Message From Principal Althouse

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November 6, 2017

Greetings Fairmeadow Community,

What has eight legs and is hairy?  What has eight eyes and fangs?  A spider!  A proud second grade writer shared this introduction, as well as her whole informational book on spiders, with family and friends at her second grade writing celebration last Friday.  Second graders just finished publishing their books from their informational writing unit.  During the unit students learned to catch the interest of their readers through creative introductions, to include transition words and phrases when changing between ideas, to write facts, definitions, and details to elaborate on what they know, to use expert words, and much more!  Writers across our school develop their writing abilities daily through the explicit, thoughtful, and sequential instruction provided by our teachers during Writers’ Workshop.  What genre and skills are your young writers working on?  Ask about their work in Writers’ Workshop!

This Thursday, November 9th marks the end of the first trimester of the school year.  Following the end of the trimester, teachers will provide a summary of each child’s progress through the first trimester progress report.  First on the progress report, you will learn about your child’s strengths and areas for growth in many social and emotional learning competencies.  The academic sections of the progress report highlight key California Common Core Standards for each grade level and emphasize your child’s areas of progress and challenge for each standard that has been covered during this first trimester of school.  We hope that the first trimester progress report provides a helpful summary of the skills your child is progressing on this year, as well as areas to focus on in the coming months.

At our Tuesday staff meeting we will be joined by our school resource officer from the Palo Alto Police Department (PAPD) for our annual Code Red staff training.  On Monday, November 13th at 8:45 am we will engage in our annual Code Red drill with our students and the PAPD.  During this drill, we simulate how we would respond if there was a threatening situation on our school grounds.  The language we use with our students is that an ‘unwelcome and unsafe situation’ is at our school and that we need to work together to keep each other safe.  Students and staff will follow Code Red protocols to silently and safely barricade together in unseen parts of each classroom, and officers from the PAPD will assess how well each classroom is secured.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have about this important safety practice at our school.

A quick reminder to all parents, that if your child remains on school grounds after school he or she must be actively supervised by a parent or guardian, or an adult who is specifically in charge.  School supervision of the children ends at the conclusion of the school day.  Also, there is no school this Friday in honor of Veterans’ Day.

Thanks to all who contributed to making the Walkathon a huge success last weekend!  I look forward to seeing you at Fairmeadow soon!

With kindest regards and appreciation,

Grant Althouse