West Park Weekly Parent Update 1/15/2021
Greetings, WPE families and students!
*Thank you for your patience and understanding this week as our staff followed emergency services to keep our students and staff safe during community emergency events on Tuesday. We are glad that our schools could respond quickly to keep everyone in our building safe while our first responders did their work.
*Thank you for your understanding as I have been out of school for an extended time due to an injury to my neck. Right before Christmas I had surgery to fix it and hope to return to school by early February. I have missed seeing the WPE crew and am so proud of the seamless way in which our staff delivers high quality education each day. Here’s a video greeting for you to watch from me.
Parenting during difficult events: Here is a great article that the Center staff shared this week, please take a few moments to read through it to learn more about how to talk with our youngest children about difficult events in the news from www.fredrogerscenter.org.
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for our children (and for each other) is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” –Fred Rogers
During times of tragedy and difficulty in the news, we may think that children are unaware of what is happening. However, children are more aware than we know and are especially sensitive to the moods and conversations of adults around them. Here are some ideas and considerations for supporting children when the news in the world is difficult:
*When the world feels uncertain and the news is scary, we can help children feel safe by letting children know we will always care for them and love them, no matter what.
*Be mindful of what children hear and see on the news. Children can overhear media and conversations that are not intended for them. It is best that they learn from a trusted adult, through meaningful and intentional conversations.
*Let children know you are always open to their questions. Before you answer it can help to ask the child, “What do you think?” or “What have you heard?” Sometimes, children may understand more than we realize, may have misinformation, or may have a much simpler question than we assume. If you know more about what the child is wondering, it can help you give a simple and honest answer.
*It’s okay if you don’t know an answer to the child’s question. You can let them know, “I wonder about that, too” and that you will share as you learn more. It can help to ask the child more about what they are feeling. Simply listening to the child’s feelings around their uncertainty can help them feel safe.
*Let children know that their feelings are always safe with you, whether they are feeling worried, angry, sad, or anything at all. As Fred Rogers reminds us, “anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that’s mentionable can be more manageable.”
*Difficult news takes a toll on all of us. To care for the children in our lives, it is important to care for ourselves. Set boundaries around your own news intake, take moments to rest, and find a support network for yourself.
*Even when you are overwhelmed, unsure of what to say, or are struggling, you are just what the child in your life needs and you are enough.
*Second semester is 23 weeks long, and we look forward to the great progress and growth we can continue with your children before the end of the school year on June 17th. We will continue to follow our health guidelines well, to create as safe a learning environment as possible!
*Want to read a story with me? Please go to our WPE Bedtime Stories Facebook page. You may recognize some of your favorite Lake County people reading their favorite children’s book.
*If you have any tech concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the problem.
January 18 No School -MLK Holiday
January 22 “A Day” Students will attend school on this Friday
February 15 No School –President’s Day Holiday
February 19 “A Day” Students will attend school on this Friday
March 1-4 Dr. Seuss Spirit Week
March 3 ½ Day of school for students
March 3 Parent / Teacher Conferences Noon – 8 pm
March 4 ½ Day of school for students
March 4 Parent / Teacher Conferences Noon – 8 pm
March 22-26 Spring Break!
Please reach out if ever you have concerns or celebrations you hope to share with me.
Kathleen Fitzsimmons and the entire WPE team!