Keowee's Flash Forward

News from Your Assistant Principal, Rhonda Grant


It's been a great week back at school. Students have been working hard on their MAP math tests, and a lot of them have met or exceeded their spring goals. Once everyone is finished, I will calculate percentages and share them with you. Kindergarten and first grade begin their testing next week.

Our 5th grade team will be traveling to Detroit next week to compete in the International Jet Toy Competition. What an amazing opportunity for our students and our school. Please join me in wishing Henry, Josh, Alyssa, Mrs. Garland, and Mr. Holliday safe travels and fun times. Bring home the trophy, TEAM KEOWEE!


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April is usually known as Autism Awareness Month, but the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, an advocacy group for and by people with autism, has been looking to re-brand it Autism Acceptance Month. They’re calling for April to be a “celebration of Autistic culture and community.” Perhaps there isn’t much difference between asking for awareness versus asking for acceptance; both are about education, really. But acceptance requires a very small shift in thought.

Why should we talk to our kids about autism? Because statistically speaking, every child knows at least one kid with autism and interacts with him or her on a daily basis. Because the more we talk to our kids about accepting and understanding differences, the less likely they are to bully other kids. Because when we talk to our students about being accepting of the “quirky” kids in their class, we’re also teaching them to be accepting of other kinds of differences: skin colors, accents, clothing brands, religious beliefs, etc.

Whether we talk to our kids about Autism Acceptance or Autism Awareness , it really doesn't matter. Either way, please take that extra step and mention not just how people with autism are different from people without it, but talk about how they’re the same, too. To get you started, here are 10 things kids should know about autism:

1. You can’t tell that someone has autism by looking at them.

No one “looks” autistic. When a person is autistic, it just means their brain works differently.

2. Everybody’s brain works differently.

There are probably kids in your class who are really good at reading, but have to work harder in math. There’s probably a kid who is really good at art, but not so good at reading. Or a kid who is really good at every sport, but is afraid of public speaking. Everyone has things they’re good at, and things they have to work harder at. Just like every other kid, most kids with autism are good at some things but have to work harder at others.

3. Why are they doing that?

While you can’t tell that someone with autism has it just by looking at them, sometimes you’ll notice a kid that’s doing something different: spinning around for a long time, flapping their arms, jumping up and down a lot, or rocking back and forth. Those repetitive activities are called stims, and they’re doing it because it feels good, or it’s relaxing, or it’s fun, or as a way to block out too much noise around them.

4. Everybody’s “weird.”

Stimming can seem weird at first if you’re not used to it, but lots of people do things that are “weird.” People who don’t have autism still do all kinds of little things when they’re “spacing out” or thinking hard, like biting their nails, chewing their pencils, tapping their feet, or humming to themselves. It’s just that we’re more used to seeing those things. Other “weird” things that lots of kids and adults do are talking to themselves, being picky about foods, only liking certain kinds of shirts, picking at scabs, or only liking one particular author. What are some “weird” things that you do? It’s okay that we’re all different. Think how boring it would be if we all did the same things all the time!

5. Lots of people talk with their hands.

Hand-flapping is pretty common in kids with autism. (But not every kid who flaps his or her hands is autistic, and not every kid with autism flaps.) Most of the time, hand-flapping just expresses excitement. How else do people use their hands to talk? We give the “thumbs up” and make peace signs. You raise your hand to let your teacher know you want to be called on. Deaf people might use American Sign Language. How else do you use your hands to express yourself?

6. Sometimes, kids with autism have trouble with facial expressions.

Sometimes, kids with autism won’t know how you’re feeling just by looking at your face. Also, sometimes their facial expressions won’t match how they’re actually feeling. Often, if your friend with autism doesn’t seem to have any expression on her face, it just means she’s still thinking about something. If you’re not sure how someone is feeling, ask them!

7. What are you a fan of?

Some people with autism, especially a kind of autism called Asperger Syndrome, are really interested in one particular thing. Really, really interested. Their favorite topic could be anything: a certain video game, LEGOs, a kind of animal, weather patterns, ancient Egypt. But there are also a lot of kids and adults who don’t have autism who are really into something. Everyone knows someone who seems “obsessed” with their favorite sports team, for example. You don’t have to be autistic to be really into Harry Potter, Star Wars, or a favorite sports team. Sometimes kids with autism will forget to talk about other things besides their favorite topic. It’s okay to say, “can we talk about something else now?”

8. Explain the rules!

Kids with autism want to play, too! Sometimes, it’s harder for them to ask if they can play with you, and they might not understand which people are playing what, and how to get in the game. Besides asking your friend if he wants to play, it can be helpful if you explain what the rules of the game are.

9. Lots of adults have autism, too.

Autism isn’t just a kid thing. Lots of grown-ups have autism. Often, autism “runs” in families just like hair color, eye color, or other differences. Just like kids with autism, some adults with autism need lots of help, and some don’t.

10. Individuals with autism are individuals.

Just like all the kids in your class are a little different, all people with autism are different.

If you met a kid with red hair who really likes Transformers, you wouldn’t expect every person with red hair to really like Transformers. It’s the same thing with autism. Not every autistic person likes the same stuff, is good at the same things, or has a hard time with the same things. They’re individuals just like you’re an individual.

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Core Essentials Trait for April is...

FRIENDSHIP--Spending time with someone you trust and enjoy

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Word of the Week...

The WOW for April 11-15 is instigate. On Friday, we will have two students from Mrs. Lovell's 5th grade class on the news to share their original sentences using the WOW.

John Collins FCAs for April

K Details (content)

1 In a paragraph, use a topic sentence, three details, and a closing sentence (organization)

2 Complete paragraph with a topic sentence, three details with elaboration, and a closing sentence (content)

3 Details with elaboration (content)

4 Using text evidence (content)

5 Using text evidence (content)


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You will have to override Youtube to view this week's video.

This is a great 3 minute video you may want to share with your class!

Marvelous Max - Autism Awareness for Kids
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April 11-15 MAP

April 12-14 KES Jet Toy Team competes in Detroit, MI

Tuesday, April 12 Yo-Go Spirit Day

Thursday, April 14 SST @ 12:00

Friday, April 15 SIC @ 2:00

Friday, April 15 Family Movie Night @ 5:00

April 18-22 MAP

Tuesday, April 19 Volunteer Drop-in

April 20-22 SC Ready Math Labs A & B

Thursday, April 21 Subway Night

Friday, April 22 Special Olympics @ Clemson University

April 26-27 SC Ready ELA

Wednesday, April 27 PBIS Sno-Cone Soiree

Thursday, April 28 SST @ 12:00

Friday, April 29 "Groovy Spring Book Fair" opens/70's Day dress-up

Friday, April 29 Early Release Day

April 29-May 5 Spring Book Fair

May 2-5 SC Ready Math Labs A & B

May 11-13 SC PASS Science Labs A & B

May 16-19 5th Grade Trip to Washington, DC

May 16-19 SC PASS Science & Soc. Studies Lab A

May 23-24 SC PASS Soc. Studies Labs A & B

Thursday, May 26 Subway Night

Friday, May 27 Chorus to Carowinds

Monday, May 30 Memorial Day Holiday

Tuesday, May 31 Field Day

Wednesday, June 1 Awards Day

June 1-2 Early Dismissal @ 11:30