Health and Wellness a Top Concern

Health and Wellness a Top Concern
Posted on 11/18/2021
making a choice

It is remarkable to think that the first marking has come and gone and the holiday season is upon us.  I continue to be proud of the efforts of our staff and students and am grateful to our Falcon families for your partnership in education.

I’m happy to report that our scores on the Start Strong Assessment are in and they point to our students’ being in very good shape academically, following the lock-down and hybrid school experiences.  Dr. Lendis will be reporting on the results at the December Board of Education Meeting and her presentation will be shared to our website as well.  Parents will be receiving individual student score reports when they arrive in the district, which the state has informed us will be sometime next month.

Beyond academics, however, we’ve also been concerned with all aspects of our students’ well-being.  To that end, we’re using all sorts of different ways of checking in with students in addition to teaching important life skills so that they can learn to discern ways to help themselves balance all that they’re feeling and undergoing in life.

I’ve mentioned the new program that we’re using during daily FLEx (Falcon Leadership and Excellence) meetings.  “Second Step” provides a variety of lessons that cover the areas of Growth Mindset and Goal Setting, Emotion Management, Empathy and Kindness and Problem Solving.  These units are presented at each grade level in the developmentally appropriate context for students.  Through discussion, role play situations and putting into practice what they’ve learned, we hope our students will learn skills that enable them to make good decisions, develop coping mechanisms and strengthen their ability to relate to one another. Our staff has been receiving valuable professional development in the area of Social Emotional Learning and looks forward to continuing its work with our students on this important topic.

Last week our fifth graders attended a session with facilitators from the Tenafly Municipal Alliance Committee (a group that has heavily engaged students in thinking about decision-making).  Called “HashtagChoices,” students participated in a variety of scenarios, making decisions along the way to lead to appropriate and healthy outcomes.  The #HashtagChoices website has resources for parents/guardians which I encourage everyone to take a look at.

The new Wellness Lab for upper grade students began last week during recess on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Many students found the opportunity to decompress in a quiet area a very useful tool in the school day. 

As we are now almost fully back into the swing of things, I would like to resurrect the fledgling Wellness Committee that had just begun to meet prior to the pandemic shut down.  Keep your eye on the virtual backpack for more information should this be a way to serve the school community that interests you or in which you may have expertise to share.

Even though “the swing of things” is feeling pretty normal these days, we, at school, are remaining extra vigilant regarding the COVID-19 virus.  We had an excellent start to the school year with 6 consecutive weeks with no infections but have reported a slight uptick since the 4-day weekend.  Other Morris County districts are reporting similar statistics and we all recognize that with the colder weather comes more indoor playtime and get togethers.  We want to remind everyone that it is important to maintain all the precautions we’ve learned to use these last nearly two years and to continue to monitor for symptoms daily .

Thank you to all in our community for the support that we feel; we’re grateful to know that we’re in this together!

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