December Newsletter and Calendar

Photo of principal's letter. See text below.

Dear Franklin Families and Friends,

Hope the Thanksgiving break brought you rest and good health. I  am so proud of students for practicing all the safety protocols for COVID-19 in our building.   I have to admit that I didn’t think we would make it past the first nine weeks of being in brick and mortar but here we are in December!!!  We know most students learn so much better in the classrooms and LOVE the socialization, especially at recess.     Thank you to the families that continue to be remote learning as we know your support is a BIG reason for their success!   

November was a good month for our students as we focused on kindness and gratitude in the building.   Our families brought in over 150 cans of food for the Wheels of Hope!   Your giving makes a difference in the hearts of many.   I hope we will have some kind of giving for December too, still waiting on contacts, I will share more when I solidify the details.  

PTO had our first zoom meeting this past month.  We had 15 families and gave away two turkeys!   Our next zoom meeting is December 15th at 6:00.  We hope to have a guest join us with some holiday cooking tips or ideas.  I’m sure we will have some more door prizes!  Please join us!

If you have a child in grades 2—5, have you asked them how they are doing in meeting their Accelerated Reader  (AR) goal for 2nd quarter?  Unfortunately, we only had 17 students make their goal last quarter, but am hoping for more students this time.   We know students need to practice their reading by finding interesting books which they can choose for their AR books.  You can read with them and ask them comprehension questions as you read.   I always found it to be a bonding time with my child as we would talk about the story which brought up interesting conversations.   

Last, if I don’t’ happen to see you prior to winter break, I want to wish each of you a happy holiday and a Happy New Year.   Schools resumes Monday, January 4th, 2021.  Remember, the best present you can give your child is YOUR time.  Stay safe, strong and healthy!

Always,

Mrs. Coy

Holidays and COVID-19: 6 tips to stay healthy

Help your family maintain good physical and mental health this holiday season!

The holidays are usually filled with festivities and gatherings with friends and family, but this year, celebrations will look different – especially as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that gatherings with friends and family who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. “The safest way to celebrate the holidays is to stay home with members of your household,” says Carla Garcia Carreno, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist at Children’s Health℠. “It’s important to consider any risk factors within your community and family.”Although limiting holiday activities may be the right thing to do, it isn’t easy. After all, family traditions and visits with loved ones bring joy during difficult times.

“Not being able to celebrate the holidays as you normally would may bring a myriad of emotions like sadness, disappointment or even grief,” says Brittany Gresl, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Health and Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern. “However, this can also give your family an opportunity to reconnect over more intimate, meaningful exchanges.”

Here are a few tips to help support your family’s physical and emotional health as you navigate this unprecedented holiday season.

1. Know the risks of holiday gatherings

When considering a holiday get-together, think about who within your family has risk factors for becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. This may include people over the age of 65 and people with chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease or diabetes. If anyone has these risk factors, it’s best to avoid any gatherings.

2. If you do travel, plan carefully

This year, it’s best to stay close to home as traveling adds additional risk of spreading COVID-19. If there’s no way around traveling this holiday season, plan ahead and take precautions to limit exposure. If possible, don’t stop during traveling and always wear a mask if you have to go inside an establishment. If you stay at a hotel, review their cleaning policies to ensure they are doing everything to keep you safe. See more advice for traveling during COVID-19.

3. Keep taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19

· Social distancing

· Staying home if you are sick

Washing your hands frequently

Wearing a mask over your mouth and nose in public

4. Avoid holiday crowds

During the busy holiday season, take care to avoid large groups of people, especially indoors. Consider using services like online shopping and curbside pick-up to limit trips to the grocery store or the mall. If you have to run an errand in person, try to choose a less busy time of day and always wear a mask.

5. Make your holidays bright

While there’s no getting around the reality of the pandemic this year, you can still find creative ways to celebrate as a family. Rather than focus on what you cannot do, Dr. Gresl encourages families to focus on what you can do to find meaning this holiday season.Try to adapt your typical traditions or find new ways to safely experience the holidays, such as:

· Spending time at home together, enjoying holiday music, movies or crafts, or even decorating face masks for the holidays.

· Doing a virtual gift exchange by sending gifts to friends and family and opening them together over video chat.

· Finding ways to care for others in your community safely, such as adopting a family and shipping gifts directly to the charity instead of dropping them off yourself or donating food to a food bank.

· Decorating the exterior of your house and going all-out so neighbors can enjoy the holidays with you.

· Have a virtual holiday meal together by sitting down in your own homes at the same time with video running.

“It may not look the same to bake cookies or eat dinner with grandparents over a video call, but the shared experience still holds value,” says Dr. Gresl. “Spend time reflecting on memories of past holidays and look forward to and hope for the future holidays together.”. Let your heart be light

Everyone in the family may feel disappointed or sad this year, and that’s okay. It’s normal to feel upset when you can’t take part in activities you enjoy or see the people you love.

Dr. Gresl encourages parents to create a safe environment for expressing feelings. Check in with your child and validate their emotions to make sure they feel heard. This may be as simple as acknowledging, “I know you are sad right now, and that’s okay.”

Children are likely to experience different reactions based on their developmental level. Remind your child that the best gift they can give their family this year is staying safe. “We want to keep our families and loved ones safe this year, so we can have many safe future holiday seasons together,” says Dr. Garcia Carreno.

Upcoming Dates:

January 4, 2021 First Day after Holiday Break  Classes will be in session.

January 18, 2021 Martin L King Day—No School

January 22, 2021 Elementary Plan Day—No School

January 22, 2021 End of Quarter 2

January 27, 2021 Reports cards will go home

Important Information from Mrs. Forshee:

Mrs. Forshee’s 5th grade will be starting Unit 3 in Wonders.

Our class will study the genre of realistic fiction. We will be focusing on how we can learn from different cultures. We will also explore the differences among cultures and how they interact in the United States.

Here are some resources that you can use with your child to help reinforce the skills we’ll be practicing.

Comprehension: Theme

You and your child will look at some themes with imaginary book titles. Together, you will create details of each story to match each theme.

Please make sure your child brings a filled water bottle  and charged computer to school EVERY day 😊

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December Library News 

So far this year, Franklin Falcons have checked out 3,800 books! Students may keep library books for 1 week, and the replacement/damage fee is usually $12.00. 

Want to keep your school computer running smoothly?  Remember to shut it down correctly (Windows, Power, Shut Down) each night and charge it overnight.  If you just close the lid, updates won’t go through, and the battery won’t charge. 

Want to read one of our ebooks? Go to https://destiny.usd475.org/ 

  •  Click on Franklin Elementary 
  • Click login (your username and password are both student number/lunch number 
  • Click Catalog 
  • Change Material Type to Electronic Book (ebook) 
  • Click Enter to see our list of ebooks 
  • When you see a book you’d like to read, click Open 

Want to get updates about school events?  Find us on Facebook by searching for @FranklinUSD475 and check out our website at franklinelementary.usd475.org 

Have a Library question or need Tech support?  Email Mrs. Deam at daneendeam@usd475.org 

Homework Tips on Reading

· Have your child read aloud to you every night.

· Ask your child to tell you in her own words what happened in a story.

· Before getting to the end of a story, ask your child what she thinks will happen next and why.

· To check your child’s understanding of what she is reading, occasionally pause and ask your child questions about the characters and events in the story.

· Choose a quiet place, free from distractions, at which your child may do her nightly reading assignments.

· Ask your child why she thinks a character acted in a certain way, and ask your child to support her answer with information from the story.

· After your child has stopped to correct a word he has read, have him go back and reread the entire sentence from the beginning to make sure he understands what the sentence is saying.

· When your child reads aloud to you and makes a mistake, point out the words he has missed and help him to read the word correctly.

· As your child reads, point out spelling and sound patterns such as cat, pat, hat.

 

Home is where the math is:

Explore math in everyday life — counting out forks to set the table, pouring from a gallon of milk, telling the time when his favorite TV program begins. When kids realize that math is all around them, they begin to relax and see its meaning in their lives.

Have your child use an analog and a digital watch to learn both methods of telling time.

Incorporate games involving numbers and math into playtime — from flash cards for learning basic math facts to board games involving money, time, and logic.

Weather Guidelines for USD 475

The decision regarding school on inclement weather days,  early dismissal, or delayed start times is made by the Superintendent of Schools or his designee.

When school is in session during inclement weather, the final decision whether or not a child should attend school or stay at home is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.

Announcements will be made to include all K-12 classes, Infant Toddler, Early Childhood, Adult Education, Before & After School programs and Parents as Teachers for all schools in USD 475.

It is not possible for schools to call each parent; therefore, announcements regarding “School Cancellations”, “Early Dismissals”, “Delayed Starting Times” or changes to bus schedules will be made via a variety ways to include text message and mobile app notifications. Some notifications will be made via Facebook, Twitter, and/or area media outlets.

Announcements regarding “Inclement Weather days” will be made the day before when possible, but no later than 5:00 AM of the impacted day.

Announcements regarding “Delayed Starting Times” will be made no later than 5:00 AM. A delayed start to the school day will result in the cancellation of before-school programs by Boys & Girls Club and Early Childhood morning sessions.

Announcements regarding “Early Dismissal” will be made as soon as a decision is made to dismiss school.

Cold Weather Safety Advisory: When extreme cold temperatures and dangerous wind-chill conditions exist, students and parents are reminded:

Students should dress warmly and cover all exposed skin surfaces.

Students should remain inside the school or home until transportation arrives.

Students should not walk long distances to or from school.

Parents are to make the final decision as to whether or not their children should attend school.

Winter Recess/Building Access Guidelines: Students will remain in the building for recess and/or be permitted to enter the building before school if the temperature or wind chill is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  Please dress warmly!

December school calendar