Community Update

 PRINCIPAL'S NEWSLETTER 8/28/2022

Dear San Elijo Elementary Families,

Thank you for another great week at SEES! We are excited to share several updates today. 

Social-Emotional Learning 

At SEES, we strive to ensure all students feel a sense of belonging and connectedness to school, assure students feel safe, and encourage them to work together. Even before the pandemic, ensuring student mental health and positive well-being in schools was an increasing challenge, and the pandemic has exacerbated these concerns. To meet our students' needs in all aspects of success in school, including their social-emotional well-being, SEES strives to focus on the whole child's development. While excelling in academic subjects is essential, children also need skills to take on learning challenges, make good decisions, manage strong emotions, and get along with others.

This year, our teachers will engage students in Second Step® Elementary, a research-based social-emotional learning program designed to improve children's social-emotional skills. Second Step skills and concepts are designed to help children both in and out of school. Our weekly "Principal Videos" and our Flag Salute skits and awards will also reinforce these lessons. Four units will cover the following:

1) Growth Mindset & Goal-Setting: Children learn how to pay attention and manage distractions, develop a growth mindset, and apply goal-setting strategies to their social and academic lives. (August-October)

2) Emotion Management: Children learn how to identify and label emotions and use emotion management strategies—including stress management for older students—to calm strong feelings. (October-December)

3) Empathy & Kindness: Children learn how to recognize kindness and act kindly, have empathy for others and take others' perspectives, and recognize kind acts and empathy as important elements of building and maintaining relationships. (January-March)

4) Problem-Solving: Children learn how to identify and state a problem, recognize if a problem is an accident, and use the STEP problem-solving process: S: Say the problem T: Think of solutions E: Explore the outcomes P: Pick a solution (April- June)

Here is a link to the program for more information- https://www.secondstep.org/

Restorative Practices 

Staff will also participate in training on September 15 to be equipped to implement Restorative Practices in the classroom and to move toward schoolwide implementation. Restorative Practices are designed to help students build community and relationships within a classroom and the school. It also provides a framework for responding to behavior issues when they occur. Research has shown that this emphasis on community and the involvement of students in the behavior response reduces behavior incidents on campus, especially physical altercations. Please watch this video or read more about restorative practices here. Our previous experience with implementing Restorative Practices school-wide significantly reduced repeat behaviors, especially in harassment, bullying, teasing, pushing, and all other ways students may hurt one another at school, mainly because the focus is on proactively building a sense of community and relationships and explaining how one's behavior can hurt our community and relationships.

We have a wonderfully caring school community comprised of great teachers and staff, amazing kids, and engaged families that all work hard in these efforts. We hope that through Second Step lessons and Restorative Practices, we will align our efforts in a social-emotional support system for all.

Phones and Smart Watches 

As a reminder, student cell phone use at school is prohibited unless there is a medical or psychological need or emergency. This includes using a smartwatch which acts as an extension of a phone. We are seeing a growing number of students who communicate with family members and friends throughout the day, both in class and outside. When a child's watch alerts them during instruction, it distracts the learning process. We want students to be completely present during school to connect to their learning and their peers. We also want students to feel connected to the caring adults at school who can help solve their problems. Students are more than welcome to use the phone in the front office to call their parents anytime during the day, so using a smartwatch or phone throughout the day is unnecessary. Please encourage your child to talk with the adults on campus, ask to use the phone at school, and avoid using their Smartwatch or cell phone on campus. Also, if you have any questions or concerns about this policy, please give us a call or send us an email so we can connect.

Lunch on the Lawn

We will continue with lunch on the lawn this year. This is an opportunity for parents to join their children's lunch hour, picnic style, on our grassy field. Please mark your calendars now for the dates below.

  • November 9, 2022
  • February 1, 2023
  • May 3, 2023  

Art Class 

Students will start attending Art this week with Mrs. Kearney! We are so thankful for this PTO-provided opportunity for our students.

School Site Council Interest Form

The School Site Council is an elected group of parents and staff who serve as an advisory group to the Principal. The meetings are held monthly at times/dates selected by the committee. The primary function of this group is to provide information and advice on the Single Plan for Student Achievement, the School Safety Plan, and to review budgetary information. This committee does not deal with fundraising or other areas covered by the PTO. We have several open spots for parents. The commitment would be for the 22/23 and 23/24 school years.

If you are interested in serving a two-year term on the San Elijo Elementary School Site Council, please complete the survey by clicking here.

Follow us on Social Media.

Stay up to date with all SEES information via social media!

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sees_pto/ and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SOARSEES to stay on top of all the latest news about special events and fundraisers.

 

Below are important reminders from the SMUSD CNS and Technology Departments:

From Child Nutrition Services:

Free School Meals

We are excited that ALL students will continue to receive free breakfast and lunch this school year, regardless of income. Did you know that filling out a Meal Application can help increase our school's school funding and provide resources for more locally-grown produce and freshly-made, healthy school meals?

Please click here to quickly complete this Meal Application.

This form can also help identify other programs and services your family or students can access at a reduced cost or discounted rate, including after school programs & recreation, home internet services, college application assistance, and more.

Regardless of whether or not you qualify, your student will eat free this year!

From Technology:

Have you insured your student’s Chromebook?

San Marcos Unified School District is pleased to announce insurance coverage for your district owned devices through School Device Coverage.

This program is optional but highly recommended by the district.

Please note that the insurance will cover all accidental damages (including broken screens and water damage) loss and theft of the devices. There are unlimited claims, zero deductible and full transferability to your loaner device if applicable.

The flyer and link to purchase can be found by clicking here or going to schooldevicecoverage.com and signing up.

 

Remind.com

In addition to weekly emails, we communicate short reminders, updates, and announcements to parents via the remind.com app. It is set up for text messages but downloading the app is recommended. This is optional since messaging rates may apply, and you may not want to receive frequent messages from me. Please click on the appropriate link below-

TK- https://www.remind.com/join/a4bb4f

Kinder- https://www.remind.com/join/4ah2k7

1st-grade- https://www.remind.com/join/dd36ak6

2nd-grade- https://www.remind.com/join/dff72h3

3rd-grade- https://www.remind.com/join/c6862a2

4th-grade- https://www.remind.com/join/7fb4ec

5th-grade- https://www.remind.com/join/g626dd

Important Dates at a Glance 

  • September 2- Deadline to submit School Site Council Interest Form
  • September 5-9- SSC Election via Google Form
  • September 5- No School/Labor Day
  • September 6- PTO Cash for Kids Fundraiser Begins
  • September 27- School Picture Day
  • September 30- Scholastic Book Fair Begins
  • September 30- Flag Salute and Awards @ 8:50 am
  • October 3- PTO Meeting @ 6 pm
  • October 5- Walk/Bike to School
  • October 10- No School/Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • October 11-14- Conference Week Modified Schedule 
    • AM TK- 8:30 am-10:30 am
    • PM TK- 10:30 am-12:30 pm
    • Kinder- 8:45 am-1 pm
    • 1st-5th- 8:45 am-1:25 pm
  • October 14- Monster Bash!!

 

Thank you,
Gary Pope and Mara McLeod
SEES Admin Team



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