus, in the halls, in class, and at recess.
  • Students will wash hands and use hand sanitizer throughout the day.
  • Students will sit 3 feet apart in the classroom, and 6 feet apart during breakfast & lunch.

If your child has been exposed to COVID, or if they are showing symptoms of illness, you may not send them to school until they have been quarantined and symptom free for 14 days. Teachers will provide work for students during this time. We are counting on everyone to keep Midland safe for all students and staff. Thank you!

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Upcoming Events

(Early Release, School Events, Academic Calendar, etc.)

Franklin Pierce Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to James Hester, Compliance Coordinator for State and Civil Rights Laws; Wendy Malich, Title IX Officer; or John Sander, 504/ADA Coordinator at 315 129th ST S, Tacoma, WA 98444-5099 or at (253)298-3000.