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Letters from Mrs. Marotta

With the spring comes the excitement of beginning to think about next year. We will continue this spring as we have in recent years to have our grade level coffee meetings for parents, which will provide a glimpse of next year's program and all the highlights that are in store for your child. The current grade level teacher(s) will give the presentations, which will be held in the Dining Room.

Wednesday, April 19 at 9:00 AM - current second grade parents will meet with current third grade teacher, Mrs. Baumeister
Friday, April 21 at 9:00 AM - current fourth parents meet with Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Batson, current fifth grade teachers
Thursday, April 27 at 8:30 AM - current third grade parents meet with current fourth grade teachers, Mrs. Clay and Mrs. Bala
Monday, May 1 at 8:30 AM - current prekindergarten parents will meet with Mrs. Canan, current kindergarten teacher
Tuesday, May 2 at 8:30 AM - current kindergarten parents will meet with Mrs. Knauss, current first grade teacher
Tuesday, May 9 at 8:30 AM - current first grade parents will meet with Mrs. Friz and Mrs. Bennati, current second grade teachers

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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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