Letter from the Principal

Letter from the PrincipalComments Off on Letter from the Principal

Dear Janney Families,

I hope you enjoyed a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday.

I look forward to seeing many of you at WinterFest this Saturday!

Included in this week’s newsletter: a reminder about the December 4 parent forum hosted by Ms. Lewis and Dr. Mallory; a note from DCPS Food Services for those families who purchase hot lunch; a reminder about the two opportunities for donating items for those in need during the month of December; and, a final column from Dr. Mallory focused on elementary reading development.

The PTA Update includes: a reminder about Giving Tuesday; an announcement about the Raffle, the Greens Sale, and WinterFest.  The rest of the newsletter includes: an announcement about the Janney Staff Holiday Collection; an updated article about the Janney raffle; a new article about the foster child gift drive; a new article about the Thrive DC gift drive; and a new article about the Hour of Code.

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: Art Room off of the first floor atrium)

DCPS Food Services: An Update About Meal Payment
Dear DCPS Family,

Thank you for your patience as the Food and Nutrition Services Team worked through some critical updates of the school meal payment system. The MySchoolBucks meal payment portal has been reactivated as of Monday, November 25thYou can now view and manage your student’s meal account. Please note that students are never denied a meal, and your student(s) were not impacted during this update. If you have any questions regarding your student’s meal account, please contact the Food and Nutrition Services office directly at food.dcps@k12.dc.gov.

Thank you,

Rob Jaber
Executive Director
Food & Nutrition Services

Reminder: Donating Items
The holidays are coming and Janney is participating in a gift drive to help make the season a happy one for local foster kids.   This is our 11th year and we are once again partnering with the Northwest Sport & Health and DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) to collect gifts for kids who are in DC’s foster care system.  We are looking for donations of new, unwrapped gifts for infants through age 21.  Ideas include bath toys, stuffed animals, dolls, action figures, activity kits, building blocks, games, jewelry, watches, hat & scarf sets, bath & body sets, etc.  Please drop off your donation in the blue bins that will be set up along the brick wall in the Atrium anytime 12/2 – 12/13. Please contact Shana Zallman at shoshana.zallman@k12.dc.gov with any questions.

Additionally, two Janney alumni are collecting items to donate to A Wider Circle as part of their 8th grade community project at Deal MS.  The goal of this organization is to help people get back on their feet if they are homeless.  First aid supplies and hygiene products can be donated through Friday, December 6.  Classroom teachers will be collecting supplies.  Please see your child’s classroom newsletter for more information.

Student Support Services Column
It is well known that children take different paths in learning to read.  That is, they develop early reading skills at different rates and through different kinds of experiences.  For some children, reading seems to come naturally and effortlessly and they are practically self-taught by Kindergarten.  Some will learn to read in school no matter the teaching method.  However, for other children, it takes more time to decode language and make connections between letters and sounds, and they may need to be exposed to different teaching styles until things finally click.  Many children struggle with reading at some point during their development and most will catch up with a little extra practice and individualized attention.  The question for parents is often: when should I be concerned?

If your child is struggling and he/she seems frustrated, you are right to be concerned.  While the following may not be true for everyone, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. When a child is struggling to read, there is often a family connection.Research has shown that a common predictor of reading difficulties is a family history of reading or learning issues, including Dyslexia.There is a heavy genetic component to reading difficulties, which is why it is not uncommon to see multiple children within a family struggling with reading or diagnosed with some type of reading disability.
  2. Struggling to read is often associated with a previous delay in development.Being able to verbalize a word doesn’t mean that a child can segment or blend the phonemes of that word, which is a deeper level of processing.This is why a delay in language acquisition often precedes a reading delay.Even if the delay is addressed through speech/language therapy, reading difficulties related to the delay can emerge at a later time due to lingering weaknesses in phonological (phonemic) processing.
  3. Repeatedly transposing or reversing similar letters (b/d, p/q) is often seen as a red flag, but only if it goes on too long.While reversals are a common occurrence for children through second grade, attention is warranted if it occurs past the age of eight.Forgetting how to spell words that were previously mastered in earlier grades (1-3) is also another common sign that a reading issue may be present.
  4. Be mindful if your child hates reading and wants to avoid reading at all costs.If your preschool child displays a lack of curiosity about letters and books as they move toward school age, don’t simply dismiss it.It is not surprising that children don’t want to do things that they are not good at – even for our youngest students.

For parents of preschoolers, here are some general things to monitor (keeping in mind all children have unique profiles and that these are not markers for all children who eventually develop reading challenges):

  • Very small vocabulary and/or slow vocabulary growth.
  • Often unable to find the right word and speaks in very short sentences.
  • Even with age-appropriate instruction, struggles with learning the names of letters of the alphabet, matching letters to sounds, and rhyming.
  • Difficulty remembering sequences such as numbers, alphabet, days of the week.
  • Difficulty pronouncing simple words.
  • Difficulty understanding simple directions and following routines.
  • Difficulty learning colors and shapes
  • Fine motor skills are slow to develop – has difficulty holding crayon or pencil, picking up small objects with fingers, and copying basic shapes.

Don’t Panic…There Are Things You Can Do

  • Struggling readers often have many amazing strengths, such as building things; putting puzzles together; abilities in art, drama, and music; and they are very creative.Don’t forget to focus on these strengths and allow your child experiences and successes in these areas.
  • In order for a child to improve their reading fluency, reading must become automatic. This happens when the struggling reader is able to see the word and quickly identify the patterns and sounds.  This can be accomplished by teaching your child the patterns of English (the Five Phonetic Skills) and how these patterns affect the vowels.  The more your child works with these patterns, the more they will develop this automatic orthographic reading ability, and their fluency will increase.
  • As a struggling reader encounters a new word, one reading strategy is to look up the meaning of that word.If they attach meaning to it, then they are more likely to remember it and be able to decode it.After they decode the word, have them practice writing it and using it in a sentence.
  • One of the best reading comprehension strategies is to help your children make connections with what they are reading.Can they relate to any of the characters or to the story?If they make a connection to themselves, it is called a text-to-self connection; if they make a connection from the story that they are reading to another story that they have read, it is called a text-to-text connection; and, if they make a connection to something that they have seen on the news or to an experience someone that they know has had, it is called a text-to-world connection.Helping a struggling reader involves encouraging them to make as many connections as they can.The more connections they make, the better they will remember and comprehend the story.
  • Asking questions is another reading comprehension strategy.  If you ask your children questions about what is happening in the story, a character’s feelings, or wonder what will happen next, you help them to be engaged in their reading, and that will help them understand on a deeper level.
  • Many children who struggle with reading have low self-esteem and feel stupid.All research has been conclusive in proving that difficulties with reading have nothing to do with intelligence.If your child feels this way, let him/her know that their reading struggles have nothing to do with their intelligence and that they simply need to be taught in the way their brain learns.

Warmly,
Alysia Lutz, Principal

  • Janney Calendar

    February 2021

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