April 2020 * Volume 17 * Issue 7 * Hugh Gregg School
PTA President's Message
Dear Gregg Gators,
Can you believe that we are already over halfway through April and May is right around the corner…
Parents, we know you are on triple duty—working, parenting and teaching from home—all while striving to keep your household healthy, fed and balanced mentally. We are all here for you and looking ahead to when we return back to school. We are committed to supporting and making sure all the needs of the children, teachers, our school and our communities are met.
Staying in contact with all of you is part of what we are doing because we can all use the interactions and check ins with each other. So we have been hosting virtual meetings via Zoom and we love to have more of you on our next call that is scheduled on Tuesday, April 28th at 7pm. Join this Zoom Meeting by clicking this link https://us04web.zoom.us/j/71339895979 (Meeting ID: 713 3989 5979) or check out the event on our Facebook page at facebook.com/HughGreggElementaryPTA.
With the current status of COVID-19 some of the upcoming events we had planned for the spring had to be adjusted or canceled. We will no longer be having the Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser that was panned for this spring and it will make a comeback in the Spring of 2021. The Spring Scholastic Book Fair will be hosted virtually from May 9th through May 22nd. Shop our Virtual Book Fair to keep our students reading!
Teacher appreciation week is right around the corner and we are doing something new and are looking for you help. Have your child(ren) make a poster, take a photo or make a video to honor their teacher(s) and send them to our new email HughGreggPTA@gmail.com we will be doing something special with them.
Joshua W. White
Hugh Gregg PTA President
I am writing from my home office and reflecting on the past 5 weeks of our school closure due to COVID 19. Ironically, as I am typing this, Andra Day's song "Rise Up" just came on my station- what an appropriate anthem for everything you are experiencing as parents of small children!
Essentially everything has changed in our lives yet, I know we are all working hard- perhaps harder than ever, to figure daily life out. I have appreciated the conversations with parents who have emailed, called, hopped on the virtual PTA Zooms and in person at Tuesday's packet pick up. Listening to your experiences helps me understand and appreciate all that you are doing. I applaud you for your strength, commitment and dedication to your children and your families. We all know this has not been easy nor anything we could ever expect. Simply, it is a lot and it is hard.
We learned this week that the Governor has extended our school closure until May 15. As you know, the district created learning plans called "Phase 2" which are 5 weeks of instructional plans. No one knows when we will be allowed to safely return to school or what that will look like when we do - these are the biggest questions. We know it will be different from other Mays and Junes, but we do not yet know how different. I promise to communicate and inform you as things develop.
As Josh mentioned, Gregg School had a lot of plans for the spring that have been either cancelled or put on hold. Sadly, we missed our Ivan Family Night, the MP 2 reading reward celebration, Science Fair, NYS Testing, and field trips. The Yearbook staff/club is still working and on target to meet their deadline. We are discussing May Day, which has been a Gregg School tradition for probably ~50 years. The spring musical crew is still rehearsing virtually, and we will begin to have planning discussions about how to celebrate our 5th graders. There won't be a way to capture, honor and reschedule everything that was on the calendar, we know that and appreciate you understanding that.
I have to give a shout out to our staff! They have been working hard to stay connected to their students. They miss them. They miss school and work. They are learning new things, particularly about technology and remote learning and to be honest, still figuring things out. They worry about the students/families and how everyone is doing, particularly those that have not been "in touch" or responding to messages. They in turn share those concerns with me so we can strategize on how to best connect. Several staff members have been volunteering at the food pick up site at the HS, some are sewing masks for our community, some are supporting other CPP staff with learning about remote learning technology.- all are super busy! They are a caring and amazing group and I am proud of them!
I do hope that you will check out the content in this newsletter. Please reach out to me regarding your needs, questions, or even to acknowledge staff providing helpful support to your child/family.
Now, more than ever, thanks for all that you do! Wishing you the best,
Mrs. Ann Collins, Principal
April/May Gregg PTA Check In
Tuesday, April 28th, 7pm
This is an online event.
Topic: Hugh Gregg PTA Check In Time: Apr 28, 2020 07:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 713 3989 5979
RSVPs are enabled for this event.
PTA: Teacher Appreciation Week is Coming Up: 2 Ways to be Involved
Gregg Gators: Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8) is fast approaching and we refuse to let the coronavirus hold us back. We have two projects lined up:
1. Teacher Appreciation Videos!
We are looking for photo and video submissions to celebrate your teachers and staff at Hugh Gregg. Please take a moment to make a personalized sign, picture or even video to say how much you miss them or to thank them for all they have done and continue to do. It goes without saying but all submissions must be appropriate.
Please have all submission in by April 27th to allow time to process and edit. All submissions can be emailed to HughGreggPTA@gmail.com and any video or photo submissions could be used on the Hugh Gregg PTA Facebook Page.
Email Submission Process:
Please email all submissions to email@example.com and include the following in email. This will allow the submissions to be combined accordingly.
What teacher or staff member is it for:
2. Gratitude Graffiti at Gregg School!
The week of April 27, the PTA will be putting up a large surface on the playground fence at Gregg School. This is a place to write/draw/paint messages of gratitude, love, and encouragement for our amazing teachers and staff at Gregg School.
Please follow social distancing guidelines: bring your own (waterproof) supplies, wear a mask, and if someone else is already working, give them space to finish before adding your own contribution. Be sure to wash your hands before and after. We will provide some paint markers for those who don't have supplies but please sanitize your hands before and after using. We want to spread cheer, not germs!
Finally, if your graffiti is inappropriate, we will paint over it. So keep it classy, Gators!
Check our Facebook page for more information, and message us with any questions. We look forward to seeing everyone's creative work in the next few weeks!
SQUARE 1 ART UPDATE
Gregg Gators can order your Square 1 Art from home!!
For Families interested, there are two ways to order:
Online: This link will take you to the Square 1 Art website to search your child's name
Type in your child's name, state, and Hugh Gregg Elementary.
You should be able to view your child's artwork and make a purchase.
If you have questions contact Mrs. Fogarty's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Phone: 1- 888-332-3294
Gregg Gators worked so hard on their Square 1 Art projects and I am very proud of them!
With purchases made through Square 1 Art, the Gregg School art program will receive a portion to purchase materials and supplies. I am truly grateful for your support!! I understand that our fundraiser is during a difficult time. Please do not feel any pressure to order items, you can in the future or simply go on to view your child’s artwork!
Kids Read Now: what do I need to know?
Thank you to the K-4 families who responded to the emails about helping your child to select 9 FREE books to be mailed to you. We have just 22 students who have not ordered yet!! We will get them, though!
On May 4th, the KRN company will begin mailing the first book to you. Listed below are the next steps. Remember, the child needs to read and discuss the book with you. Each book comes with a DISCOVERY SHEET to guide your conversation.
Then, contact KRN via APP (find it in your app store: Kids Read Now), text, website, email or phone and they will send the next book!
Your child must keep reading to be eligible for all 9 books, which we sure hope they will!
KEEP READING GATORS!
9 tips for parents whose children are now learning at home because of Coronavirus by Jennifer Fabiano
A “digital quarantine” might be necessary to keep your child’s attention focused on their schoolwork. You should limit their use of their devices, other than what is needed to complete their work, until their schoolwork is done. If you choose, you can allow your child to play on a device during a designated break, but make them aware that they only have a limited amount of time until they need to get back to work.
2. Make space for learning
Many adults have a specific area of the home in which they do work, and it’s important that you create a similar space for your child. Your children will achieve their best work in a quiet, comfortable, and dedicated space that is strictly devoted to learning. This space should be a different set-up than where they normally play games or watch television.
3. Maintain breaks such as snack time and recess
Routines and schedules are extremely important for children at school, and this is no different in their at-home school. Children will function best if they maintain their routine as close to normal as possible. Setting alarms similar to those they would encounter at school can be helpful for keeping them on a schedule. Around lunch time, encourage them to get up, get some fresh air, go for a walk or bike ride, or have a snack so that they are not sedentary for the entire day.
4. Allow them to interact with friends via video chats
Your children are used to lots of social contact at school, so they will definitely feel the effects of being distanced from them even after a few days. While it might not be safe for your kids to see their friends in person, you should allow them to interact with them online, beyond social media or text messaging. Video chats are often the closest thing to seeing someone in person, and are a great way to get in social time without endangering yourself or others. If your child does not regularly video chat with their friends, you can speak with other parents to set up a video chat playdate (please do not use the school's Google Meet log ins to do this)
5. Mix screen time with old school learning mediums
Overuse of screen time can have adverse impacts on young brains, so it’s important to mix it up during a time like this. It’s likely that your children will want to continue to use a screen of some sort during their breaks from doing work, so it’s important to limit screen time by mixing in old school mediums as well. Hopefully teachers have sent home hard copy packets that they are able to work from. If not, print out anything you can for your child. As much as possible, parents should encourage print and book reading.
6. Keep in touch with other parents
Social distancing is important during this time, but staying in touch with others via virtual communication is very important. Each parent that has a child home is going to be going through a new experience. Check in with other parents to see what they’ve found effective, and ask if they need help as well.
7. Don’t underestimate the power of a schedule
If you and your children are all doing work from your home, it’s likely that this is the first time that has ever happened. A schedule, for your work and your child’s work, is extremely important. To start, experts recommend keeping them on the same or similar sleeping schedule that they have when they are going into school. If a schedule was not provided by their teachers, help them write one for not only each day, but each week, as well. Having a clear vision of what is expected of your child will help them see that just because they are home does not mean they don’t have work to do. Experts recommend helping them prioritize and learn to create goals, tasks, and deadlines, just like adults do when they go to work.
8. Don’t let your children treat this as a vacation
This time at home might feel like a vacation for your child, but it’s important to remind them that their education still comes first. Obligations like class assignments, grades, tests, state exams, SATs, and ACTs aren’t going away just because classes have moved online.
10. Remember to schedule time for fun
While this is most certainly not a vacation, it’s important to have some fun with your children while they are at home. It’s rare that you have this much time with your children, so use it as an opportunity to bond. Experts at Children and Screens recommend organizing a tournament, family card games, charades, or chess, or getting outside for a hike or walk together.