Letter from the Principal

Letter from the PrincipalComments Off on Letter from the Principal

Dear Janney Families, 

Thanks to all who came out for the Janney 5K this weekend.  It was a fun event and a huge shout out to our 5K team who made it all happen!
This week’s newsletter contains important information about Report Cards.  Your K-5th grade child will receive his or her report card via tonight’s THT.
Included in this week’s newsletter: an explanation of our K-5 report cards; a reminder announcement about our upcoming parent night on December 4th; including a RSVP link with an option for signing up for free childcare provided by JAC; finally, Dr. Margaret Mallory writes our weekly student support services column.
This will be our last newsletter of November.  I wish you a restful and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday.
Report Cards
On Tuesday, November 19th, your Kindergarten-5th grade student will receive a report card that will summarize the first quarter of learning.  The report cards are divided into four main parts: the first page of the report card contains overall number grades for each subject, and letter grades that focus on learning behaviors; the second and third page of the report card contain letter grades for specific subject areas; and finally, the teacher comments will either be included as a separate document or appear on the first page of the report card, depending on your child’s grade level.
Here is a brief overview of each section:

Number grades
Number grades (4,3,2,1) denote a student’s overall performance in a specific subject area.  This grade is determined not only by the skills listed on the report card, but by other expected skills and standards as outlined by our curriculum.  Please note that the number grades are not simply an average of the skills listed in each subject section.  A 4 means that a child is exceeding grade level performance and expectations, while a 3 reflects grade level appropriate work.  A 2 demonstrates that a student is operating slightly below grade level, meaning that a student is still developing skills necessary for grade level work or that a student shows inconsistent application of the grade level skills.  A 1 shows that a student is operating well below grade level and has not demonstrated knowledge of grade level skills.
Letter grades
As mentioned above, letter grades (S,D,B) are given to specific skills within a subject area.  Please note that these are not the only skills taught during a particular advisory.  Throughout the advisory, teachers assess students in specific skills to determine whether a student is demonstrated himself or herself to be secure (S), developing (D), or beginning (B).  It is also important to note that some skills have not yet been introduced and will therefore be marked with an “N.”
The comments often contain information that is not easily expressed in other areas of the report card; this is also the section that teachers use to further explain a child’s performance.  Teachers make individual decisions for each child to either focus comments more heavily on academic performance, or on the social/emotional aspects of a child’s school experience.   Teachers often use this space to celebrate growth in a particular area, and to give specific feedback and next steps.
Please ask questions if there are parts of the report card that do not make sense to you, or if you need more clarification on next steps or further supports.  We look forward the next advisory of learning!
Reminder: Parent Night December 4th 6-7pm
Do you find yourself repeating directions over and over to your child? Is getting out of the house on time becoming an issue? Are behavior concerns turning into frustrations that rob family time of fun and joy? Come to the Janney Parenting Forum! On December 4th members of the Student Support Team will provide a space for you to share your parenting concerns with others who are experiencing similar issues.  Give advice, get advice or and maybe walk away with some new strategies to try at home.
Please RSVP and let us know if you need free childcare provided by JAC. 
Wednesday December 4 from 6-7 pm (location TBD)
Student Support Services Column
As we enter the holiday season, we sometimes forget the sheer amount of opportunities, privileges and material possessions that our kids enjoy through no effort of their own.  When we actually take this into account, it’s easy to see why many children feel entitled – especially since they’ve gotten used to getting things without knowing or caring where they’ve come from.  When we teach gratitude to our children, we help them to understand that all of their toys and other creature comforts don’t just emerge out of thin air.  When children recognize that the things that they own and the opportunities that they have come from someone other than themselves, it helps them develop a healthy understanding of gratitude and respect.  According to Mary Jane Ryan, life coach and author of Attitudes of Gratitude, “No one is born grateful….recognizing that someone has gone out of the way for you is not a natural behavior for children — it’s learned.”
Over the years, research has shown the positive power of gratefulness.  For instance, a 2003 study at the University of California at Davis showed that grateful people report higher levels of happiness and optimism — along with lower levels of depression and stress.  With children, grateful young people (ages 11-13) when compared to their less grateful counterparts, were found to be happier and more optimistic, had better social support, and were more satisfied with their school, family, community, friends, and themselves.  They were also more likely to give more emotional support to others.  Grateful teens (ages 14-19) were found to be more satisfied with their lives, used their strengths to better their community, were more engaged in their schoolwork and hobbies, had higher grades, and were less envious, depressed, and materialistic.
As important as the quality of gratitude may be, it is one of the trickiest concepts to teach children – who by nature are more self-centered.  Here are some tips to help instill a sense of gratefulness:

  1. Work gratitude into your daily conversation.
    • General observations, where you as parents, express gratitude can go a long way: Ex. “We’re so lucky to have a great dog like Max”; “It always makes me happy when I see you helping your brother”.
    • Tell your children what makes them special to you – it will boost their self-esteem for the right reasons.
    • Make talking about good things that happened each day a part of dinnertime conversation.Each person can contribute one good thing that happened during their day.
  2. Send thank-you notes.
    While sending handwritten thank-you notes seems to be a dying trend, it’s a great way to encourage kids to express gratitude — and as an added bonus, it can make the recipient’s day!  Of course, it’s always appropriate for children to send notes when they receive gifts, but there are lots of other opportunities throughout the year for kids to recognize and thank those who have done something special for them: thank you notes to teachers at the end of the school year, Little League coaches, ballet teachers, and families who host them for overnights or parties.  Younger children can even dictate the letter while you write.
  3. Don’t limit opportunities to give to others.

While helping out in soup kitchens and shelters during the holidays is a great opportunity to not only teach children about how to help others, but also to appreciate all that they have, limiting such acts of kindness to one or two days every year can feel a bit hollow.  What about the other 363 days of the year?  Encourage your child to help an elderly neighbor, volunteer at the local animal shelter, or regularly donate toys or books to children who are less fortunate.

  1. Have kids do more for themselves.

While the natural inclination may be to step in and help your child if you see him/her taking forever to clean the table, don’t always jump in and do it for them.  The more you do, the less they appreciate the effort that it takes.  By participating in simple household chores like feeding the dog or stacking dirty dishes on the counter, children come to realize that all things take effort.

  1. Have kids participate in the buying process when they want something.
    If your child receives an allowance or earns money for chores, have them participate in  buying some of the things they want.  When kids take the time to save up for things, they have an ownership stake in the purchase, gain an understanding of the value of a dollar, and gain an understanding of the connection between work and getting what they want.  It also teaches restraint, encourages kids to appreciate what they have, and provides them with a more realistic perspective on what you and others do for them.

Alysia Lutz, Principal

  • Janney Calendar

    February 2021

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    • Beginning of Third Advisory
    • No School for Students, Teachers, Staff
    • DCPS Virtual School Day (No In-Person Learning)
    • Nando's Janney Night (40% goes back to Janney!)

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