Message From Principal Althouse

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January 22, 2018

Greetings Fairmeadow Community,

Students and staff kicked-off the first two weeks of 2018 with effort, enthusiasm, and motivation at Fairmeadow; our classrooms are alive with energy and curiosity!

The two recent earthquakes in California serve as a somber reminder of the eventual large earthquake that will shake our region at some point in the future.  Should a significant earthquake occur during school hours, we have a comprehensive plan for how we would respond to keep our students and staff safe.  On Friday, January 19th we practiced a full-scale emergency drill to simulate and rehearse our response if a serious earthquake should strike at school.  For students, this included duck and cover procedures in classrooms and evacuation to the blacktop for attendance taking for each classroom.  While students remained with classes on the blacktop, our school staff practiced many roles of our emergency response teams including search and rescue, injury transportation, first aide, food and water, sanitation, and communication.  The drill on Friday proved successful, and while we hope that we never have to initiate this process during a real emergency, regular practice helps to increase our preparation and safety.

If there was a serious emergency during school hours, you would undoubtedly be anxious to see your child, and to return home with family.  Our student release station is located adjacent to the main office, and we request that parents gather there to complete the check-out process.  We will only release children to adults specifically named on student emergency contact information registered with the school, and adults must have a form of identification in order to check-out a child during a declared emergency.  Please take a moment to check your emergency contacts in Infinite Campus, and to discuss a reunion plan with your family.  Thank you to the 20+ parents who came on Friday to help us simulate the student release station!

In other Fairmeadow news, author Matt de la Peña and Illustrator Loren Long presented to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students last Wednesday.  Celebrating the release of their new picture book, Love, Mr. de la Peña and Mr. Long read their story aloud to captivated students in the MP Room.  Mr. de la Peña also shared about his experience falling in love with poetry in college, about the inspiration for the many books he’s written, and about the 104 revisions that he completed to get the story Love to its published version.  Mr. Long reflected about his career in art, including the story of how he came to illustrate Barrack Obama’s book, Of thee I Sing, and he also shared about the creative process required to illustrate a book of pictures from a simple manuscript.  The students were clearly impressed and inspired by their work and their reflections, a wonderful complement to make their learning in writing and art feel even more relevant and important!

Please consider joining me for January’s Principal’s Coffee this Wednesday, January 24th from 8:45 to 10:00 am in the Fairmeadow MP Room.  This month we will discuss learning mindset, and the many simple ways parents and educators that can encourage a growth mindset among our children.  I will also answer any questions you may have about our school safety plan.  Please note the special Wednesday date!

With appreciation,

Grant Althouse, Principal

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