Many classes have launched their first “Cross Age Buddy” experience and others will do so in the coming weeks. Cross-Age Buddies is the intentional pairing of an older grade with a younger grade (K-3, 4th/5th-1st 4th/5th-2nd) for special activities monthly or so. Ms. Maggie’s and Mr. Flagel’s classes made oil pastel pumpkins together today, and here are some pictures from Ms. Havran’s and Ms. Hedlund’s Reading Buddies experience this week-- both partnerships were described as a huge success! Thank you to Ms. Havran for the adorable photos posted below.
On a more somber but essential note, Monday at 1:50 p.m. our school will conduct a Lockdown Drill, where we’ll review routines for locking down the school building in case it is ever necessary to do so. Our staff, with PPS guidance, plans thoughtfully for the procedures and language we use to support children before, during and after safety drills. Our goal is to minimize the disruption to children's learning and avoid creating undue concern while simultaneously providing practice for staff and students. After each drill, we assess how well we followed procedures and how we can improve our practices.
Lockdown actions are initiated whenever there is an active threat against the safety of our school. This action includes “Locks, Lights, Out of Sight” and works to create a time barrier until first responders can arrive at the scene. Conducting these drills helps to better prepare our staff and students if a threatening situation were ever to occur at our school.
Whenever we conduct a safety drill, we use language to highlight the importance of following safe procedures and to simultaneously avoid creating anxiety or worry for children. When we practice a safety drill, we tell children:
There are different ways we practice being safe in school.
We plan for fire, earthquakes and bad weather.
Sometimes we also need to help people who aren't making safe choices.
These people may be in the neighborhood or in our school.
We have plans to make sure everyone in our school is safe.
Today, we are going to practice what to do if the school learns about an unsafe situation or person that is near our school or could come into our school.
The safety of our children is our most important priority and we care deeply that each child feels safe, and is safe, at school. It is possible your child will want to talk about the drill, it is possible they won't seem to remember it, or anything in between. You are the best person to gauge your child's needs and support accordingly but at the same time, please feel free to call or email me or your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns. You may also reach out to our district’s Emergency Management program through Security Services at 503-916-3000 to discuss any issues of emergency preparedness, drills, or security measures taken at PPS.
Again, we understand that these types of active threat drills can cause anxiety for students and staff. Our staff are working with students before and after the drill in an age appropriate way to help ease anxiety and better support students. Here are some resources that could help in connecting with your child(ren) in advance of this drill:
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: this website offers guidance for trauma-informed care for children following a disaster or traumatic event and offers many resources including a Psychological First Aid training.
Thank you for sending your children to us each day. We will always do our best to care for them and keep them safe.