Family Engagement

December 2021

We're Halfway Through!

We are closing out the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year! The past few months have been a much closer return to "normal" in our schools. Thank you so, so much to everyone for working hard to get our kids back to a learning environment in which they can thrive! From parents to teachers, to nurses and custodians...that's just the start of the list of those who worked together to make it happen. We appreciate all that you have done.


The mid-point of the year is a good time to take stock of how your child is doing at school, both academically and emotionally. Take some time over the holiday break to see how your child is doing and how they feel about the work they are putting into their school day. Here are a few questions to get you started:


What was the hardest thing you had to do today?

Did any of your classmates do anything funny?

Do you think math [or any subject] is too easy or too hard?

What's the biggest difference between this year and last year?

What rules are different at school than our rules at home? Do you think they're fair?

Who did you sit with at lunch?

What was the nicest thing you did for someone else today?

Parent Advisory Council - COMING SOON!

Cherokee County Schools welcomes ideas for reaching out to, encouraging, welcoming, communicating with, and involving more parents as decision-making partners in

  • school activities
  • improving student academic learning
  • joining campus advisory committees

In January, we will be reaching out to our schools for recommendations of parents who would be interested in serving in this advisory role. Please let your school administrator or the Federal Programs Office know if you would be interested in serving in this capacity! syoder@cherokeek12.org

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TIPS TO PREVENT HOLIDAY STRESS AND DEPRESSION

When stress is at its peak, it's hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.


1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.


2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious, or other social events or communities. Many may have websites, online support groups, social media sites, or virtual events. They can offer support and companionship.


If you’re feeling stressed during the holidays, it also may help to talk to a friend or family member about your concerns. Try reaching out with a text, a call, or a video chat.


Volunteering your time or doing something to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships. For example, consider dropping off a meal and dessert at a friend’s home during the holidays.


3. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.


4. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try these alternatives:


  • Donate to a charity in someone's name.
  • Give homemade gifts.
  • Start a family gift exchange


5. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That'll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.


6. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it's not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.


7. Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.

  • Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
  • Be aware of how the information culture can produce undue stress, and adjust the time you spend reading news and social media as you see fit.


8. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing, and restoring inner calm. Some options may include:

  • Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
  • Listening to soothing music.
  • Getting a massage, or reading a book.


9. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or mental health professional.


Take control of the holidays. Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.



www.mayoclinic.org

What is FAFSA?

It's never too early—or too late—to explore your options for college or career school. This site: www.studentaid.gov discusses key steps in preparing for college and provides resources that can help you along the way. The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in financial aid to help pay for college or career school each year. Finding financial aid can seem overwhelming when you're trying to get ready for college or career school. It doesn't have to be! There is information available to walk you through how financial aid works, resources to pay for college, and loan repayment options.


Here’s what you need to know: EVERY GRADUATING SENIOR IS REQUIRED TO FILL OUT A FAFSA FORM! Get started here or contact your school counselor for more information.


https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

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ACT Tests and Registration Deadlines

Be sure you have taken your ACT! All Juniors will take the ACT for free at school this coming April, but any other tests that you wish to take must be registered for in advance. Visit ACT.org to get signed up!