Lower School Newsletter - November 4, 2020
NEW AND UPDATED INFORMATION
Parents’ Council of Washington Event — Lower School Forum: Engaging & Adapting in the 2020-21 School Year
Tuesday, November 10, 9:30-11 a.m., via Zoom
Lower School administrators: Jenifer Congdon, Head of Lower School, St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School; Mike Risen, Head of Lower School, Norwood School; and Jalene Spain Thomas, Lower School Director, St. Stephens and St. Agnes School will speak about school best practices regarding the theme “Whole Student. Whole School.”
Click HERE to RSVP.
Academic Planning Day for Faculty on December 9 — No Classes
On Wednesday, December 9, faculty will participate in an academic planning day. School will be closed to students that day, and no classes will be held.
Recording and Handouts from Lower School Division Coffee
Last Wednesday evening, nationally-known behavioral consultant and author Sharon Weiss presented to the Lower School parents. Here is the recording of her presentation “Education Through a Different Lens: Opportunities vs. Obstacles”. Here is the handout “Teaching to Independence,” and here is the handout “Process for Establishing Routines” that she referred to in her presentation.
Home Learning Policy
For a number of years, guided by research on homework, our previous homework policy was based on time (e.g.,10 minutes for first grade students, 20 minutes for second grade students, etc.). Two years ago, in addition to reviewing the current research on homework, we surveyed Lower School students, parents and teachers to request their feedback on our approach to homework. After reviewing all of the feedback we received, and after a great deal of consideration, we created this policy for home learning.
Reminder: Masks for Parents and Guardians During Morning and Afternoon Carpool
As a reminder, to mitigate risk and potential exposure for the Lower School faculty and staff who open car doors during carpool, parents/guardians are required to wear masks during morning and afternoon carpool.
Health Pledge Reminders
REMINDERS FROM LAST WEEK
Parent-Teacher Conferences on Friday, November 6, and Wednesday, November 11
Parent-Teacher Conferences are a great opportunity for us to further our partnership with you, celebrate your children's successes and discuss strategies for enhancing their progress. Parent-Teacher Conferences in the Lower School will be held on Friday, November 6, and Wednesday, November 11. To facilitate scheduling conferences, we will use an electronic system, called Calendly, that allows you to schedule all of your meeting times in advance. The link to Calendly was emailed to families last week.
As we prepare for our Parent-Teacher Conferences next week, here are some tips for parents from an article published by Independent School Management:
- Prepare. Write down topics you would like to discuss and specific questions you would like to have answered.
- Number the questions based on importance and ask your most important questions first, just in case time runs out before you have a chance to discuss them all.
- Ask your child if there are topics he or she would like to have discussed. If so, remember that the “facts” about the situation relayed to you by your child are coming from a child's perspective.
- Be on time and respect time limits. Teachers have tight schedules; plan to arrive five minutes early so you can collect your thoughts and begin the conference on time.
- Don’t bring the student or other children to the conference unless this is a special request made by the teacher.
- Try to be open-minded to comments or suggestions that the teacher makes. Listen first, reflect and then act.
- Keep your emotions under control. It’s okay to feel defensive on behalf of your child, but act as an advocate.
- Ask for specific suggestions. Take notes so you can share the information with your child.
- Remember that you and the teacher are on the same team!
- Express appreciation for the teacher’s time and energy. Saying “thank you” can go a long way! Show your appreciation by asking what you can do to help continue the learning process at home.
Also, here is an excellent article written by well-known psychologist, parent, author and presenter Michael Thompson. In "The Fear Equation," Thompson talks candidly about the latent fear that exists in a parent-school partnership and offers some great advice and reminders.
Online Ordering for Student Portraits and a NEW DATE for On-Campus Make-up Day
Flint Hill student portraits are now online for viewing and ordering! If your child had a school portrait taken, you should have received an email from Freed Photography with your student's private gallery information. If you have not received this (check your spam folder too), please contact them at email@example.com or call 301.652.5452. The make-up day for on-campus Lower School students will take place on Thursday, November 12.
Driving Spirit Award Nominations Due December 11
Send your nominations to Ana Yarbrough.
The Driving Spirit Award recognizes current Flint Hill teachers and staff who have demonstrated ethical leadership, diligent intellectual scholarship and a commitment to teaching, coaching and mentoring students. Recipients are recognized for their contributions to the “Driving Spirit,” which makes our School the special and unique place we all value — a place that honors excellence while emphasizing the importance of our core values: respect and value all equally, lead and support with compassion, act with integrity, imagine what’s possible and blaze the trail. These teachers and staff members lead by example through their dedication and ability to energize and inspire Flint Hill’s community to new heights of learning and leadership, both inside and outside the classroom.
Please think about the great current teachers and staff members in the Flint Hill community whom you believe fit this description. Emails and letters should be sent to Ana Yarbrough by Friday, December 11.
Parent Conferences JK-12
Grades JK-12 No Classes
Friday, November 6, and Wednesday, November 11, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
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Fall All-Husky School Spirit Day
Tuesday, November 10
Lower School Admission Virtual Innovation Workshop
Tuesday, November 10, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Lower School Admission Virtual Information Session
Wednesday, November 11, 8-9 p.m.
JK-6 On-Campus Learner Picture Make-Up Day
Thursday, November 12
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Grades JK-4 Virtual Student Supply Pick-Up
Friday, November 13, 8:30-2:30 p.m.
Grades JK-12 Virtual Parents’ Association Event: Yoga/Stretching with Alex Wolitzer
Saturday, November 14, 9-10 a.m.
Week of Thankful Giving
Monday, November 16-Friday, November 20
Lower School Admission Parent-to-Parent Conversations
Thursday, November 19
Saturday, November 21-Sunday, November 29
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