Published every Friday by Principal Joanne Hadalski
& Secretary Barbara Ahern
Vol. 18 No. 16 January 11, 2008
From the National Association of Elementary School Principals:
Protecting Children from the Effects of Electronic Media
What children do in their down time – when they are not in school or in planned activities – can have a serious impact on their lives and health, both now and in the future. While the main goal is to be entertained, they also are soaking in the messages that these shows and games deliver. Here is important information you need to know about the effects of electronic media on your children and what you can do to lessen the negative impact.
· Watch with them. Speak up when you see something that you find offensive – from the gluttony promoted by many advertisements to violence or inappropriate behavior.
· Turn it off. Turn off any shows that you believe are promoting violence, sexuality, disrespect for the law, and alcohol or drug use.
· Keep it out of their rooms. Children who have TVs or computer game systems in their rooms spend too many hours tuned out and too few working on activities that build their minds, bodies, and social skills.
· Listen in. Be aware if children seem to be identifying with characters in games or shows who are not good role models.
· Use the rating systems. Be aware of what the ratings are and strictly limit your children to those that you feel are appropriate.
· Understand that watching violence breeds violence. Make sure to limit, or eliminate altogether, such media in your home.
· Don’t give in. Be strong if your child gets an inappropriate game or DVD as a gift – thank the giver, but then exchange it for something else.
· Help them understand real from fantasy. Monitor your children’s behavior and step in strongly if they seem to be identifying with the characters in the shows or games they are watching.
· Set a good example. Encourage activities that involve the whole family that don’t involve a television or game console.
Finally, take the word of the experts in child health – the American Academy of Pediatrics. It has warned parents that children who watch a lot of television can end up doing more poorly in school, may be more likely to have attention problems, and may have problems with self-control and moral judgment.
From the PTA:
· A reminder that the next PTA meeting is this coming Tuesday, January 15, at 7:30 p.m., in the library/media center. Judith Wine, Director of the Wellness Department, will present information on the physical education program. Kerry Ovalle, Room Parent Coordinator, will address nutrition options and a healthy lifestyle.
· The “Reflections” art and literature competition will not be held this year. There was no volunteer to run the competition at the state level, so it is not being offered at the local level. Hopefully, it will return next year.
· As we wrap up our auction calls, the PTA would like to extend a BIG thank you to our team of auction/ad callers for the March WESC fundraiser. Because so many responded to the plea for callers, the work was spread among many and was very manageable. THANK YOU, Lisa Spollen and Ray Bligh, Sherry and Jeremy Pincus, Jane Dyer, Sandra Ramolins, Debbie Fleming, Sue Conway, Deana Moran, Karen Hazar, Pam DeTore, Noreen Valentine, and Katariina Lahti. It was truly a team effort. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all those parents who support WESC through donations, attending the event, and volunteering their time. The Sheehan’s Curriculum Enrichment program and Technology purchases are flourishing because of your efforts!
Science Showcase Update from Lucinda Linde, Nancy Brind, Gaye Whalen:
· On February 8 from 6:30-8:00 p.m., Sheehan students will display and present their science projects. Last year 125 students presented over 70 projects. Grades 2-5 can present a project; grades K and 1 are invited to attend and see the interesting experiments. The non-competitive Sheehan School Science Showcase is sponsored by the Sheehan School and the Sheehan PTA. If you need extra forms or registration packs, you can pick one up at the office.
· Thanks to Parent Volunteers On January 7 Parent Science Advisors helped students from grades 2-5 to think about the things they were most interested in and to pick out experiments to do. Between the students and the Science Advisors, the gym buzzed with activity and innovation. Many thanks to Gaye Whalen, Nancy Brind, Judy O’Dwyer, Lisa Savini, Stephanie Hasenhauer, Lori Adjami, Andrea Deininger, Barb Worth, Sandra Ramolins, Debbie Fleming, Lucinda Linde and Jeannine Kremer for their help and support.
· Help session January 16 for grades 2-5 during recess Parent Science Advisors will be available to help scientists pick a project or think through their experiment. If students would like more help with their projects, they can go to Dianne Barry, Debbie Fleming, Christine McMurray, Lucinda Linde, and Gaye Whalen for help and advice on January 16.
· January 18 – Registration forms due If your student brings home a pink Science Showcase registration form, please check over the experiment and contact information. Then send it in to school, or drop the form in the Science Showcase pink mail tray in the office. Thanks to all parents for their support in fostering their student’s interest in science. Science is one of the big “literacy” abilities that enables students to fully access the whole palette of job opportunities as they grow up.
From the Health Room to all parents:
As many of you may know, HEAD LICE is present in our neighboring elementary schools in town. Parents are reminded to check their child heads daily and to report any cases to the school nurse immediately. Confidentiality is maintained but the information is necessary to assist in the elimination of the head lice and to prevent further transmission to others. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated.
Also, the cold and flu season is upon us. We remind all families that sick children belong at home. The following guidelines can be used to help you determine if your child should remain at home. Your child should remain at home for at least 24 hours to rest if the following symptoms are present in the morning before school or the previous night:
· Vomiting and/or diarrhea
· Fever of 100 or greater
· Itchy or reddened eye(s) with drainage
· An unusual rash
· A poor night’s sleep due to illness, cough, etc.
· Contact the school nurse, Lori Brown RN at 781-326-7500 x1320 if you have any questions.
The Museum of Science’s Star Lab was an amazing experience for Sheehan 4th grade students this Tuesday. Star Lab is a portable planetarium that allows students to feel as though they are outside looking up at the night sky! Ask your 4th grader about the North Star, the “Dog” Star, Orion and the Twins. Can they show you where they are located in the night sky? Ask about the phases of the moon. Did they see the Milky Way? If this has you thinking and you would like to know more, check out www.mos.org under traveling programs.
Digital Visualizer at Work in the Library! Many thanks to the PTA for purchasing a digital visualizer for the library. It has been used to read small items such as map keys and to project a group’s solution for the whole class to see. Ask your fourth or fifth grader for more information.
The Westwood School Committee seeks a Secretary to attend their monthly meetings and record the minutes. This is a part-time position, 1 to 2 meetings per month, September to June. Salary is $15.00/hour. Please send cover letter and resume to: Ann Brown, 220 Nahatan Street, Westwood, MA 02090 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming home today: white Original Works, blue January PTA news, yellow Spelling Bee flyer for 3-5, blue Author visit for 3-5, Hale Reservation February Vacation programs for 3-5
Tues., Jan. 15 Student Council meeting 8:15 a.m. Library/Media Center
PTA Meeting 7:30 p.m. Library/Media Center
Wed., Jan. 16 Science Showcase recess help
Fri., Jan. 18 Student Council School Store $4.00 spending limit
Mon., Jan. 21 NO SCHOOL in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Wed., Jan. 23 Early release at 11:50 a.m. Staff Development for teachers
Thurs., Jan. 24 School Committee meeting 7:00 p.m. Westwood High School
Agenda: 2009 Budget; Math presentation by Nancy Buell, Elementary Math Coordinator
Fri., Jan. 25 Report cards mailed home
Westwood Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin or sexual orientation.