I want to extend a thank you on behalf of our teachers and staff for the many ways that you showed appreciation during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Thank you for all that you do for our community.
Tonight’s newsletter contains a reminder about our upcoming transition meetings with an included link to the class placement survey; our weekly student support service column is written this month by our Speech Language Pathologist, Ms. Toni Wills. Finally, please scroll down to see the Janney+ Update from Kristen Maxson. We are excited to welcome Lynn Bauer as our next Executive Director.
Have a great week!
Reminder: Transition Meetings and Class Placement Process
On Thursday, May 24th, we will host grade level transition meetings in lieu of Parent-Teacher Conferences. The teachers will have limited spaces available for individual conferences, and we are asking that unless you have pressing concerns or have already spoken to your child’s teacher about an end of year meeting, that you instead attend a transition meeting. We have found that the late spring conferences typically focus on discussing the next grade level, and all parents have their questions answered via these transition meetings. Your child’s teacher will be communicating more specifics via weekly class newsletters, but here is the schedule for the day:
*Please note that we are offering both an AM and a PM session for each transition meeting. The content will be the same at both the AM and the PM sessions.
8:30-9:15 – PK to K meeting (Art room); 2nd to 3rd grade meeting (Music room)
9:15-10:00 – K to 1st grade meeting (Art room); 3rd to 4th grade meeting (Music room)
10:00-10:45 – 1st to 2nd grade meeting (Art room); 4th to 5th grade meeting (Music room)
4:30-5:15 – PK to K meeting (Art room); 2nd to 3rd grade meeting (Music room)
5:15-6:00 – K to 1st grade meeting (Art room); 3rd to 4th grade meeting (Music room)
6:00-6:45 – 1st to 2nd grade meeting (Art room); 4th to 5th grade meeting (Music room)
Each year, grade level teams gather to create class lists for the upcoming school year. Our teaching staff spends an extraordinary amount of time over a multi-week period on the class development process. The teachers considered a variety of factors throughout the process, including a child’s social and emotional development, demographic factors, academic strengths and areas of growth, and effective learning partners. We strive to create socially, demographically, and academically diverse classes at each grade level. We also take parent feedback into consideration during this process. Parents can provide feedback through a short, 6-question optional survey found here.
Student Support Services Corner
Greetings Janney Community!
As we continue to explore the idea of Communication for All, this week let’s focus on Encouraging Good Social Skills and Character Building at School and Home. Last week I discussed disconnecting from screens and encouraging good, old-fashioned play. Play is a huge part of developing good social skills in children. Play is where we not only learn about how our children engage with peers, but we can also model what appropriate play interactions look like. Good social skills do not come naturally. We must consider children with autism, behavioral disorders, and other developmental delays, need constant encouragement, prompting, and verbal cues in order to learn how to socialize and engage appropriately with others and what to say in certain social situations. So, what are some activities to involve your children (our students) in recognizing, rewarding, and using good social skills and behaviors in the classroom and at home? Here are a couple ways…
Good Job Jar– This works especially well in school, but can also be a great way to encourage appropriate social interactions with siblings or when multiple children are in the home. Ask students to be on the lookout for other students exhibiting good social behavior. That might look like, another child helping a peer or encouraging a peer to try something that may be difficult for them. Or maybe, someone used positive praise at the end of a game or activity. When students, teachers, or other adults observe another student sharing, helping out, or saying an encouraging word, allow them to put a token (button, bead, marble, etc.) in the jar. When the jar is full, there would be a small celebration or treat (extra recess, game time, or a special reward). This is very similar to that of our school “Paw Print” system, which encourages adults in our building to acknowledge when a student is caught doing a positive action or just being positive. Bet you didn’t know you could create your own system at home, too!
Personal Notes for Good Character– I like the idea of leaving a simple note of positive praise in a child’s lunchbox or desk. Both parents and teachers can be great models for demonstrating what it looks like to encourage someone else. “Keep up the good work”, “Great job at finishing all your homework in JAC” or just a simple “I love you” can really start someone’s day in a positive direction!
I also found this article to be helpful in understanding how social skills develop and at what age certain social skills come into play. And of course, Communication between parent and teacher is essential in helping each other to teach valuable social skills to children. Together, we can develop a child who is confident, compassionate, and committed to building good character.
Ms. Toni aka The Speech Lady
Toni Carroll-Wills, MS CCC-SLP