Updates For January 17-21, 2022
Welcome back to in-person learning Alma PS families. The students are doing an amazing job of adapting to the new changes. Thanks for helping to prepare them so well at home for these shifts in procedures. Staff are grateful to have students back in the building as well.
Here are the 5 things you need to know today to keep up to date this week:
- This is the final week to register for Kindergarten as it closes on January 21, 2022. If you have or know of a student born in 2018 they can register for Junior Kindergarten. If they were born in 2017 they can register for Senior Kindergarten. Please find out more at https://www.ugdsb.ca/kindergarten/registration/. Registering now helps to inform our school’s staffing process for the fall so please ensure that you register ASAP.
- Thanks for continuing to complete your daily screening with your child. Our community has been great so far at following the directions shared with them. If your child will be absent, please ensure that you contact the school to let us know. Email is an easy way to do this by emailing [email protected]. Please be sure to share the reason for your absence (ex: dentist appointment, illness, etc.). It helps us to follow up if required and track absences correctly.
- The UGDSB has shared that with possible shortages in bus drivers, it is wise to sign up for notifications of delays. It also helps in times of weather delays, etc. You can find out more at the Transportation website, https://stwdsts.ca/, and by going to the Parent Portal to sign up.
- Here at the school we know the month of January hasn’t started the way we all predicted or had hoped, yet, through the resiliency of our families, students and staff, the Alma PS community remains strong in the face of hardship. At school, we are practicing the art of sharing gratitudes in the morning announcements. Hopefully, this practice can start to overflow into home life as well as it helps to bring perspective and reminders us to be thankful for all that we have despite the challenges. Please know we are very grateful for your support and are always here if you need help.
- In January for the UGDSB Wellness Works program, our focus is on empathy with students as a part of their mental health skill-building. Empathy is about being able to consider what someone else may be going through and imagining how they might be feeling or thinking. It is about walking in another person’s shoes – about listening to another perspective non-judgmentally. It’s about voicing our understanding of their emotions and validating them. It’s about recognizing the humanity of others and challenging ourselves to be present. Empathy is often the first step towards compassionate action and helping others.
Empathy is important because with empathy we:
- Are more likely to treat people the way they wish you would treat them.
- Are better able to understand the needs of people around you.
- Are able to more clearly understand the perception you create in others with your words and actions.
- Are able to better understand other people’s needs.
Here are some activities you can do at home to reflect and build on empathy from Jenny Marino, our UGDSB Mental Health and Addictions Lead:
- Help younger children understand how to recognize emotions so they are better able to understand how others may be feeling. You can draw “feeling faces” or take pictures of family members with different feeling faces. Or take turns role-playing different emotions (what would you look like if someone knocked down your Lego? Found a puppy? Etc.).
- You can take turns coming up with situations or scenarios and have each family member share how that would make them feel. It’s important for all of us to remember that how we may feel is not always how others feel.
- Encourage your child/ren to consider how others may experience certain situations. For instance, if they came home excited about a presentation, they really felt good about it – celebrate with them and then ask them to consider how the student who didn’t present so well may be feeling. Or how the “new” student in the class may feel? Help your child understand that people have specific and unique identities, and these identities mean that different things are available to them, they have different experiences in the world, different interests, and different struggles.
- Help your child understand that different people have different things available to them, different experiences in the world, different interests, and different struggles.
- If you are reading to your child, stop and ask how different characters may be feeling in the story. How do the character’s different behaviours and choices tell us information about how they may be feeling?
- Designate a wall to share ideas/thoughts/pictures about empathy as a family and reflect on it together.
Thanks as always for your continued support. If there’s anything the school can do to help, please let us know. We’re here to help!
Principal Alma PS