Dear Families, Happy November! Last month was full of fun and engaging activities in the classrooms and the school. We enjoyed seeing families during our first annual Indigenous People’s Day celebration, Community Dinner, Family Science Night, the Ghost Walk, conferences, La Lotería, field trips, and in our classrooms! Family involvement is so very important for our students, and we are incredibly grateful for your continued support for our wonderful wolf pack!
As you know, we have a strong focus at Walker on encouraging students to make good choices. We have received great feedback from families who are utilizing “Stop, Walk, Talk” and “WOW” explained in the last Howlers! Please continue to utilize these strategies at home so that children are receiving continuous and consistent messages about making good choices.
An additional strategy that we use at Walker is PAX: The Good Behavior Game. Our staff first learned about the evidence-based PAX last year when we attended in-services teaching us strategies to improve the culture of our classrooms and school.
PAX is Latin for peace. In our classrooms PAX stands for peace, productivity, health, and happiness. PAX was developed as a response to addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACES. Research tells us that ACES have significant negative impacts on children that can last throughout an individual’s entire life. ACES can disrupt neurodevelopment, which can lead to social, emotional, and cognitive adaptations. This can then lead to risk factors for disease, disability, social problems, and even early death.
When we integrate PAX into our routines, we actively combat ACEs. We provide opportunities for students and adults to create peace, productivity, health and happiness, by predicting & monitoring desired behaviors prior to an activity and then reflecting upon their performance of that behavior after the activity is over. The desired outcome is for students to take their acquired skills: predicting, monitoring and reflecting, from their classrooms and into their homes and communities.
Students have been playing PAX games, using PAX language, and creating PAX visions for the classroom and school. As part of a PAX vision, students describe what they want to see more of, hear more of, do more of, and feel more of. Conversely, they also discuss what they want to see less of, hear less of, do less of, and feel less of. These visions are re-visited during classroom meetings and throughout the day in various locations on campus.
Please talk to your child about ways they can contribute to PAX in classrooms, the cafeteria, the playground, hallways, and at home!
Please see below for more opportunities to be involved this month.
La Lotería was a huge success! A special thanks to Anne Connor for her vision, organization, and dedication to carrying on this fun cultural tradition at Walker!
Winter Faire is just around the corner on December 2nd! We always need volunteers for this engaging and fun-filled community event and fundraiser. The sign-up for volunteers will be posted on Monday, November 13th. Every classroom is assigned a specific game/booth and volunteers from that class run it the day of Winter Faire. Families that volunteer to help set-up, work a booth or clean up can earn 10 free tickets and a meal ticket to use at Winter Faire.
Family Math Night is on Wednesday, November 15th from 5:30 -7:00 in the cafeteria. Pizza will be provided and we will share resources and strategies for supporting math learning at home!
Site Council meets Monday, November 20th from 3:00-4:00 in the library. Site Council is a great way to get involved in our school’s instructional program to ensure success for all students. This year, our Site Council focus is Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. While Site Council is open to Walker families, we are still hoping to increase the diversity of voices in the meetings. If you have a background in equity, diversity, or inclusion, or if you have experience working in the fields of social justice, environmental justice, social work, special education, therapy, foreign languages please join us! Please click here for the agenda from our last meeting.
Harvest Lunch is during lunchtime on November 21st! If you’d like to join your child for lunch, please pay for a lunch with Cheryl in the front office.
$4 for adults and $2.50 for children
Kindergarten – 2nd grades eat from 11:30 -11:50
3rd - 5th grades eat from 11:55-12:15
No School: Thanksgiving Break: November 22nd – November 24th.
Hallways in the mornings: As you may know, classrooms and the hallways are not open in the mornings before school. We have supervision staff in the library, cafeteria, and playground. Students who arrive before the first bell at 8:15 are not allowed to enter classrooms before the first bell rings. They will need to make a choice to be in the library, cafeteria, or playground. Although this has always been an expectation, we are working to re-visit our enforcement of this expectation.
To help ensure that students are only in supervised areas, we will begin cordoning off the hallways in the mornings and locking all exterior doors, except for the main door by the office and the side door by the library loop. Students will leave their backpacks and other belongings in specifically chosen spots near the library, cafeteria, and playground. Students will then gather their items when the first bell rings at 8:15 and head straight to their classrooms. This change will begin after Thanksgiving Break on Monday, November 27th. We will post signs on the doors to help remind families of the upcoming change. Teachers will pre-teach this expectation with students.
Please read your child’s classroom newsletter for the best ways for you to communicate or schedule meetings with teachers, as they will not be available for drop-in appointments before 8:15 am. We know that with any change there’s a period of adjustment where we find kinks that we need to work out to make things smooth for everyone. Thank you in advance for your patience and support during this time. It is so appreciated.
Lunch Bunch Volunteers: We are looking for volunteers to support students making good choices in the cafeteria and at recess. If this is something you are interested in helping with, please email our Child Development Specialist, Mary Giancarlo. We will schedule a short orientation and training for all volunteers later this month. Please make sure to complete the volunteer form in the main office with Cheryl prior to attending the orientation.