Panther Blog, Sept 30, 2021

Crittenden blog header
Hello Panthers! Please read your weekly newsletter below.  Here is a quick summary of this week’s message followed with further details:

September 30, 2021

Crittenden News:
Pool Testing
COVID updates: Testing 
PowerSchool uploads
Principal Coffee  Oct. 13th
October 11 and 12 (No School)
Student Club Fair-October 1st

Athletics
Tardies
Early Sign Out

Social-Emotional Learning Tips
A message from the PTA

District News:
COVID updates: Testing and PowerSchool uploads
No school for students on October 11 and 12
Up the effectiveness of kids’ COVID masks
Board approved air quality protocols
More than a meal: Reasons to Apply for Free-or-Reduced School Meals
Your donations to MVEF support CSMA Art and Music!
M
V Public Library Events: In Conversation with Joanna Ho, Learn + Explore with Science Comics Author Jason Viola

 

Hello Crittenden Families,

We hope that you and your family are well. 

We continue to find ways in which we can connect with our students. Last week we had a blast decorating our classroom doors for the fall. Students enjoyed working together and creating masterpieces that we posted on our social media.  We will continue to create various opportunities for our students to connect with each other and our staff. We know the importance of creating a welcoming environment for our students. 

We are proud of our students for earning a high number of raffle tickets for the month of September due to acts of respect in and out of the classroom. 

Next month's character trait is integrity. We will look forward to working with our students throughout the year as we introduce and reinforce these acts of character traits. 

I feel blessed to have the opportunity to see our students flourish at Crittenden.  

Crittenden News:

Pool Testing
Look for an important email tomorrow from MVWSD on COVID pilot testing for students starting  next week.

COVID updates: Testing 
Upcoming testing: The supply of test kits and personnel is increasing. As a result, we anticipate that we can start full-scale testing on campuses by mid-October. In the meantime, you may see our schools practicing testing procedures in preparation. Click here for a video showing what student testing will look like. 

PowerSchool uploads
PowerSchool Uploads: Parents can now upload to PowerSchool the important COVID documents that will help expedite students’ return to school after a COVID exposure. Please take a moment now to upload your documentation. After logging in to https://ps.mvwsd.org/public, parents will be able to click on the “COVID reporting” icon to upload:

  1. Students’ proof of COVID vaccination and 
  2. Past positive COVID test. Here’s how to upload. 

Principal’s Coffee
You're invited to join the virtual principal’s coffee on Wednesday, Oct. 13th from 5:30-6:30. We will review our D1 iReady data, school goals for the year, and SEL updates. Please pre-register for the meeting by using the following link -registration link.

No school for students on October 11 and 12
Monday, October 11th is a recess day (no school for students and staff). Tuesday, October 12th is a staff development day, which means no school for students but a staff development/work day for teachers, school secretaries and 12-month classified staff.

Club Fair, October 1st
Encourage  your students to get involved in either something new or something they already have interest in! And what better way than by joining a club. Club Fair will be held Friday, October 1st during lunch hour. Our teachers and students are excited for the upcoming club fair that will feature information on our 2021-2022 clubs; Glee Club, Pride Club,  Latinx Club (LSU), Anime and art club, 

Yearbook Club, Science and Crafts Club. This is a great opportunity for students to make connections and new friendships. 

Athletics
Girls Volleyball sign ups are happening now, the deadline is Friday, October 8th . Sign up sheets are posted outside Ms. Hinojosa’s Office (Guidance Counselors Office). Permission slips will be sent out to students who indicate interest the week after. 

Tryouts will be held October 13-15th time TBD.

If there are any parents or folks who are interested in coaching, we are still looking for coaches for all three of our girls volleyball teams. Please apply at this link - https://www.applitrack.com/mvwsd/onlineapp/JobPostings/view.asp?FromAdmin=true&AppliTrackJobId=1744

Thank you for supporting our Panther Athletes!

Abundance of Tardy Students
We are experiencing an abundance of students who are arriving tardy to school. We understand certain circumstances are out of one's control.  However, please assist your student in arriving at school on time by leaving the house 10 minutes early, setting out their clothes & items out the night before, and going to bed earlier. Thank you for your support. 

Make-up Picture Day
Tentatively, we have our make-up picture day scheduled for Thursday, October 14th. Makeup will be available for those students that were absent during the picture or those students that would like to retake their picture. Unfortunately, Lifetouch company is delayed in sending us the ordered pictures. This will depend on

Early Sign Out
Should you need to sign your student out during school hours please note it is required to first sign the student out in the office. To minimize student disruption we are only able to facilitate calling the student when the parent/guardian has signed them and provided valid identification.

SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) Tips
A message from our school Guidance Counselor, Ms.Hinojosa -
Is your child having a difficult time staying on track when studying or completing homework? How as parents can you support your students to reset their minds and get them ready to learn? 

Sounds like it might be time to try a brain break.

What Are Brain Breaks?
A “brain break” is an activity that takes you away from hard mental work and allows your brain and body to reset. Examples include:

  • Movement breaks, which are physical activities like stretches, yoga poses, jumping jacks, push-ups, or a quick dance party.
  • Mental breaks like deep breathing, mindfulness exercises, playing a game, or doing an art activity such as a printable coloring page. 

These are meant to be quick and easy—a short break anywhere from three to five minutes can be enough to reset the mind and get students ready to learn. When planning these breaks, a general rule to follow is that a three to five minute activity is appropriate for every 20 to 30 minutes for middle and high school students.

Why Are Brain Breaks Important?
The brain is a powerful computer, and like any computer, it needs time to process. When we work intently on a project or focus on an activity, we need time to understand and synthesize that information. Just as you only have a certain amount of physical stamina to go for a run, you also have a limited amount of mental stamina to work on a project. Brain breaks are vital for helping our minds process what we’ve learned. Research shows that brain breaks allow young minds to reset and recharge. They replenish the attention, motivation, and energy levels needed to keep learning. Here are a couple of brain break ideas that you can use at home to help your students refocus and be ready to learn.

1. Body Scan 

Overview: Deep breathing and focusing on our physical senses are great ways to take focus away from our minds, allowing us to reset. Use this Body Scan Guide to help students relax and explore their sensory awareness skills. 

Instructions for Implementation:

1.     Find a comfortable position. You can sit down, stand up, or (if possible) lie down on your back. 
2.     Keep a soft gaze or close your eyes.
3.     Take a deep breath in and a smooth breath out. Continue to connect to your breath.
4.     We are going to do a body scan by moving our attention to different parts of our body and inviting them to relax.
5.     Start by paying attention to your feet. What do your feet feel like right now? Let your feet be heavy and relaxed. On the inhale, focus on your feet, and on the exhale, imagining they could sink a half-inch into the ground. 
6.     Now, bring your attention to your legs. What do your legs feel like right now? Let your legs rest heavy on the inhale, and as you breathe out feel them sink into the ground.
7.     Bring your attention to your hips. How do they feel right now?
8.     Release tension and stress around your hips by sinking them heavy into the ground as you exhale. 
9.     Now, bring your attention to your belly. Breathe in, breathe out. How does your belly feel right now? Let your belly feel heavy and relaxed.
10.   Next, pay attention to your shoulders. Move up to the back of your head, this powerful place full of thoughts. Give it a rest by gently rocking it side to side, and letting it sink a little bit deeper into the ground.
11.   Release your jaw, relax the muscles in your face, and let go of any tension you are holding around your eyes. 
12.   Let your whole body feel completely heavy and relaxed. (Allow anywhere from 3-8 minutes of total relaxation.)
13.   Begin to deepen your breath. Gently wiggle your fingers and your toes, and reach your arms above your head for a full body stretch.

Reflection Questions:

  • How does it feel to focus your attention on various parts of your body?
  • What was it like to let go of tension or stress and to feel supported by the ground beneath you?
  • How do you feel after this relaxation?
  • When might it be beneficial to practice this kind of relaxation technique in your life?

2. Calm Breathing Techniques

Overview: Help students understand what it feels like to be calm and to learn and practice several breathing techniques to help them calm down. 

Instructions for Implementation: 

Invite students to think about what makes them feel calm and relaxed (e.g. listening to music, reading a book, lying down). Share with students the following breathing techniques that they can use when they want to feel calm.

  • Balloon Breathing: Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Breathe in slowly through your nose, filling your belly with air like a balloon. Breathe out slowly. Have students practice this technique a few times.
  • Flower Breathing: Breathe in through your nose, imagining the fragrance of a sweet-smelling flower. Breathe out with an “ahhh” sound. Have students practice this technique a few times.
  • Blowing Bubbles: Imagine that you have a jar of bubbles in front of you. Take off the lid. Dip the wand into the bubbles. Take a deep breath and fill your belly with air. Now take the wand out of the jar, breathe out very slowly in order to blow a large bubble, without popping it. Repeat these steps to blow more bubbles.

Ask students which technique they like best and suggest that they practice that method. Tell students that knowing and practicing calm-breathing techniques can help them be strong learners, helpful friends and successful problem-solvers.

A message from the PTA 
We have had a good start to this year's membership drive with over 200 PTA memberships so far, but that leaves quite a few of you who haven't joined ...yet! Please take a moment to join the Crittenden PTA for this year at our PTA website. You can also make a donation for the programs we'll be offering this year - student clubs, enrichment activities, and more. And don't forget to seek corporate matching donations if your company has a matching program. This is an easy way to increase the impact of your donation for all of our students. 

Finally, our PTA treasurer has had to resign from the role due to unexpected circumstances so we are urgently seeking a new treasurer for this school year. The treasurer is one of three essential roles for a PTA so it is important for us to find someone quickly. This is typically a role for one person, but we would be open to having two people share the role. If you are open or would like to learn more, please contact Jenny Schroder, the PTA president (jennyfschroder@gmail.com). 

Thanks very much! 
Your Crittenden PTA

Upcoming Events:

October
10/01 Club Fair (during lunch)
10/05 PTA Association Meeting (6:30 pm)
10/11 Recess Day (No School)
10/12 Teacher Service Day (No School)

In partnership,
Mrs.Gomez
Principal

What can you do today to help others feel valued, cared for, safe, and included at Crittenden?

District Announcements:
COVID updates: Testing and PowerSchool uploads

Upcoming testing: The supply of test kits and personnel is increasing. As a result, we anticipate that we can start full-scale testing on campuses by mid-October. In the meantime, you may see our schools practicing testing procedures in preparation. Click here for a video showing what student testing will look like. 

PowerSchool Uploads: Parents can now upload to PowerSchool the important COVID documents that will help expedite students’ return to school after a COVID exposure. Please take a moment now to upload your documentation. After logging in to https://ps.mvwsd.org/public, parents will be able to click on the “COVID reporting” icon to upload 1) students’ proof of COVID vaccination and 2) Past positive COVID test. Here’s how to upload. Let us know if you have trouble accessing PowerSchool.

No school for students on October 11 and 12

Monday, October 11th is a recess day (no school for students and staff). Tuesday, October 12th is a staff development day, which means no school for students but a staff development/work day for teachers, school secretaries and 12-month classified staff.

Up the effectiveness of kids’ COVID masks
Please click here for tips. 

Board approved air quality protocols
The Board recently approved the MVWSD Air Quality Index Plan. On bad air days, decisions about actions, activities cancellations or school closure will be made based on AirNow measurements and the MVWSD Air Quality Index Chart. To view the MVWSD AQI chart and the live AirNow measurement, please see https://www.mvwsd.org/parents/virtual_wellness_center/air_quality.

More than a meal: Reasons to Apply for Free-or-Reduced School Meals
Did you know that filling out a free-or-reduced price school meal application each year can benefit not only your family but also your children’s schools? Before Sept. 30, please fill out your back-to-school 2021 application by visiting: https://secure.ezmealapp.com. Only one application per household is needed.

Your donations to MVEF support CSMA Art and Music!
Did you know that your donations to MVEF support CSMA art and music for your student? The CSMA programs for TK-4th began September 13th!  Fifth grade art and music started August 31st!  MVEF thanks the talented teaching artists and musicians who guide all MVWSD students to reach their potential with patient instruction and support.  Please donate to support all MVWSD students at mvef.org/donate

MV Public Library Events: In Conversation with Joanna Ho, Learn + Explore with Science Comics Author Jason Viola

The Mountain View Public Library presents “In Conversation with Joanna Ho” on Wednesday, Sep. 29 from 7-7:45 p.m. on Zoom. Joanna Ho, bestselling author of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, is a writer and educator with a passion for anti-bias and equity work. Come with your questions about kids, self-acceptance and anti-racism. Registration required: mountainview.gov/librarycalendar.

On Tuesday, Oct. 12 from 1-2 p.m., join the MV Public Library for an interactive look at how Science Comics are made with graphic novel author Jason Viola. Recommended for children ages 7-12. Registration required: mountainview.gov/librarycalendar.

Thank you for your support!

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