Pontiac Elementary Week of October 12-16

From the desk of our Guidance Counselor: Support for our students following this natural disaster

We are all going to work hard to support each other and our students this week as we process the devastating flooding our community has endured. Though each person reacts differently to a disaster, students do best when given the opportunity to talk about what happened. Giving them some time to share will help them better be able to focus on academic work.

Here are some guidelines for discussion with your students:

1. Acknowledge the loss and destruction, but emphasize the community's efforts to clean up and rebuild. Reassure students that they will be taken care of, and that life will return to normal.

2. Acknowledge their feelings. Listen & empathize.

3. Allow them to talk/ draw/ write about what happened. Classroom discussions help children make some sense of the disaster.

4. Promote positive coping strategies. Brainstorm, "What makes you feel better when you're stressed or worried?" Talk about how to take good care of ourselves- eat right, exercise, do things that you enjoy, spend time with people you care about.

5. Emphasize resiliency. Talk about other communities that have gone through natural disasters and recovered. (However, take care not to show videos of the flood or other disasters as this can frighten young children)

6. Create opportunities to help others. How can we share some of our Pontiac kindness with our community? (for example, your class could make cards for the first responders)

7. Take care of your own needs. It is important that we handle ourselves in a calm, reassuring manner. You will be best able to help your students if you are coping well yourself. Talk and share your feelings with other adults in the building. This event has been stressful for everyone, not just our students. If you need a break, reach out for help.

If you have a student who is unusually upset, irritable, distant or withdrawn, please contact Mrs. Whitney who will be available to support any students who are having a difficult time.

A Look at our Week Ahead

All homeroom teachers should report to their classrooms at 7:30am. As a support to our parents in the district, we will allow students to come inside as early as 7:30am so as not to pose a hardship on work schedules. All students will be sent to their homeroom classroom unless they request breakfast. Please use this time to reinforce or extend instructional skills. This time with minimum students should be used purposefully. Consider using websites that enhance curriculum, support independent reading, or provide small group instruction. If you do not have a homeroom, a morning supervision schedule is forthcoming. If you have children, please know that you may certainly bring them with you on these delayed starts.


Monday: B Day

Penny Wars for Fall Fest begins!

3:30pm Brief staff meeting in media center followed by Team Leaders meeting

Tuesday: C Day

3:00pm Chorus practice

3:30pm-4:30pm ALL CERTIFIED STAFF INVITED Get a jumpstart on your SLO in media ctr

Support Lauren Fink's volleyball team at RVHS! Game time 7:00pm

Wednesday: D Day

SLO development

7:45am-8:45am 5th grade in conference room with Mr. Robinson

8:50am-9:50am 4th grade in conference room with Mr. Robinson

Thursday: E Day


SLO development

7:45am-8:45am Primary Montessori with Mrs. Robbins in extra conference room

8:50am-9:50am Upper and Lower Montessori with Mrs. Robbins in extra conf room

7:45am-8:45am 3rd grade in conference room with Mr. Robinson

8:50am-9:50am 2nd grade in conference room with Mrs. Gillespie

1pm IAT meets

Friday: F Day

SLO development

7:45am-8:45am 1st grade in conference room with APs

8:50am-9:50am Kindergarten in conference room with APs

Next Monday, Spec Ed will work with APs on SLOs

Next Tuesday, Global will work with APs on SLOs.