Stoneleigh Home-School Connection

3/15/2021

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Dear Stoneleigh Elementary Families,


We are more than half-way through the third marking period with interim direction shared with families by BCPS on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. If you have not yet looked in Schoology to determine the mid-point grades or achievement codes for your child(ren) please make sure you do so. Checking at this point helps to decrease any surprise when the report card is distributed at the end of the marking period.


Some families have contacted the front office regarding volunteering during the current school year. At this time, BCPS is asking all potential volunteers to hold their applications and training certificates until BCPS is able to open up volunteer placements.


We are beginning to receive inquiry about kindergarten registration for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Families of children who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2021 are welcome to call the school at 443-809-3600 and/or email btinkler@bcps.org to be placed on our registration list. When registration opens this spring, those families will be contacted. Please do not register your child now using information found at www.bcps.org. The BCPS website is currently set-up for those families needing to register a child to begin this year.


Finally, BCPS has shared that starting the second week in March 3/8/2021, BCPS will return to sending SchoolMessenger phone calls to only the first phone number associated with each custodial contact (i.e., mother, father, guardian) identified for a student in Focus.


Wishing everyone well.


Ms. Hollenbeck

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Hybrid Environment Information

Update: Recently BCPS changed the mask break protocol. Beginning Monday, March 15th planned mask breaks prior to lunch, after lunch and at recess will be replaced by individual mask breaks as necessary when staff and students find need. Mask breaks are no more then 5 minutes in length.


Hybrid Environment Parent Presentations: During the February 11th and 18th PTA meeting about the hybrid environment presentations were shared which we had hoped to upload to the Stoneleigh Elementary School website. Unfortunately, despite our efforts this is not something which can be added to the website. Please see pdfs below of the PowerPoints and slide notes from each meeting.


Student Meals at No Cost: All students who opted for in-person hybrid instruction will be offered in-person onsite meals. Students will receive two days of meals in-person and will be eligible for curbside meals on the alternative days. On the days when students are in school, they will either eat in the cafeteria, seated by small groups, socially distanced, or meals will be delivered to their classrooms, and they will eat there.


Breakfast and lunch menus can be found using the following link: https://businessservices.bcps.org/departments/business_services_operations/food_and_nutrition_services/breakfast_and_lunch_menus


Before and After School Care: The following is more information is being provided by Ms. Mellott CEO and COO of Play Centers. For families who would like to enroll in Play Centers for THIS school year, we welcome everyone with open arms! Right now, only Cohort A’s on Mondays and Tuesdays and only Cohort B’s on Thursdays and Fridays. Nothing on Wednesdays and nothing on any full days until such time as BCPS determines this safe.


Nearly all Stoneleigh “Play Centers” families carried over their monies on account to save their spot for when we reopen for regular operations, so they are fully accounted for in our list. The spot is secure for next Fall as long as they continue along the enrollment path that will likely unfurl immediately after Spring Break.


As a result of children aging up and graduating (or a few other circumstances like families moving), approximately 24 slots have opened up for next Fall for new After School enrollees (Before School is not an issue as those numbers are significantly smaller). Figured into those slots are the following groups of children: Siblings of enrolled children, Wait List from 2019-2020 School Year, Current K’s, Incoming K’s, Older children who were new to the school this school year and Older children who will be new to the school in the Fall.

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Stoneleigh Elementary Equity Work With Students

In the last Home School Connection it was shared that a fifth grade class began an ELA lesson about events in our community that were important to us. After brainstorming as a class, they focused on Black Lives Matter. They incorporated current events, government, and key points in the Declaration of Independence (opportunity of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) into the discussions. As the week went on students focused on education and how it helps with these basic rights. That all people, which includes everyone should have an education which allows the pursuit. It was a set of powerful lessons that led to mature discussions lead by the students which opened and challenged students to take a critical look in our community. Below is a second student's assignment with permission to share.


Black lives matter educationally because you have opportunities as a child, and you shouldn't have those opportunities taken away just because of your skin color. In the Declaration of Independence, it states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That means that all people should be treated equally no matter their skin color, their gender, or their religion. Our guest speaker shared things that happened to her as a young black student in school. She shared how she was kicked out of a school because she was black and stood up for herself after another student placed a picture of a monkey on her desk. When she graduated and went on to college she was accepted into a historically black college. Unfortunately, today the school is no longer open because they did not receive enough funding to stay open nor did they have enough students.


Her situation reminded me of an interview with at the time President Barack Obama who shared his teenage to young adult experiences, "I didn't have a dad in the house. And I was angry about it, even though I didn't necessarily realize it at the time." The president said, "I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. I didn't always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short." Later he reflected, "And the point was I could see myself in these young men. And the only difference is that I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving, so when I made a mistake the consequences were not as severe. I had people who encouraged me -- not just my mom and grandparents, but wonderful teachers and community leaders -- and they'd push me to work hard and study hard and make the most of myself. And if I didn't listen, they said it again. And if I didn't listen, they said it a third time....They never gave up on me, and so I didn't give up on myself." Finally President Obama said, ”Everyone should be treated equally no matter what race, religion, or gender."

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From Stoneleigh's School Counselors

March is Mindfulness

As part of our School Counseling Program, your child’s class will have the opportunity to engage in a synchronous counseling core curriculum lesson during the month of March. The theme for this month is Mindfulness. Students in both primary and intermediate grades will be invited to participate in experiential learning around sensory awareness, attention, and relaxation with the hope that they can then utilize these mindfulness strategies as positive coping skills. The primary grades incorporate movement and sensory exercises to support motor development and awareness. Third and fourth graders will be learning about the structures of the brain that regulate physical and emotional responses to stressful events while 5th graders will be exploring a gratitude practice. These lessons will be delivered live, but for students who want to refer to the resources or who are unable to attend they will be provided on Schoology as well.


This month marks one year since the closing of schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We want to acknowledge and make space for the processing of the many complicated feelings that will arise for students and adults alike around this anniversary.


We want our students to feel empowered by many different tools of self-regulation. Mindfulness exercises are research-proven strategies for stress and anxiety management that do not require extensive training to implement. We are encouraging students to share the strategies with their families and hope that this will be a source of meaningful and enriching discussions at home!


It is our hope that the core curriculum counseling lessons will help to promote the social emotional, academic, and career development of our students. We hope that you can help your child reflect on these lessons by discussing their content together. Please feel free to contact either of us with any questions about the program. Mrs. Kaminski (K-2 counselor) can be reached via email at ekaminski2@bcps.org. Ms. Leaf (3-5 counselor) can be reached via email at nleaf@bcps.org.

From BCPS

If I Were Mayor I Would... Contest

Change happens all the time. Every year, you get a new teacher. And some students change schools completely. The truth is, eventually, everyone experiences having to adjust to new people, places and habits. Change isn't always something we can control. And a lot has changed in the last year. Usually when things change around us, it means we have to act or do things differently.


Contest Rules: The contest is open to all Maryland students enrolled in the 4th grade during the 2020-21 school year. All essays must be returned via a new digital method. Mailed entries will not be accepted. All essays must begin with the opening line: "If I Were Mayor, I Would..." Essays may not exceed 275 words. Only one essay may be submitted per student. Essays will be judged by contest sponsors in the following areas: essay relation to contest topic: displayed knowledge about municipal government and the role of a mayor; creativity; and proper use of grammar.


For more information visit the website below.