Newsletter February 5th 20212/5/2021
February 1, 2021
Hello Beach Families,
It has been too long since my last family message. I wanted to send an update on the social and emotional learning resources available to your child. As many of you know, I have a weekly message that updates on Sundays that is accessible from my website. If it has been a while since you visited my weekly message, I encourage you to take a look again because I have made some changes to the format. Each week focuses on a different topic related to the American School Counseling social/emotional learning standards. We have covered topics related to emotional regulation, the importance of expressions of gratitude and acts of kindness, self-love and self-worth, resilience, and owning and learning from our mistakes. Some weeks you might just find a read aloud and a short message to reinforce these ideas. On other weeks you will find clickable links that take you to interactive activities, short videos, and games that help support the weekly learning targets. In addition talking pet messages and mindfulness activities continue to be embedded in many of the weekly activities. I post the messages on my website so that parents can reinforce the skills and lessons even though most kids are seeing the messages in their class’ morning meetings each week.
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the challenges that families have faced with comprehensive distance learning. I have heard from a number of you since our return from winter break that the transition back to school has been especially difficult. Many parents have reported that their children have been less engaged with school and are resisting logging on to their classes. There was an article in the Washington Post this week titled “Seven ways to build a child’s resilience during the pandemic (and long after it ends)”. As a parent, I found it especially helpful in reframing my expectations of my children and how to build on their strengths to support their growth as young humans. The article was also affirming as I found that there were things that my family had already been doing.
It is so easy to get stuck focusing on challenges and losses during this time. With that in mind, I want to share an unexpected surprise from my 7th grader’s comprehensive distance learning (CDL) experience. Lillian has always had an interest in baking and cooking but found neither the time nor an empty kitchen to develop this interest. Because we are home all day and her schedule is such that she has longer periods of time where she can take a break from her asynchronous assignments, she regularly bakes cakes, muffins, and bread in the morning before school starts. At this point she is by far the best baker in our house. She often makes her brother and me lunches--a rice or noodle bowl, some homemade soup, or some other lunch concoction. As a bonus, she cleans up about 75% of her mess. CDL has presented her with unexpected time to explore this interest while developing her sense of autonomy and independence. Under any other circumstance I would have more closely supervised and criticised her. Instead, she has been allowed the opportunity to experiment, make mistakes, and study how to improve her techniques on her own. It takes effort everyday to look for the small and large bonuses to being home all day with my kids, but when I approach everyday with this in mind, I see places in which both of my children have grown and matured in ways that never would have happened without the tragedy that is this pandemic.
If you have your own “silver-lining” story to share, I would love to hear it. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns related to your child’s well-being of family needs.
Katrina de Boer
Beach School Counselor
The Successful Schools Survey begins for parents, students and staff next Monday, Feb. 8. Your participation in this survey really matters! The results help us improve in the ways you need us to, and help us know what is going well. Results are utilized across district and school teams, so we want and need the voices of all in our community.
“Meals are available for families to pick-up in front of Beach Elementary every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Each Friday, beginning 2/5/21, we will have activity books for you to pick-up along with the meals. The meals are free for all PPS students and any child between the ages of 1-18. These meals include the same great foods we serve during the school year for your family to enjoy at home. Many meals are heat at home foods that can be prepared in an oven or microwave.Students will receive seven days’ worth of meals each week; including breakfast, lunch and supper for each day."