Chester Elementary School

January 4, 2019

Happy 2019, CES Families! 2 hour delays & closures:

We are excited to start 2019 with all of our CES families, are anxious to welcome back our students on Monday, January 7 and appreciate the opportunity to work with all of you. We are thankful for your ongoing support and enjoyed seeing so many parents at our Christmas sing-a-long on Thursday, December 20.

This coming week looks to be a wet one, so I thought I would review our district's process for determining if a school delay or closure is necessary.

School 2 hour delays & closures. When we anticipate snow, Superintendent Oestreich begins collaborating with district officials and contacts in all 4 communities at around 4:30 am. They research the current weather conditions, upcoming forecast, CalTrans reports, and PG&E’s current operating conditions. They make a determination for each community if a 2 hour delay or school closure is necessary, typically by 5:30 am. Once determined, they communicate with all principals, who will then communicate with our staff and families. I will email and text our staff, then post a message on Facebook, and set up an auto call through our Aeries student data information system.

Loss of power. At times, our power may go off during the school day. Please allow your child to remain in school if this happens. Instruction continues and our teachers are able to still provide a productive learning day. We will do our best to conserve the heat and continue school operations as normal. Our bathrooms will still be operational, and our kitchen team serves sandwiches if the ovens are unavailable. Our district officials are notified about power outages, then start monitoring classroom temperatures. If the power outage lasts more than 4 hours, and the classroom temperatures continue to drop, then there is a possibility we could have an early dismissal. We will then notify our families through Facebook and auto calls. However, we strive to keep students at school to complete the day.

Chronic Stress Among Students and Long Term Effects

Our teachers have been studying 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 Friday, January 11.

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

Jan 7 - Welcome back students! Happy New Year!

Jan 16 - PTA Meeting (time & location TBA)

Jan 21 - Happy Martin Luther King Day - no school

Feb 18-22 - Winter break - no school

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.