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Letters from Mrs. Marotta

March is here! Conferences are around the corner this week on Thursdayafternoon/evening and Friday. Please remember that Friday is a no school day for all students due to conferences. You can continue to sign up for conferences through Wednesday at 6pm. Spring conferences are a great time to hear updates on your child's individual goals, to see his/her progress, and to hear about what will be covered during the rest of the school year. I have asked Lower School teachers to set a timer for 25 minutes to ensure they stay on time throughout conferences. Thank you for your understanding and helping us to stay on schedule.

Please join us this Wednesday for the Minding Your Mind speaker presentation taking place at 7 PM in the library. Childcare is available for students and siblings 4 years and older. The title of this presentation is "Just Talk About It." Our faculty participated in a similar presentation on our recent In-Service Day. The guest speaker was engaging and informative. She spoke about mental health issues that children and young adults are facing today. You don't want to miss this presentation!

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With Thanksgiving behind us, the busy, exciting pace of the holiday season is definitely upon us. My hope for all is to take a few pauses and enjoy this magical time of year.

Division Head Coffee: Dr. Jeff Bernstein

I enjoyed seeing so many of you our Division Head Coffee when Dr. Jeff Bernstein was our featured speaker this past Friday. If you were unable to attend this event, my notes from the coffee can be found here. Of the many points I found helpful from Dr. Bernstein's talk, one was learning about the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved in experiencing emotion, and detects fear and worry. If we can explain to our children why they feel what they feel, and that there are simple breathing exercises that can actually help us control this, what a wonderful thing! Children, especially in their tween and teen years, look for answers to why they might be feeling a certain way. I also liked the advice Dr. Bernstein offered to all of us on acting as a coach when parenting. He urged us to "offer, model, and guide our children," just as a coach would. And, when we feel something, name it! He said "name it to tame it." We need to tell our children how we are feeling. For example, "I'm really feeling anxious right now about.... I don't think I'm understanding you and how you're feeling. Can you help me out?" If you're interested, Dr. Bernstein's books are available through Amazon.

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I hope the summer has been full of wonderful moments and memories for all. I've been hearing from many of you about amazing new adventures that students have participated in this summer. I can't wait to hear all about the fun that's been had over the summer months. I miss your children terribly, and can't wait to see them back on campus!

It's been a great summer. Some teachers have moved to new classrooms and grades, new babies and puppies have visited campus, and I've really enjoyed getting to know Mark Dixon, our new Middle School Head. Mark has already proven to be a valuable asset on our Admin team, and we're all excited about the Middle School being in his excellent, experienced hands.

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