Message From Principal Wong

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November 12, 2019

Dear Fairmeadow Families,

I hope you all are enjoying your three-day weekend in observance of Veteran’s Day. It is always nice to have an extra day off especially during this busy time of year. I know Mrs. Bonzani’s 3rd grade class had a delicious start on Friday with an In-N-Out party since they had the highest participation rate for the Walkathon. Thank you to our PTA parent volunteers for helping to arrange this fun and tasty event for that class. 

Last Thursday, November 7th marked the end of the first trimester of the 2019-20 school year, which means teachers will provide a summary of each child’s progress through the progress report. Did you know that all parents can access their child’s progress report through their Infinite Campus account? This feature has been available for several years and many sites across the district take advantage of this convenient access, not to mention the amount of paper and trees saved. Fairmeadow is one of the last sites to transition to this feature, and I would like to eventually go paperless school wide. We are graduallymoving towards paperless progress reports with some teachers beginning this trimester while other teachers will begin that process next trimester. Starting November 22, all parents will have access to progress reports via Infinite Campus. Directions can be found on the PAUSD website. I’ve also included the link here for your convenience. If you do not have access to a computer or printer at home and would like to receive a paper copy of your child’s progress report, please contact your child’s teacher and let them know you need a paper copy. If you have a child who receives special education services, a paper copy of your child’s progress on IEP goals will be sent home Friday, November 22. Special Education progress reports are not available online at this time. 

At our November 6th staff meeting, we were joined by our Safety, Security, and Disaster Preparedness Manager, Mike Jacobs, for our annual staff Run, Hide, Fight Training (formerly known as Code Red or Lockdown). Regular practice of emergency drills is essential to promote calm, competent use of the plans in an emergency. Even though students have participated in emergency drills in previous grades, due to the changing developmental abilities of children who participate, it makes frequent practice drills critical. On Wednesday, November 20th at 9:15 AM we will engage in a Run, Hide, Fight practice drill with our students, staff, district personnel, and our SROs (School Resource Officers). During this drill, we simulate how we would respond if there was an unsafe or unwelcome person or situation on our school grounds. The language we use with our students is that an ‘unsafe and unwelcome person or situation’ is at our school and we need to work together to keep each other safe. Students and staff will follow our protocols to silently and safely gather together in unseen parts of each classroom, and our SROs, district staff, and I will assess how well each classroom is secured and silent. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have about this important safety practice at our school and across the district. This is also a great time to have a conversation with your child(ren) at home about school safety. 

For some students, participation in an emergency practice may cause emotional distress, especially if it reminds them of a previous crisis event or if they otherwise are feeling vulnerable or anxious. As a parent, you are in the best position to help your child cope and prepare for school safety drills.

Below are a few tips on how to talk to your child:

For our very young children, try to keep the talk brief and communicate simple information balanced with reassurance. Let them know that the school, like their home, is safe and adults at school are there to protect them. Children often gauge how threatening or serious an event is by adult reactions. Provide your child with basic assurances and simple examples of school safety, like reminding them the exterior doors are locked.

Older elementary school-aged children can​be more vocal in asking questions about safety and what is being done at school. When parents share the information they have about the school's safety plan and procedures and any other relevant communication, it helps to ease their child's mind. 

All students may need some assistance from their parents in separating reality from fantasy. 

Thank you for those of you who joined me and Dr. Don Austin at the last Principal’s Coffee, where we discussed safety on our campus as well as updates across the district. 

I want to also take this time to remind all parents and volunteers to sign-in and out at the main office prior to going in to a classroom during school hours. This helps to ensure all adult visitors have checked-in and out and can be accounted for, especially during an emergency. For parents who drop off lunches or items for their child throughout the day, please come to the main office to drop the item(s) off as opposed to walking through campus to drop the item(s) off. This helps to limit the amount of adults walking through our campus during school hours. Our main office staff will contact the classroom and arrange for your child to come to the main office.

Thank you for reading my bi-weekly newsletters, especially this lengthy one. As always, I am available for any questions you may have. Have a wonderful week ahead!

Warm Regards,
Iris Wong