Week 18: 12/17/12 – 12/21/12

Our hearts go out to those precious students, teachers, and staff members who did not return home from school on Friday and those families & friends related to the Newtown community. We extend heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the entire Sandy Hook school community and join them in mourning the children and adults whose lives were lost.

Parents will hold on to children (of all ages) tighter, and you will, with firm resolve, assure them you are a professional who knows what to do when tragedy strikes. Some children might cry and you will dry tears. Some might lash out in anger and you will know that fear is rearing its head another way.

We’ll all need to be sensitive to our own little angels when they arrive on Monday morning. We have no way of knowing how much media coverage they will have been exposed to over the weekend. When students arrive in your classroom, some might be wondering:

*Am I safe?
*Could this happen to me?
*Could this happen here?
*What if someone came to our school?
*Why do things like this happen?
*Am I going to be okay?

There is no lesson plan for that. There is no magic strategy or super app that can look children in the face and assure them that the world will be well again.

You touch hearts everyday.
You will look into their eyes, and they will see in yours that you love them.
You will assure them with your poise and presence that the world is a beautiful place.
You will calm their fears by showing them that Kennedy is a great school filled with wonderful teachers, leaders, parents and students.
You will TEACH. You will do what you are born to do. You will do what you are called to do. You will do what students need you to do.

You touch hearts everyday.
You change lives everyday.
Monday is no different. On Monday, and for all the days that follow, you will prepare lessons, watch for that student who doesn’t quite grasp the point, encourage the student who hesitantly offers an idea, help the shy one make a friend, remind the bossy one to listen more. And you’ll do what no college course ever prepared you to do: you will show that when tragedy strikes, hope lives and goodness can always be found. You will show that we all go on, in spite of fear, or perhaps more importantly, to spite fear. You will be in your classrooms, teaching our children.

Each day, parents entrust their children to us and parents hope that above all, they will be nurtured, safe and loved. Our students are truly blessed to have you in their lives. You act as mothers, fathers, counselors, nurses and providers. You nurture their physical, emotional, and social needs. You take responsibility each day to educate our little Kubbies and develop them as individuals and you are amazing at it!

Helpful Reminders:
-Keep yourself calm. Your presence can help your students feel more secure.
-Keep regular routines as normal as possible. Children and adults count on their familiar pattern of everyday life.
-Give children extra comfort and physical affection, like hugs, and please do not hesitate to refer any students to Jaime or Elise for additional support.
-Focus attention on the helpers, like the police, firemen, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and volunteers. It’s reassuring to know there are many caring people who are doing all they can to help others in this world.

Remember Them  <–click to read blog post by Krissy Venosdale

“May we always honor the memories of those who lost their lives in this tragedy by never taking for granted what we have in front of us. Treasure your students, support your colleagues, reach out to people who need it, give back.” 

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, December 17th:
*Faculty Meeting @ 2:30pm to review Emergency Procedures

Tuesday, December 18th:
Winter Choral Concert @ 6:30pm (LMS)

Wednesday, December 19th:
Curriculum Checkpoint/Pinterest Sharing & Making Common Plan
PATS/PREK Tree Decorating Event @ 2:00pm-3:30pm
SLT Meeting @ 3:30pm

Thursday, December 20th:
December Buddy Event

Friday, December 21st:
Spirit Assembly (Generosity) @ 9:00am

12/24-01/06: Winter Break
School Resumes on Monday, January 7th, 2013

(12/29) Happy Birthday Jimmy Kennedy :)
(01/05) Happy Birthday Elise Lagattuta :) 
(01/06) Happy Birthday Mayra Tellez :) 

“Do your little bit of good where you are;
it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
-Desmond Tutu

Week 17: 12/10/12 – 12/14/12

“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”

This week, a random act of kindness was caught on camera and the photo quickly went viral. A NYPD officer came to the aid of a homeless man in New York by buying him a pair of boots with his own money. Could this publicized, heart-warming story be just what we need this holiday season? Will this random act of kindness cause a ripple effect in paying it forward? I’ve seen many examples that inspire me to share kindness with others:


What will you do today? Go out and spread some cheer! Let’s keep making the world a better place. Pay it forward!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, December 10th:
Environmental Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (cafeteria)

Tuesday, December 11th:
Faculty Meeting @ 2:30pm

Wednesday, December 12th:
SLBC to HIP Mall
Common Core Common Plan
Board Meeting @ 7:00pm (LMS)

Thursday, December 13th:
3rd Grade Field Trip to The Nutcracker
District RTI Committee @ 3:45pm (District Office Conference Room)
Winter Choral Concert @ 6:30pm (LMS)
Happy Birthday Linda Dwoinen :)

Friday, December 14th:
5 by Friday! :)
Holiday Party @ 6:30pm

(12/16) Happy Birthday Ola Heitz :)

With the students’ being more likely to be indoors for recess, here’s a great link to games/activities for interactive whiteboards (Click picture below) There are lots of fun holiday games:

Week 16: 12/03/12 – 12/07/12

I see the school year as a marathon, not a sprint. There are long stretches at the beginning and end, then those long days where winter’s cold temperatures (even though it has been unseasonably warm….we’ll TAKE IT!) and lack of sunlight drain us. When viewed within the scope of an entire school year, 15 days isn’t really that many. However, 15  is the exact number of days that we have with our little Kennedy Kubbies before Winter Break.

  • For some of our students who will say “it’s almost break” and lack motivation, it is time to push them & keep them excited and eager to learn.
  • For our students who come from challenging circumstances at home and are feeling anxiety about not being at Kennedy for over two weeks (and acting out because of it), it is time to show them how much you care & make the most of these next 15 days.
  • For our students that just keep smiling & working hard each day, it is time to pull them aside and tell them how much you appreciate them (Positive Postcard? Let’s keep our goal of 5 by Friday!)

In these 15 days, we have a lot of work to do & lots of wonderful learning experiences to provide our students.  We’ll continue to persevere as the professionals that we are! No matter what your title is, what grade you work with, or what you do at Kennedy, please look at these next 15 days as times to deliver the highest quality service to our students, parents & community.

Be proud of what we’ve accomplished with our students so far this year, but please keep the focus on learning in your classrooms. In addition, I’d encourage you to:

  • Take a second and tell a colleague that you’ve noticed how hard they are working and that you appreciate them working so hard.
  • Make time to reflect on some of the positives that we’ve had this year that may have been overlooked as we have overcome the challenges of not having enough time.
  • Set a tone for your students that regardless of how much time is left before a long break that all of us will work hard and make the most of our school days.
  • Celebrate being a member of our Kennedy School family

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, December 3rd:
PATS Field Trip to Museum of Science & Industry
Environmental Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Art Studio)

Tuesday, December 4th:
Happy Birthday Michelle Miro :)
Buddy Meeting @ 7:20am (Room 109)
SEL PreK/4th Grade Buddies Activity
RTI Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 118)
Reading/ELL Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 110)

Wednesday, December 5th:
2nd Grade Field Trip to Mitchell Museum (104/105)

Thursday, December 6th:
2nd Grade Field Trip to Mitchell Museum (Rooms 106/115)
Celebrations Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 104)
Common Core Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 205)
District Band Concert @ 6:30pm (LMS)

Friday, December 7th:
Happy Birthday Dr. Kim Boryszewski :)
1st Grade & Multiage Field Trip to Stahl Theater

(12/08) Happy Birthday Cindy DeRose :)