Letter from Lara Zelski – December 4, 2019

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving break and are ready for the busy three weeks before winter break. Just a friendly reminder that dismissal on Friday, December 20 is at 11:30 am and there will be no after school that day.

Thank you to our related arts committee, Ms. Wawerna, Ms. Keller and the crew of folks who came to decorate the auditorium and front lobby on Sunday afternoon. It is so festive and amazing. The students were super excited when they came in on Monday morning and saw all the lights.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Family Reading Night last night and many thanks to Jessica Shelley and Veleta Greer for organizing the event. The book fair continues throughout the week, so please stop by the library and take care of some holiday shopping.

We are right in the middle of Inclusive Schools Week and the students are enjoying hearing from others about how to think outside of the box and be inclusive of others, especially when they are different than to you. We greatly appreciate Ashley Deck who organized guest speakers at morning meeting each day and for hanging stars on our front hall tree honoring the many ways our students practice inclusivity each day.

I am sure I don’t need to remind you that Winterfest is next week. Please be mindful of our neighbors as you find a place to park around the school each night. The dates for each grade level are:

  • Tuesday, December 10th – K & 1st grade
  • Wednesday, December 11th – 2nd & 3rd grades
  • Thursday, December 12th – 4th & 5th grade

With the busyness of this season, I would like to share some thoughts from Conscious Discipline. It is reiterated again and again that the changes we wish to see in our children’s behavior must begin with the adults in their lives. The adult must be calm, present in the moment and composed. It is a shift in mentality, to calm yourself before reacting to a situation. It is vastly important for us, as parents, to make daily connections with our children. Connections are more effectively made when we are truly present and 100% focused (not while driving or cooking dinner) on interacting with our children. It has been shown that this level of interaction only has to happen five minutes a day to see a change in behavior with your children. Five minutes a day? Really? That seems so easy, but sometimes even five minutes can be challenging when there are so many other things going on in our busy lives– dinner, sports, work, homework, social media, etc. I encourage you to slow down and try to make these daily connections with your child, even when things seem to be moving at warp speed. It’s important and it’s worth it.

Are you interested in learning more about Conscious Discipline? Please join our Conscious Discipline Action Team on Wednesday, December 18th immediately following morning meeting in the cafeteria. We will discuss how Conscious Discipline is used here at school and how you can incorporate the language and skills at home to support positive and long-lasting behavior in our children (and ourselves).

As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to answer them for you.