Chester Elementary School

December 14, 2018

Greetings Parents! Happy Holidays!

We are excited to be completing our final week before we go on winter break. Monday our kindergartners will be singing a couple songs at our Monday Morning Meeting (approximately 8:30 start). On Thursday, we will be celebrating the holiday season with a 1st-6th grade sing-along starting at 2:00 in the gym. We'll send all of our students off with a warm good bye on Thursday at 2:40 pm (assuming we don't have any snow days this week - if so, then we will have school on Friday). Throughout the week we will be emphasizing the importance of kindness and giving during this holiday season.

We appreciate the ongoing support and collaboration with our families to provide an exceptional elementary experience for our students, and truly enjoy working with all of you. We want to wish all of you a happy holiday season and the best winter break, filled with quality family time and friendships. Please be safe, and we'll be excited to welcome our students back on January 7, 2019.

Stress Among Students and Long Term Effects

Each year around the holidays we typically see a rise in student misbehaviors. I've often attributed this increase to "holiday stress" where we all feel a little pressure as adults to provide a special holiday experience to our children, where our children may sense our stress or are dealing with other challenges which may impact their ability to make good choices and where maybe as educators we're getting a little fatigued, resulting in a season of increasing unfortunate student choices and behavior referrals.

In addition to holiday stress, during our early out Mondays, our teachers have been studying other serious stress factors called "adverse childhood experiences" or the ACE's Study from the Center for Disease Control and the Kaiser Foundation. The ACE's study (link below for more information) provides some alarming research regarding chronic stress our youth may be experiencing as a result of a variety of factors (ex divorce, emotional or physical abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, mental illness, neglect, incarceration, death, etc). The more factors a child experiences, the higher their risk of suffering from long term effects of chronic stress. This chronic stress can lead to emotional and physical impairments, behavioral challenges as well as an inability to learn at a high rate.

The good news is that we can all work to limit the harmful effects of some of these stressors in our children's lives. The primary prevention is for our children to have stable homes with caring, loving relationships with adults - family, community, school staff, etc. We know we can all be a caring adult towards children and build positive relationships with them - our own children, neighborhood children and the children we get to work with at school. Our teachers are learning more about combating chronic stress with our students and realize that students have to know that we care about them before they can learn. For more information, please visit the links and resources provided below.

Coin Drive to Support Paradise Elementary School - ends Thursday, December 20th!

Thanks to the thoughtfulness of Ms. Whalen's class, and 5th grader Craig, we have started a coin drive to support Paradise Elementary School and Butte County School District. Feel free to drop off any money donations to the silver garbage can located in or near the front office. Ms. Whalen's class and Craig will be working together to promote, collect and count the change, then will forward 100% of the proceeds to the Butte County Office of Education, attn Paradise Elementary School to support the victims of the Camp Fire. Thank you!

Wet Winter Weather - Please make sure your child dresses appropriately

Throughout these next few months, we are going to have days at school where we have rain and snow. In most instances, we will be sending students outside for a break to play and get some fresh air. Therefore, it's important that we all pay attention to the weather and dress appropriately - water resistant jackets or coats, water-resistant boots, warm pants, gloves, etc. We appreciate your understanding. Please let me know if you have questions, concerns, special circumstances, or considerations.


Upcoming Dates

Dec 17 - K students will sing a Christmas song at Monday Morning Meeting (approx 8:30)

Dec 19 - CES Site Council Meeting 3:00; PTA Meeting 4:00

Dec 20 - 1st-6th Christmas sing-along (2:00-2:35) - each class will sing a song

Dec 21-- Possible make up snow day (if we have any snow days this week)

Dec 21 - Jan 4 - Winter break

Jan 7 - Welcome back students! Happy New Year!

Thanks for your support!

We enjoy partnering with our parents to provide an exceptional elementary education for all of our students. We appreciate your ongoing support to benefit our students. Please let us know if you have any questions.