January Newsletter

from Principal Tom Jones

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I hope winter break was exactly what you needed it to be . . . for me, it was time to sit around the fire pit, lots and lots of bike rides with my kids, small projects, and unstructured time away from screens although Netflix was a regular house guest, I must admit. As we transition back into learning, I hope you will continue to find time to recharge regularly and nourish the relationships with those around you. Oh, and welcome 2021 . . . we have anxiously been awaiting your arrival.
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Social Emotional Learning

This month is the fourth in my recurring theme: social emotional learning competencies. The five areas are: self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management, and relationship skills.

The area of social awareness is the focus for January.

Social awareness is "the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports." -CASEL 2017

During distance learning, our students are experiencing a very different way of learning; the focus on development of social awareness is of great importance during this time of social distancing. Here's how you can support your children in developing this competency at home.

In order to support our TK-2 students with developing and growing their social awareness, you can describe characteristics of two people that are similar and different. Another great way is to use attention and listening skills to assess facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. Both of these can be done while reading a book, watching a TV show or movie, or during interactions with others either in person or virtually. Modeling respect and awareness of a variety of cultures and groups is also a powerful way to build social awareness in our younger students.

In supporting our older students in grades 3-5, the same areas of focus is appropriate. Social awareness skills can be further developed by talking about the impact of one's own behavior on the emotions of others (each of our households are perfect for this) and recognizing multiple points of view or perspective in a situation. This allows for compromise, problem solving, and a better understanding of how each of us plays a part in creating and nurturing our relationships with those whom we interact both in person and virtually.

Like all the social emotional skills we have been exploring for our students, there is a lot more to this competency. Investing in our children through deliberate practice and interaction with social awareness will pay huge dividends in their overall development.

Next month I will discuss our final competency of self-awareness . . .

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A Few Helpful Reminders:

Our webpage is located here.

After basic troubleshooting, you can email IT support directly at parentsupport@lvjusd.org

We are here to help and support you with distance learning.

Stay Well, Have Hope, Practice Kindness, and Practice Gratitude,

Tom Jones, Principal