May 2, 2017
Dear LEAD Families and Community,
Happy May and Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week! Please take a moment and write a note to a special teacher or staff member who has touched your life or your child’s life in a special way. Our school is the special place that it is due to ALL who work tirelessly on behalf of your children. PTA has scheduled “Appreciation Activities” including a special luncheon on Wednesday and “Wish Lists for Teachers” posted near class doors. I am holding a daily special raffle to recognize a lucky teacher winner each day and also have several surprises in store for them all.
The San Mateo Foster City Education Foundation is organizing a “Read A Thon” to raise funding for District wide music programs. Thanks to the Foundation for capitalizing on a great idea! As you all know, LEAD is always “leading” the way and we had our 3rd Annual Read- A-Thon in March that raised over $10,000 for our Magnet focused Literacy Programs. Congratulations to Kindergarten Room 5’s students and families who raised the highest amount, $940.00. They were treated to an Ice Cream Party and Free Dress Day in April. Second and Third place winning classes along with all classes who met their goals for the “Read A Thon” also received a special free dress day pre-arranged with their teachers. Kudos to Room 18’s Third and Fourth graders who raised $910.00 and Room 26’s 1st Graders who raised $828.00. A big “Hoo Ray” also to top readers who raised the most! Grace J. in Room 5 $640.00, Zoe M. in Room 18 with $500.00 and Wyatt V. also in Room 18, $300.00. Thank you families and community members who supported our reading efforts and our children who are always so excited to participate in this event. Special gratitude to Mrs. Zoya Salameh, one of our Literacy coaches and also K teacher, who organized and ran the event. This year’s special theme on Multi Cultures contributed in a meaningful way; we hope you enjoyed and appreciate the classroom doors that were decorated in each classes’ favorite multi-cultural themed book.
Thanks to all who attended our April Coffee chat last Friday. Of special note was the presentation on social media by our counseling intern, Sara Clement. I am outlining her key points as they are pertinent for all.
• Take the approach of showing kids social media in fun and safe ways. Have simple rules for young children. Examples include: "If we haven't played this game/app before we ask permission first and we don't play it away from home."
• Keep rules simple for young kids-not scary. Just like we tell children to wear a seatbelt because it's safe- the same reasoning can be used for internet safety. It's the rules and it's the way it is.
• Be transparent about monitoring. Create a strategy with your kids to monitor their social media use. Create an account and be on their friends list, know their passwords, check text conversations and chat logs- and let them know while you’re doing it.
• Connect your email to app purchases so that you get notified about any new apps that are downloaded.
• Emphasize that nothing on the internet is ever truly private. Even the most locked down social media profiles are at risk of being exposed at some point.
• Discuss age appropriate good judgement. Discourage bullying and gossip. A good phrase to use is "Think twice, post once".
• Keep conversations about social media regular. Make them as normal as asking about how their day at school went. This will make it easier to keep the conversations open.
• The minimum age to join Facebook is 13 years old. This is more than just a safety concern age. The children's privacy prevention act (COPPA) prevents companies from collecting information about students from under 13. If you do decide to let your kids join social media keep the privacy settings at its strictest levels. Many apps that are downloaded are open profiles until you go in to the settings and change it to private. Many apps will often change their privacy settings periodically, so it is always best practice to keep checking back.
A wonderful and must web site for ALL parents and families is CommonSenseMedia.org. Common Sense Media has recommendations and information for parents with children of all ages and has a list of 16 apps kids download after Facebook-along with explanations and warnings. Please remind your children and remember our school policy of cell phones kept in backpacks turned off during the school day which includes recess and lunch.