Friday, October 17, 2014

October is Bullying Prevention Month

Dear Wawaloam Community,

I am starting out today with a reminder that the book fair is happening here next week for students during their scheduled Reading class in the Library. We have watched the PTA magic unfold all week long as the volunteers came in and set up for this loved event at school! Students can bring money to school to make a purchase at the book fair and plenty of people are here on sight to help with making good decisions. There are books, posters and other trinkets so you might want to be specific with your child about what you are allowing them to purchase. If you are planning to attend the Spooktacular Book Fair at Metcalf School on October 24 from 6-8 PM, you can also purchase books together at that time and simply have them look at the books here at school next week if you prefer. We are excited that this will take place in the library giving students plenty of time to browse and/or shop.

I also wanted to tell you again that October is Bullying Prevention Month and while we work on this ALL YEAR LONG we put particular emphasis on this important topic during this month. Earlier this week I sent home information about the CHALK IT UP AGAINST BULLYING EVENT in Wakefield scheduled for this Saturday. If you are interested in going, you have to register your artist on-line and print out your registration ticket. I am sure it will be a fun family activity if anyone is interested in attending. I am including the link to register for this event:

We talked about Bullying Prevention during the Weekly Meeting this week with Grades 1 and 2.  I read the book Lucy and the Bully by Claire Alexander. In this story a student is having some trouble with a "bully" who stomps on her art project, rips her book and breaks her pencils! She is afraid to tell her mother about this and when her mother figures out what is happening, she calls the teacher. The bully's mother walks him into school the next day and Lucy finds that the "bully" is suddenly very quiet and she starts to feel bad for him! She compliments a drawing he is working on and he feels happy. They share a laugh together and become friends.
The reason I like this story for sharing with the students is because it touches on being afraid to tell! We spent some time talking about NOT being afraid to tell and that it is NEVER acceptable to feel afraid of someone. We also talked about all of the people you could talk to and who could help you.
Finally, we drew mini-posters with the choice of a friendship theme or a "No Bullying" message. I thought I would share a few because I am very proud of our students! They have some great messages to share!!

There have been several of you inquiring about the new code entry system for our lunch program and I thought I would pass along some information that would be helpful and comforting.

First, we are hoping to start the first lunch 15 minutes earlier starting on 10/29 so that extra time is built in to the lunch schedule for the first week.  Second, we are planning to give evert teacher a class set of labels with the name of each student in the class and their ID code so that the kids can wear the code right into the cafeteria for the first week so that the code is at the fingertips of the cashier. Third, I am planning to be in there throughout the entire lunch period for the first couple of days so that one of the Teacher Assistants can help with the coded system. By starting the first lunch early, it will give us time to add minutes to the second lunch if it is needed. Our plan, on the Wawaloam end, is to be as proactive as possible. We anticipate this to be a bit slow in the beginning but these little children really do surprise us and they are pretty good at remembering codes and passwords and I suspect this will warrant the same results. 

I have also been in communication with Brett Nadeau who is the Food Service Director for the program. He is committed to making sure the change goes over as smoothly as possible. He is planning to have extra staff on hand to assist with the process. He is planning on distributing student ID's that will help with having the information at their fingertips in the lunch line.   Their lunch ID will be the same as their student ID that they were assigned when they started school, and this will be the same number that will carry them through their senior year. Brett has shared that it does allow us them to do a better job of tracking meals  compared with the pen and paper method that is currently being used.  It will take the younger kids a small amount of time to adjust to punching in numbers on a keypad, but we have seen that with most kids familiar with computers, ipads, and electronics as at much younger age than ever before it will not be as challenging for them to adjust to the new ways.

He also shared that along with the new POS system will be the ability to electronically monitor a student’s transactions and deposit money electronically into their account.  It will be done through a website, where you will be able  to create an account for your child and monitor their transactions and account balance, all for free.  For a minimal fee, you will be able to electronically deposit money into a student account and set up low balance email alerts.  He has found that parents have found this very useful in lieu of sending their younger child to school with cash or a check and making sure to find its’ way to a teacher and ultimately the Cafeteria. I have been doing this for several years with my son and it is convenient to have the opportunity to add money to his account when needed. 

Community Announcements

EWG Girl Scouts is hosting a 2nd Grade Social - to find out what Girl Scouts is all about!  Join us on Tuesday, October 21st from 6:00-7:30pm in the Wawaloam School Cafeteria. 

There are some exciting events happening at the Exeter Library and on the website you can read all about the Calendar of Events and more!

Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend, there is so much going on! The weather looks to be promising as well. Thank you for all you do as partners in the education of our students. 

Melissa Marino

1 comment:

  1. Hi Melissa, does not allow the selection of the EWG School District. Do you know when that will be added?