Principal's Paw Print, March 2017

HAPPY SPRING WILDCATS!

It’s spring and our Wildcats wrapped up winter with some pretty amazing actvities. The entire 5th Grade class went on their overnight field trip to NatureBridge on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula. Beechers Cheese came for an in class field trip to teach the 4th Grade class how to cook. The 1st Graders went on a field trip to see The Snowy Day. The Kindergartners took a trip to the ballet to see Hansel & Gretel. And the entire school was treated to a performance from the Massive Monkees. They are doing a 3 week residency in Performing Arts and an all school dance off is happening April 5th. We can’t wait!

Special Thank You to the PTA: We balanced our budget for the 2017-18 school year with a great deal of help from you. Thank you to all who a lended the PTA Meeting on March 15th. Because of your generosity we are able to continue to maximize supports for our students and staff, which includes the Head Teacher position, .5 PCP teacher to keep us at three full time positions, .2 of the nurse, and .1 of the Literacy Specialist. This was a very big decision; one that was carefully considered by all in attendance and I am honestly touched by your willingness to do whatever it takes for our school. I also want to say a very special thank you to the PTA board, the budget committee, and the BLT parent reps who met for countless hours behind the scenes to find a way to make it work. It’s amazing what happens when you put a strong group of highly motivated people in a room together. There are no words for the gratitude we feel. We should be hearing more over Spring Break on reallocations as funding is restored and will work collaboratively on what that will look like moving forward.

RULER Family Night #3: Meta Moment: The third and final RULER Family Night this year will be, April 6, 6:30pm - 8:00pm in the Whittier Library. Parents are invited to join us for an interactive workshop to learn about the Meta Moment: a RULER Anchor tool that helps us deal more effectively with unpleasant feelings. Learn how to use the steps of the Meta Moment to be the parent you want to be - not the one who gets hijacked by stress, acts in haste, and regrets it later. NOTE: This is a parents-only event.

Intercom System: We will be implementing a new intercom system for entering the main entry doors to the building. Since it’s such a big shift in our current practice, we’ve been researching how other schools use it and looking for the appropriate time to start. We’ve also requested that our key card system be set up for the playground entry/exit doors. This will provide us with more control on who enters the building, giving us more security throughout the building. The key card system is used by staff to enter and exit the building during off hours. By moving it to the playground doors only staff will be able to open the doors using their key cards. We expect it to be moved after spring break and will keep you posted!

Staffing: Welcome to Heidi Hanson who is the new first grade teacher in room 206. Ms. Hanson has been working closely with Ms. Dowsing for a few weeks now and is ready to take over full time. Ms. Dowsing is coming in to assist during walk to math and teaching RULER two afternoons a week. This means that while Ms. Dowsing has re-entered her role as Head Teacher, she will have some limitations given she’s still supporting Room 206 for a portion of the day.

Standardized Testing: Spring Testing is upon us. All testing will happen in May. Letters with more information will go home with students before spring break. Please make sure your student attends school on time, is well rested, and has had a good breakfast on their testing day!

School Supplies: Next year we are going to shift to fee-based school supplies. There will be a per student fee (TBD) which we will use to purchase student school supplies through the main office for each classroom. No more waiting in long lines or a mad rush for the best deal!

Volunteer for Lunch and/or Recess Duty: Playground and lunchroom safety is a critical part of the school day and adequate supervision is key. The more adults visible, and actively engaged with the kids, the safer they feel. We can always use more help! We can use your help to: help serve lunch, encourage kids to eat, help open food containers, grant bathroom permissions, monitor play to ensure safety, help students with playground equipment, and assist students who are learning new games and social settings. Volunteering at lunch and/or recess is a fun way to help out, and a great way to be involved in your child's school day.

If you or someone you know is interested in supporting kids in this capacity, please sign up to volunteer

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