December 5, 2018
Dear Hanlon Families,
Like many schools across the country, Hanlon is celebrating Inclusive Schools Week this week. Westwood Public Schools are committed to providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors. We have designed several experiences for children and families to celebrate ISW with us.
Last week, each class read a story called The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. This book describes various kids who feel different and uncomfortable with their peers at school. For instance, a boy named Rigoberto feels self-conscious about his name. One girl doesn't want to report what she did for the summer since she stayed in the hot city while her classmates took enviable trips. Another girl wonders why her friend wrinkles her nose at the girl's lunch of rice and kimchi. And one boy isn't picked for a team. The author addresses the kids directly, counseling them that if they open up and express themselves, "the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space for you." The art depicts and celebrates kids of different races. On many pages, López also includes a looming measuring stick, which seems to represent the way kids feel they measure up or not.
In classrooms, we have had discussions about the things that make us different, unique, and special. Each child has selected one word to represent him or herself. For example: sister, chef, brave, lover of nature, puzzle-creator. They wrote this word on a paper shape, and traced over the word in marker to make it stand out. These shapes will be assembled into a large paper kaleidoscope mural to be hung on the walls at Hanlon. Shapes were also sent home so that all of our Hanlon Families can write their special word and be included in our school-wide kaleidoscope mural.
Finally, all parents and guardians are invited to join us for an evening adults-only discussion on engaging your child on topics of inclusion and belonging. We’ll gather at Hanlon on Wednesday, Dec. 12th at 7PM. Hanlon parent and psychologist, Dr. Emily Mohr, will lead the discussion. Click here to see the flyer. Hope to see you there!
Science Curriculum Workshops for Parents
Dec. 6 - 9:00-10:00 at the Deerfield School
Westwood’s Science Specialists will be sharing how we are approaching the teaching and learning of science in the Westwood Public Schools, information on raising scientists and science-literate citizens, resources for outside enrichment, opportunities to do some hands-on exploration and answer parent questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about some ways students are spending their days and explore opportunities to get involved.
Holiday Fair- Friday, December 7th 6:00-7:00PM
We are hoping to see many Hanlon families as this year’s Holiday Fair! Children love using tickets to shop for holiday gifts for their loved ones secretly in the gym. Families can pre-purchase tickets using this form. Fifth graders may arrive at 5:15 for pre-shopping, so that they will be available to partner up with Kindergarten and First Grade students who need a buddy to help them shop. Doors open at 6PM. We still have a few spaces for volunteers to sign up. Click here to find out how you can help: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0D45ADA82AA2F58-hanlon
Winter Warm Up Collection
Student Council and the 5th grade class are sponsoring a community service project to help homeless families. We are collecting new and gently used gloves, mittens, scarves, and hats. Donations can be dropped off outside the main office before Friday, Dec. 14th.
The Hanlon Math League is officially up and running for children in grades 3, 4, and 5. We still have space available at all three grade levels. Email Hongmei Xu at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to find out more.
Toys for Tots
Extended Day is hosting their annual Toys For Tots collection. Please consider dropping off a new, unwrapped toy for donation in the Extended Day room. The collection will end on Thursday, Dec. 13th.
Square 1 Art Update
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Square 1 Art fundraiser! We had over 40% participation from our Hanlon families. Money raised will be used to support field trips, enrichment, and classroom supplies.
Notes from the Health Office by Nurse Galvin
Absence Due to Illness-It is very important to let me know if your child has a fever or contagious illness ie. strep throat, flu, skin infection, intestinal virus, mono, head lice etc. This is important for control measures and to protect students and staff. This information will be kept strictly confidential.
Physicals-All 3rd grade students are required to provide written documentation of a current physical completed by their health care provider. The physical must be submitted to me by February 1, 2019 and must be dated February 1, 2018 or later. If you don’t have health insurance, you can visit www.MAhealthconnector.org . If you have a physical scheduled after February 1, 2019, please let me know. Also, please call if you are unsure if you turned in a physical exam for your child.
Hand Hygiene-Please remind your children to wash their hands frequently during the school day. This helps reduce illness for your child as well as the school community. Most classrooms have sinks and all children are encouraged to wash up before snack, and again between recess and lunch. Also, please remind them to cough into their elbow instead of their hands. This will help reduce the spread of illness.
Emergency Information-Please check your emergency information in Aspen and update if necessary. It is very important that you can be reached in an emergency. If your phone number has changed, please make sure you change it.
Taking Medications at School-The medication procedure form needs to be completed if your child will need to take medication in school. This form has a section for the parent to complete and a section for the health care provider to fill out. The form is available in the nurse’s office and on the school website in the health office section. Any over the counter medication including Advil or Tylenol requires the medication procedure form to be completed. A new form will need to be completed each school year even if completed last year.
Move to Learn by Occupational Therapist, Ms. Fass
Below are some holiday gifts ideas to help with fine motor skills and core strength. These are very popular with the kids and available on Amazon:
TOP SIX LIST FOR FINE MOTOR:
Kinetic or moon sand
Chalkboard contact paper to hang up and write on OR Use the sticky side to make a hanging touch and 'pull off' surface. Put odds and ends on there to feel and pull off. Use different textures and small items to pinch and pull. Using chalk provides good sensory input.
Flair markers - some kids prefer to write with these because of their smooth glide
To develop CORE STRENGTH:
Balance or fit boards
Therapy ball to bend over backwards and try to sit up OR roll forward on your belly and propel with your hands
No equipment required: Practice crab walks around the house!
Lisa Fass, OT
Raising Resilient Children: Parent Workshop on December 11th
Let’s face it, stress is hard! It can overwhelm your thoughts, slow your processing ability, and produce uncomfortable somatic and psychological symptoms. Unfortunately, living a completely stress-free life is probably not possible for any of us. All children and families experience stress over the course of their lives. Handling stress is an important life skill for all people, especially children.
Resilience is one measure of how well a person manages stress. Resilience is the process of being able to adapt, cope or bounce back in the face of adversity, challenge or stress. Being resilient does not eliminate stress or mean we don’t experience challenge or adversity. As teachers and caregivers, our first inclination might be to shield children from the distress of stress. However, in order to foster and build resilience, children need to learn to navigate situations and feelings associated with adversity, challenge or stress. If we want our children to experience the world as fully as possible - with some of its pain and all of its joy - they need resilience.
Like many other skills, resilience can be developed. Please join us to explore the world of empowering children to be resilient. This workshop will be held in the Deerfield gymnasium on Tuesday, December 11th from 7:00pm - 8:00pm. All Westwood parents, guardians, and staff members are welcome.
If there are specific questions you want included in our discussion, please submit them in advance by clicking on the following link: Parent Questions for Presentation: Raising Resilient Children
Hanlon School on Twitter
Follow @HanlonSchool_ps to see photos of our #HappyatHanlon kids!
Did you know that Carol Lewis is Hanlon’s School Committee Representative? If you have questions, contact Ms. Lewis at email@example.com