Haymarket Happenings

July 2020

Dear Haymarket Families,

As we continue to navigate through this challenging time, I hope that this newsletter finds you and everyone around you doing well and staying safe. Many activities we as parents used to schedule to keep our kids active and engaged over the summer can't happen because of the pandemic, but I challenge you all to be creative. Think about the childhood games you used to play when you were little and introduce them to the joy those simple past times! For example, my kids played musical chairs the other day and loved it! There are also many virtual field trip opportunities that kids can continue to take part in over the summer (simply search elementary school virtual field trips and a ton will come up).

While we anxiously await the direction that PWCS will go as it relates to instruction in the fall, I urge you all to continue to have some sort of routine for your children if possible. Transitioning back to a "regular" start in August is already hard enough, but when we possibly remove that physical act of going to school everyday, the transition may be harder. Over the summer, set time aside for reading, writing, and maybe even some practice in the different content areas. I am not a big workbook fan, but to maintain skills learned last year you may want to look into purchasing some sort of practice book to keep those little minds working. Elementary aged students thrive on routines and knowing the expectations, so this would certainly help.

Throughout the summer, I will be working closely with many different people both here at Haymarket and at the County level to ensure the safety of our students and staff...my #1 job. Discussions have already started about various different procedural changes to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment for everyone if in fact we have in-person opportunities this fall. We are looking into health protocols if someone isn't feeling well, bathroom use, visual reminders of social distancing in the hallways, arrival/departure procedures, basic classroom set up, breakfast/lunch procedures, student supply storage, cafeteria and recess possibilities, cleaning routines and documentation, and much more. We have already purchased automated, touchless bottle fillers so students don't have to use the regular water fountains and we are looking at hand sanitzer stations for throughout the building.

I am very fortunate to have a staff at HMES that works collaboratively, asks questions, and offers solutions, but most importantly thinks of our students' well-being first and foremost. I am also thankful for my fellow building leaders around the County that continue to work together and share ideas and insights. Because of this teamwork, I am confident that whatever the learning environment will be in the fall, that our teachers will make the most of every opportunity with their students to continue learning.

I know you all have a lot of questions and "what ifs" that are coming up as you discuss what school looks like this fall. We ask for your patience as we navigate this uncharted territory and remember, It's going to be hard, but not impossible.

With great appreciation for your support and partnership,

Mr. Baldwin

Talking to your kids about the upcoming plan

You as parents set the tone for the school year each year, but this year is even more important than ever. When PWCS announces the plan, read it by yourself then discuss with your spouse or another adult in private (even better, out of the house). Then come back and tell your children about the plan as cheerfully and positively as possible. If we are back in school, buy or make a mask for them and tell them how proud of them you are for helping keep everyone around them safe (if there is guidance on mask wearing). Tell them to try their best. They are watching your reaction and will respond accordingly. It is fine if you feel completely different (anger, sad, upset, worried), just fake it so your children feel safe and have a smooth start to the school year, whatever it may look like. They don't need to add your worries to their own. They are looking to us adults to stay positive and support them during this change to their normal start of school routines.

I think this quote is very applicable right now:

You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

Building Hours/Registration

In accordance with PWCS recommendations, we will be open to the public two days a week until further notice. Mondays and Wednesdays between 8am and 4pm will be the times that our community members can come drop off registration documents or pick up supplies left from last school year. We prefer that you make an appointment by calling our main number so we can make your visit short and safe. When you come, you will be asked to stay in the lobby area and of course wear a mask. This is an important time for cleaning for the 2020-2021 school year, so we are limiting access to the building.