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Fairmeadow Updates 2.17.21

Hello Fairmeadow Community,

I hope your child(ren) enjoyed the author's visit last week. For grades K-2, there was a virtual visit featuring Joanna Ho where she shared a reading of her book, Eyes That Kiss in the Corners.Many PAUSD elementary sites joined in this webinar style assembly and students had the opportunity to ask Ms. Ho some questions after learning more about why and how she became an author. We also had the pleasure of having Aaron Reynolds join our Firebirds in grades 3-5. Mr. Reynolds talked about his latest book, Fart Quest and is also the author of several other books, Creepy Carrots and Dude! to name a few. We are so fortunate to have these inspirational authors join us to share their writing journeys and creative stories. Here are some updates for this week:

Library Books- Reminder, all students at FM can check out physical books with Mrs. Brown, our librarian. Please remind your child(ren) to check out books with Mrs. Brown and she will prepare the book for pick up with your child's name in the front office weekly. Books will be placed on the red cart and labeled with your child's name.

Fairmeadow Picture Day- If you haven't already, please mark your calendar and review my "Picture email" for Friday, February 26th, where we will have the opportunity for our Firebirds to take their school picture. Remember, hybrid students who are Cohort B will take their photo during school hours, and Cohort A and all distance learners will take their photos during the designated grade level time slots after school hours.

Principal's Coffee- I would like to have our next Principal's Coffee on Monday, February 22nd at 2:00 PM. We will have a special guest speaker, and I will share information about an upcoming event that will get all of our Firebirds up and exercising and practicing healthy eating choices.

Zoom link for Principal's Coffee:

School Site Council Meeting- Our next meeting is on Tuesday, February 23rd, 3:00-4:30 PM via Zoom. All Fairmeadow community members are welcome and invited to attend. Please let me know if you'd like to attend so I can send you the Zoom link.

Counseling Corner- For many families, the topic of screen time can be a touchy subject even in the best of times. Now, with parents and kids holed up together 24/7 and everything from school to birthday parties taking place online, it's even harder to know how to put boundaries on your child's screen time. Here are some tips for you:

Set boundaries (when you can)- Right now, limits on screen time will probably look a lot different than they once did. Start by acknowledging to your kids and to yourself that with school and socializing happening online, increased screen time is unavoidable.

Prioritize wellness- Another way of thinking about screen time is to look at how your child is spending their time in general. Dr. Dave Anderson, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute suggests that parents use the idea of a "developmental checklist" to consider whether a child is engaged in activities important for healthy development.

Ask yourself:

  • Is my child sleeping enough and eating a somewhat balanced diet?
  • Are they getting some form of exercise every day?
  • Are they getting some quality time with family?
  • Do they use some screen time to keep in touch with friends?
  • Are they invested in schoolwork and keeping up with homework?

If you can answer yes to most of those questions, then it's probably not a huge deal if your child is getting some extra screen time these days.

Emphasize social connections- When it comes to limiting time on screens, there's one important exception: social connections. Dr. Anderson recommends taking advantage of technology to stay connected with friends and family, even if doing so means your child spends a little more time on screens than you typically allow.

Be present for your child- The kind of content your child interacts with is just as important as how much time they're spending on screens. To ensure that your child is spending their newly expanded screen time in appropriate ways, the best strategy is often to check in frequently and connect with your child over the things they're interested in.

Go easy on yourself (and your kids)- As with so many aspects of life during the coronavirus crisis, it's impossible for anyone to be the perfect parent right now. "This is not a time for strict limits," Dr. Anderson says. If relaxing rules around screens gives you time to work, exercise, or do whatever else you need to do, accept that that may be the best decision right now. "If you can give yourself a B minus at the end of the day, with a few meltdowns from your kids but everyone's fed and getting some sleep, you're doing pretty well," says Dr. Anderson. Right now, having compassion for yourself and your family is much more important than getting the rules just right.

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Every week we will include a feedback survey so you can share your experience and feedback on the tools we provide. The survey can be found here.

I hope you all remember to take a moment to enjoy the beautiful weather and fresh air in between all of the February events and celebrations all around us.

Iris Wong, Fairmeadow Principal