Dear Lynnwood Families,
As we settle into the months of February and March and anxiously wait for Spring I wanted to talk about one of our core values in Guilderland and one of our big goals at Lynnwood, which is to teach our students to be includers, so everyone feels like they belong. Our students are so different and each one brings something special and different to our community. We are full of poets, artists, musicians, athletes, dancers, singers, friends, gamers, campers, wonderers and dreamers. We even have many that are some of these sometimes and at other times something else. However, we all want to feel like we belong even if we are different.
In elementary school we are all learning. We are learning to read, write, do math and science and social studies. We are also learning to make friends, stay calm, deal with anger and fear, solve problems, recognize when we are sad or nervous and be able to talk about why. Just like in Math or Science, part of learning means making mistakes. The same is true for learning all of the social and emotional skills that students need to master to be productive citizens. In order to do so they need a safe place to learn with teachers and adults to help them as they learn to master these social and emotional skills. We do this in many ways such as morning meetings, where we model good social skills and develop a community. We role play and use pictures and story books to teach students about their feelings and behaviors. Every teacher has their own classroom systems to teach and reinforce positive behavior that we want to encourage. At times, some of our students may be experiencing trauma that impacts the brain and we need to intervene and be more explicit with our teaching. Sometimes we work to extinguish behaviors by having students earn incentives by showing behaviors we want to encourage and at times we have consequences to teach students about behaviors we are working to extinguish. Student behavior is complex and no two children are alike, they are as individual as they are unique and each one needs a group of adults who care to come up with the right approach. I always say equity is not about everyone having the same but, everyone having what they need.
However, no matter what the plan, the core value is a sense of we all have a place here and we all belong. A strong community that is welcoming and understanding is the best way I know to reduce incidents of violence or misconduct in any community. We all know the feeling of being left out or like we are not wanted and in those moments it is hard for adults to control their emotions. For our students, who don’t always understand, it is more challenging. So I am asking everyone this month to do what you can to encourage belonging in our community. Understand that all of our children have different experiences but, what they all have in common is the desire to belong. Recently I heard about a birthday party of a young student where none of the child’s peers came. My heart broke because, “I thought how would I feel if that were my child?” Trust me we are doing all we can at school to help every child that needs us and safety is the number one priority at all times. You can help by teaching your child to be an includer, use the buddy bench at recess and make sure everyone has someone to play with. When a friend is having a hard time you can say, “Everyone is learning” and assure them that their teachers and the adults at school are helping. If you have questions or concerns always reach out to your child’s teacher who are more than willing to help. You may also always reach out to our school social worker Catherine Ricchetti or our school psychologist Shelby Samuel if your child is experiencing anxiety or other emotions they can not manage. As always you can reach out to me at 518-355-7930 at anytime. We are here to serve our community and ready and willing to do so.
February/March Dates to Remember
02/11/20 – Kindergarten Registration – last names beginning A – M
8:30 am – 2 pm
02/12/20 – Kindergarten Registration – last names beginning N – Z
8:30am – 2 pm
02/14/20 – Valentine’s Day Share and Celebrate – 1:15 -1:45 pm
Staff, students and families – please wear your pink Ribbons for Rizzo t-shirts – if you have them
February Recess: 02/17/20 – 02/21/20
03/13/20 – Lynnwood PTA Beach Night – 6 pm
03/27/20 – Lynnwood International Festival – 6 pm
03/30/20 – Lynnwood Spring Concert 7 pm
03/31/20 – K -2 Early Release – 11:30 am – Parent Conferences
On Monday, February 10 from 7 to 8 p.m. The GCSD Math Cabinet will be hosting an elementary parent math workshop in the Farnsworth Middle School Cafetorium.
The evening will provide an opportunity to learn about the Next Generation Learning Standards for Mathematics and engage with new math resources adopted for 2019-20 and beyond. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Demian Singleton, will be joined by district math specialists as co-facilitators for the workshop.
We hope you can join us!
Please do NOT park in the Parking Lane unless directed by a school staff member. If you need to park, there are plenty of spaces available.
Greetings From the Health Office!
As winter carries on so do the germs that we share, due to being in close proximity and indoors more than out.
*Be vigilant about how your student feels and keep them home if they don’t feel well.
*(24 hours fever, frequent cough, vomit and diarrhea free without medicinal help before return.)
* It’s not too late for the Flu shot, sadly the flu claims children’s lives.
*It’s also chapped lip season, chapstick can be helpful and handy in the pocket or backpack.
Friendly reminder, vision and hearing screening is ongoing this year for K,1,3 and 5th graders, I will be in touch if anything is of concern. Also for these grades and students new to the district, physical exams are due for this school year. Please send a copy in, once completed by your primary pediatrician.