May 27, 2020
Good Day Parents/Guardians,
This year has thrown several challenges our way, the most debilitating by far, being COVID-19. We have had to adjust to changes in the way we do just about everything, including how we work with, as well as take care of our children. It has been a wake-up call for all of us, in terms of how we look at life generally and more so, how we order [from day to day], the many priorities we all have.
As our school year comes to an end, in a most unusual manner, I would like to take the opportunity to inform you all of my impending retirement from Challenger Elementary School [at the end of this year], and to say goodbye [albeit in a very distant fashion]. I do wish I had been afforded the opportunity to do this in a far more personal gesture, however, not knowing what the future might hold, I am making sure that I do not leave without saying “goodbye” and “thank you” to all Challenger parents, and of course students.
I am particularly disappointed that I may not be able to say a proper farewell to all my students, and to let them know that I will never forget my many experiences at Challenger. I take the opportunity to wish them all the very best going forward, both in terms of their academic, and personal lives, and ask you kindly, to pass this on to them on my behalf. Please ask them, to check also, my “School Counseling” Canvas page, where I have written to them directly.
I have also posted [student/parent activities] to this page, and invite you all to check these out during the course of the summer break. Included with these, are activities from the Prevention Program, which would [under normal circumstances], have been conducted in the classrooms [first through fifth grades]. Please find some time to go through with your kids.
During the past fourteen years at Challenger, I have met wonderful parents, and been associated with equally wonderful boys and girls, whom I will really miss. I hope I have made even the smallest of impressions on their lives, and if so, would deem my time here as having been more than worth the effort. As I make my exit, and as we continue to navigate our way through this very uncertain period, I pray for your continued good health, and safekeeping, and that at the end of this horrific experience, we will all emerge stronger, refreshed, and more determined to move forward with positive strides.
Thank you all once again, kindest regards, and best wishes for the future.
Certified School Counselor
Guidance Hours: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Updated: May 19, 2020
Parents as Emotion Coaches to children: In English
In Spanish (Espanol)
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8 Ways to Help Your Child Through Challenging Times
March 30, 2020
Dear Challenger Families,
Good Day to all, not just our students, but as well our Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Foster Parents, Aunts, Uncles…everyone charged with the responsibility of taking care of loved ones, of all ages, and vulnerabilities. It’s been a very stressful [past] few weeks. We have all been impacted, in one way or another, by the events of the past weeks, and needless to say, we could all use a distraction from the chaos and anxiety. Our lives have been disrupted in numerous ways, and we have all had to find ways to cope, with the effects of what has been a very scary period in all our lives. In addition to taking care of ourselves, and families, we face the daunting task of comforting, and reassuring those around us, while we ourselves try to deal with the impact.
As your school family, we are here to support and help you as much as we can. This week, our teachers [and students] will return to academic activities, albeit not in the traditional sense, but schoolwork nonetheless. We will not be back at school physically, however, we will resume schoolwork. Here at Challenger, we look forward to welcoming our students back to the learning environment, even though in a non-traditional way.
You will already have been briefed on how to access our virtual activities, and we will be relying on you [parents…] to ensure your students take this very seriously, embrace this new method of continued learning, and as well the opportunity to focus attention on something more enlightening, and uplifting. We will be relying on you all to help us make this work, as it is important for students to continue the learning process, even in the face of all that’s happening around us. Your participation, and encouragement will be critical in ensuring the success of this process, and we look forward to your usual support.
In the meanwhile, as we wait for life as we knew it, to resume what we would consider normalcy, let’s all remember a few other very important points.
- We are all in this together, let us collaborate, and take the initiative in reminding others around us, especially our students, of the importance of following the safety directives of the professionals. We desperately need to do all that’s necessary to stay safe and healthy, and to reinforce this with others.
- Let’s try to spread some joy, in an attempt to lift the spirits of those who are more stressed than ourselves. If we preoccupy ourselves with the positives, we can’t help but pass it on to others, if even just a few.
- Parents, encourage your students to get involved with a hobby, chore, or some activity at home [if not already doing so]. It’s a great way to distract from the anxiety.
- Talk to them honestly about what is happening. They understand much more than we think sometimes, and they will be more inclined to do what is necessary to stay safe, maybe even help others to do the same.
- Identify some form of physical exercise for students to do [and yourselves as well], whether inside your home, in the backyard, on the patio, wherever. It’s important to keep physically fit.
- Encourage healthy eating habits, a big part of maintaining a physically fit and healthy body.
- Lastly, please constantly remind them of the importance, of not feeding just their bodies, but also their minds. Make sure they are logging on, to participate in continued learning, and outside of this, engaging in other activities at home, like reading, fun and games, those that stimulate positive thoughts, and interactions.
I will be posting on the school website during this period. Please check regularly to find words of encouragement, for sharing with your student/s, which I hope will help everyone within your household, as we all navigate our way through this period. Help us to help you all through this.
As usual, we rely a great deal on your support at home, and even more so now, with this new process of learning. As much as we can, let us try to keep everyone’s mind occupied with positives during this period. Students need the support of us all, now more than ever. Also, remember that you can always email me with any questions/concerns you may have. My door [in this case email], remains open, and I look forward to supporting you whenever it’s possible for me to do so. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be checking my emails on a daily basis.
Kindest regards, much love to all our students, and please stay safe and healthy.
Certified School Counselor
Challenger Elementary School