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Fairmeadow Updates 12.16.20

Season's Greetings to our wonderful Fairmeadow Families,

I hope this weekly communication finds you all well and in great spirits as we wrap up the 2020 year. As I reflect on this year, I want to take some time to acknowledge our amazing Fairmeadow community and staff for all of the hard work and support you've provided for all of our students. Each day I am reminded of how lucky I am to be with such an amazing community and staff as we go above and beyond to ensure we continue to provide an outstanding education for the whole-child, whether we are in distance learning or in-person. These are such unique times, and our Fairmeadow community has come together and adjusted in order to make things as "normal" as possible. Thank you so much to our PTA for the continued supports and love you've provided to staff and students. Our PTA arranged an opportunity for our students to join in virtually for a mini Grinch party over the weekend filled with dancing and pictures. A shout out to PTA parent extraordinaire Daniela V. for organizing the special guest visitor, Mr. Grinch for our students. In addition, on behalf of the Fairmeadow Staff, I would like to say thank you to PTA President, Collette O. for organizing a delicious grab n go luncheon for us today. Our other PTA parent extraordinaire Celia R. helped to hand out the goodies during our lunch hour this afternoon. Thank you!

Here are some updates for the rest of the week:

Minimum Day: Friday, December 18th hybrid dismissal at 1:45 PM and distance learning dismissal at 1:35 PM. School resumes on January 7, 2021. For hybrid families, please note that Cohort A is physically on campus on Monday, January 11th, 2021.

Principal's Coffee: Thank you to the handful of parents who joined me, Andrea Saxerud, and Michael Ridgway on Tuesday's Principal Coffee. Here is the presentation for your reference.

Counseling Corner:As we head into the holiday season, we wanted to acknowledge that even though this holiday season may be different, you can still find ways to connect with loved ones and make this season special. In the article, Preparing Your Kids for the Holidays During COVID-19, Erica Lee, a psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children's Hospital offers some advice for parents on how to cope - and ideas for ways to celebrate - as this holiday season approaches. "For those who look forward to celebrating, this year might feel particularly hard," says Lee.

Talk it out-Lee recommends starting to talk about the holidays a few weeks ahead of time. This will allow you to modify your holiday plans without giving your kids too much time to dwell on any disappointment they may feel. Then sit down together as a family and come up with a plan for how you will celebrate.

Focus on what you can do-Whatever holidays your family celebrates; Lee suggests focusing on the rituals you can continue to do together - rather than focusing on what you can't do this year.

Create new traditions

Some ideas she suggests include:

  • Take turns hosting and initiating mini holiday celebrations (virtually).
  • Spread out your holiday celebrations with several short, online celebrations.
  • Send each other care packages.
  • Send your favorite holiday treats, special mementoes, or small gifts and open them together over Zoom or Facetime.
  • Work together on a shared project.
  • Start a crafting chain for a holiday-related project and share with other families or friends.

Enjoy some friendly competition. Have your family or kids make holiday treats, and then vote for the best over FaceTime or Zoom. Or put up holiday decorations outside, so you can drive or walk by, and then cast your votes.

Document what you're doing.Whether you're creating new traditions or celebrating in the ways you always have, keep a journal or take photos or videos to document this years' experience.

Take the opportunity to scale down.Lee says it's important to remember that, for many people, the holiday season and large family gatherings also come with a certain amount of stress. "This year has been hard. This might be an opportunity to scale down and focus on the parts of the holiday that are most meaningful to you," she says. "Give yourself permission to take it easy this year. Instead, focus on staying connected and staying safe." Read the full article here.

Another way to make this holiday season special, is to help out those in need. Research has shown that there is a positive correlation between giving and personal well-being. In her research, Dr. Aknin wrote, "Our findings suggest that the psychological reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts". In the study, 207 university students in Canada and South Africa were given a small amount of money and told to buy a bag of treats for themselves or one for a child at a local hospital. The students who bought items for a sick child reported higher levels of well-being versus the students who bought items for themselves. You can read more about this study here.

There are still plenty of opportunities to volunteer and donate during the pandemic. Many ideas can be found here.

Every week Counseling Corner will include a feedback survey so you can share your experience and feedback on the tools provided. We hope you can take one minute to complete the survey here!

Happy holidays to you and your family! May the new year bring you all much joy, great health, and some rejuvenation.

Warmly,

Iris Wong, Fairmeadow Principal