Parent-Teacher Conference Night is coming soon, on March 17th from 5-8 pm. We are looking forward to sharing
your child’s progress with you! Because appointment times are short, a little advance preparation can help you
and your child’s teacher make the most of every moment!
Start by talking to your child—let your child know that you are meeting with the teacher and ask how things are
going in school. Ask if there is anything your child wants you to talk about with the teacher. Then, before the conference, think about
Some parents find it helpful to make a list of things they would like to discuss and questions they have.
During the conference, consider asking these questions:
The teacher will most likely show you examples of your child’s work, which is the best way for you to see what
your child is doing.
Remember that Parent-Teacher Conference night is just one opportunity to talk about your child’s school
experience. If you have any ongoing questions or concerns, or if you feel that you need more time than is
available on our busy conference night, feel free to ask your child’s teacher for another appointment. And,
as always, if there is any way in which I may be of help, please do not hesitate to see me on Parent-Teacher
Conference Night, or call/email at any time!
I heard a great story not so long ago. It seems that an executive for an international company was in charge of a
project that turned out to be an abysmal failure. When the numbers came in, he learned that his error in judgment
had cost the company almost five million dollars. He went immediately to the CEO and handed in a letter of
resignation. The CEO said, “Why would I let you resign? I just invested five million dollars in your education!”
I don’t know if the story is true, but I love it. It says so much about the power of mistakes. Anyone who has ever
tried and failed at snowboarding, or baking a cheesecake, or assembling a piece of electronic equipment knows that there is so much to be learned from mistakes...far more than we learn by reading about it, or being told how to do
it, or having it done for us.
Often in our world we hear mistakes referred to as something bad, and something to be avoided. How unfortunate!
We significantly limit our learning if we are afraid to risk a mistake—and how boring life would be if we only did
whatwe already knew we could do, just so we didn’t make a mistake! As parents and teachers, we have many
opportunities to teach our children about the value of mistakes and to model perseverance. At Levy, we embrace
mistakes as proof that we are trying, and weview them not as failures, but as important steps on the journey to
deeper understanding and greater success. The only “failure” in a mistake is not learning from it and trying again.
After all, in the words of the great French post-Impressionist Paul Gaugin, “Between the failure and the
masterpiece, the distance is one millimeter.”
You can help us to make Levy a healthy school this winter by keeping sick children at home. Not only can sick children spread their illnesses at school, but they can pick up other illnesses more easily.
Sick children will recover better and more quickly at home. Sometimes it’s hard to judge whether a children should come to school or not, so we offer these guidelines. Please keep children home if they have any of the following:
*A temperature above 100 degrees in the past 24 hours (or need medication to stay under 100 F)
*Vomiting or persistent diarrhea in the past 24 hours
*Severe head cold: sore throat, congestion and runny nose
*Frequent uncontrolled coughing
If your child has other symptoms or you are unsure about whether to keep him/her home, please feel free to call our school nurse, Mrs. Linda Allard. In general, if your child has a typical cold or mild symptoms, you can feel comfortable sending him/her to school - we will watch carefully during the day and contact you if the symptoms worsen.
Every day that a child is absent from school creates a gap in his or her learning—and there is a lot of learning going on at Levy! It is critical for all our students to be here every single day, unless they are ill (see above) or there is an emergency.
Likewise, late arrival at school causes children to miss out on the morning conversations and activities that frame their days and support their success. Please make every effort to schedule routine appointments outside school hours, and to be sure that children are at school no later than 8:45 every morning. Children may be dropped off at school as early as 8:30.
Absences are only excused when accompanied by a doctor's note. Over the course of an entire school year,the typical child should have no more than 10 unexcused absences. 10 or more unexcused absences, and/or frequent tardiness, may result in a truancy referral.
If your child is going to be absent, please call the office in the morning to let us know - and if there are special circumstances surrounding your child's absences or tardiness, please contact me so that we can work together to ensure that your child's educational experience is as productive as possible this year!
I can remember so vividly as a little girl trying to be “extra” good during the holiday season in the
hopes of making up for any naughtiness over the previous 11 months. I can also remember my parents
lamenting that it sure was a shame my brother and I couldn’t figure out how to do our chores, eat our
vegetables, and not fight for the rest of the year!
It seems that there’s a lot of “extra” good behavior in December, when many children are aware of
Santa’s watchful eyes, and we love to see that here at school. But the great coach John Wooden once
said that the true test of our character is what we do when no one is watching. No matter which
December holidays we celebrate, we share common themes of peace, kindness, generosity, and
selflessness. All those themes tie right in with the 3 R’s we are teaching throughout the year here at
ATL, the foundations of good character. This is the perfect time of year to show children how the
values that their family cherishes can be lived all year long—at home, at school, and out in the world.
Let’s take the time to remind our children, and show them by our example, what it means to be
people of character...to go that “extra” step or be “extra” nice just because we can, even when no
one is watching. Think of the possibilities if the beautiful and positive themes of the December
holidays could spill over into the rest of our year!
I wish you and all your loved ones a wonderful holiday season, and much happiness in the coming
Many thanks to preschool teacher Ms. Jerilyn Caya for writing this short article about the importance of sleep in young children!
The National Sleep Foundation (sleepfoundation.org) reports that sleep helps us solidify and consolidate memories (pieces of information are transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory), restore and rejuvenate, grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.
Preschoolers (3-5 years) typically sleep 11-13 hours each night. Most children after five years of age no longer nap. Difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, nighttime fears and nightmares are common for preschool children. Sleepwalking and sleep terrors also peak during preschool years.
Ways to help your preschooler sleep:
School-aged children (6-13 years) need 9-11 hours of sleep. They become more interested in media such as television and computers, as well as caffeine products which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, nightmares, and disruptions to their sleep.
Ways to help your school-aged child sleep:
Many of us were raised to believe that a person is either born smart, or not...but we have learned a lot about the brain in recent years, and some of those old beliefs are changing.
If you remember your school years, probably you were in a class where, when the teacher asked a question, the “smart” kids raised their hands and everyone else waited.
But researchers have discovered (as we probably all knew back then!) that those “smart” kids would never raise their hands if they weren’t sure of the answer...and the reason is that if “smart” is how you define yourself, and you’re not really sure why or how you got “smart,” you are unlikely to risk making a mistake or doing something wrong—because then you won’t be “smart” any more!
What we now know is that the brain has an incredible capacity for learning—and the way we learn best is by making mistakes, thinking them through and trying again. None of us know everything, so in order to be learners we must be willing to risk the wrong answer and keep working until we get it right. Intelligence is not something that is fixed in place. The way that we get “smart” - and continue to get smarter! - is through hard work and perseverance.
Every day at Levy we are going to be asking your children to do things that are new and challenging for them—and we are going to encourage them to take risks, think things through, solve problems, and persevere when it is difficult. Success in school, and in life, hinges on those abilities—that is what “smart” is really all about! It’s great to get the right answer, and we do expect children to meet specific benchmarks and acquire certain skills, but the journey is far more valuable to learning than the destination.
You are going to see this mindset shift reflected in the teaching and learning at Levy school, and we hope that you will support us at home by praising your children for their hard work and perseverance. Together we are going to be amazed by how truly “smart” all our children are!