Sarah White, Principal
October 22, 2019
24-Hour Attendance Line: 425.408.4410
Save the Dates!
Calendar Link: https://eastridge.nsd.org/our-school-clone/calendar
**Conference Days Early Release:
November 21 - 27, 12:30 pm Dismissal**
Dear East Ridge Families,
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. All year long, it is very important to us at East Ridge that our students have a safe and positive learning environment. Often, parents wonder what we do about bullying at our school. I would like to share some of the strategies we use to ensure a positive experience for all of our students.
Each year, all East Ridge families are asked to review school and district discipline policies and expectations for student behavior. Each student’s parent verifies with their signature that they have reviewed these expectations with their child. Thank you for your help with this! It gets all of us off to a great start!
Each year, we begin the year on the very first day with high expectations for respectful student behavior. Teachers all use the same PowerPoint presentation to review important safety and behavior expectations. Then, at our annual Welcome Assembly, we review expectations for respectful behavior and introduce the adults at school. Some of the things we cover at this assembly include examples of helpful and kind actions, good sportsmanship, and manners.
During the first week of school, our recess supervisors meet with each class to introduce themselves to students, review recess rules, and encourage them to ask for their help if needed on the playground. This personal connection between our recess supervisors and each group of children helps students identify staff who are here to help them when they need it.
This month, all students have learned about being a bystander. Did you know that when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time? Children hold so much power as bystanders! Our students watched this video to learn about how to be an “upstander” instead of a bystander: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeqQCyQOCPg&feature=youtu.be&list=PLvzOwE5lWqhScOdC3xMzs9FoAAfpxA-Tz
Thanks to the generosity of our PTA, we have several sets of picture books which help prevent bullying by helping students identify it and respond. Teachers are facilitating great conversations with our students about these books this month and all year long!
Our school uses a variety of responses when unkind, unsafe, or bullying behavior occurs. Usually, a staff member immediately intervenes, offering empathy, problem solving support, re-teaching of expected behavior, and/or other strategies or logical consequences to resolve the incident between the students. Often this is enough to solve the problem. Depending on the severity of the action and the need for more intervention, students are referred to their classroom teacher, support staff or to the principal for more support or action. Typically, our follow up with a student who has made unsafe or unkind choices is private. Sometimes children who have been hurt by another student are frustrated because they do not witness the “punishment” of the other student. This leads some children to feel as though “nothing happened” when they reported a problem. We reassure children that we will follow up, and it is important for children to know that they may not witness that follow up. For privacy reasons, as well as to best help children learn from and correct their behavior, our staff does much of the follow up for serious incidents privately with the other student (and their families). As needed, we involve families, the classroom teacher, and other staff to support students who have initiated or been the victim of unkind actions, unsafe behavior or bullying. In the cases of patterns of behavior or serious incidents, we alert all staff working with the students involved to be sure that any new incidents are reported and responded to. In serious cases, the principal or another staff member checks in with the victim regularly to ensure that the concern is resolved.
This week, our student leaders have planned a special emphasis on preventing bullying at East Ridge. Here are some of the activities in a week-long celebration of upstanders, inclusion, kindness, and empathy:
Monday: Wear Blue to Support the Cause. Commit to being an Upstander today and every day. Sign the poster in your foyer and remember if you see something, say something.
Tuesday: Introduce Yourself to a Student Whom You Have Never Met.
Wednesday: Make kindness go viral with an act of kindness and challenge friends and classmates to do the same!
Thursday: Create positive messages and add them to your foyer’s school kindness chain.
Friday: Include someone you don’t know well to sit with you on the bus or play with you on the playground.
As you can see, we have a comprehensive approach to a safe and respectful learning environment here at East Ridge. It is important to us that your children enjoy school and excel academically amidst a caring campus climate. Happy October!
Sarah White, Principal
Notes for Student End-of-Day Plans and Related Phone Calls
Please plan ahead! Please be sure to send a note with your student at the beginning of the day if there is any change to their normal transportation home for that day. Without a note, our staff sends students home according to the information on file. Our office is receiving an overwhelming number of phone calls regarding forgotten notes or changes to end-of-day plans. If you do need to call the office to get a message to your student, you must call the office before 1:30pm. Please do not email or call the teacher for same-day changes. Teachers often do not have time to check emails or voicemails until after dismissal.
Information from Dr. Reid’s Thursday Thoughts: Halloween is approaching and we want to take the time to share some topics to consider and discuss in your building, classroom, or department. With regards to costumes, we want all students and staff to feel safe and comfortable. This means that dressing up to depict a race or culture other than one’s own, or a historically or currently oppressed figure is harmful. Further, doing so perpetuates stereotypes, cultural appropriation, discrimination and insensitivity. Cultures and races are not, and should never be considered costumes. For those who participate in Halloween festivities by dressing up, please remember that this day and every day should be one that is fun, inclusive, and respectful of the diversity that we have in and outside of Northshore School District. Below are a couple of resources for continued learning. These sources can also serve as discussion starters among us all:
- Learn more about cultural appropriation on Halloween through this article from Teen Vogue
- Learn more about why cultures are not costumes by viewing this YouTube clip
We are now implementing a new Online Volunteer signup. Volunteers now sign up through the online portal at: https://eastridge.nsd.org/resources/volunteer. If you haven't done so, please sign up on our new volunteer signup, even if your background check is current. Eventually this new system will allow us to share volunteer information within the district, eliminating the need for volunteers to submit paperwork at multiple schools. We need ALL volunteers at East Ridge to follow this process if they plan to volunteer this school year.
Veterans Day Celebration
On Friday, November 8th , we will have an assembly to honor our Veterans. This assembly will feature performances from students from Ms. Fawcett’s and Mrs. Reed’s fifth grade classes as well as a fifth grade Scout Color Guard. We cordially invite all family members and friends who are veterans to join us. Please RSVP with your student’s name, teacher name, and guest Veteran’s Name to the office by November 1st so we know how many veterans will be attending. You may also fill out this form. We also invite the Veterans and their families to join us for refreshments in the library immediately following the assembly.
Note: If your child has a Veteran guest and will be attending the reception rather than following their normal after school plan, please be sure to send a note to their teacher.
Veterans Day Celebration
Friday, November 8, 2019
**Assembly - 3:05 **
Reception Following - Library
**Please note time change!
News from East Ridge PTA
Dining Out at MOD Pizza
Thank you for supporting our 1st Dining Out at MOD Pizza. We raised $166.62.
Thank you so much from ERPTA!
ERPTA Membership Contest
We had a great response to our membership contest for a chance to win tickets to the 2020 BECommunity Auction. Heidi York was chosen as the winner, thanks for all of your support!
You can join ERPTA by visiting our website, www.erpta.org. There are many other benefits of becoming a PTA member that can be found here:
There is still plenty of time for your student to work on their own creative Reflections entry! This year's theme is "Look Within", and original pieces of work can be submitted in 6 categories (Dance, Musical Composition, Visual Arts 2D and 3D, Film, Literature and Photography). Flyers and entry forms went home in student folders already (they were kelly green). Additional packets are available in the school office. More information can be found at www.erpta.org, www.wastatepta.org/events-programs/Reflections, or contact Cynthia Loland at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are due by November 1st.
ERPTA Cultural Night
East Ridge is a school full of diversity and we want to celebrate all of it!
East Ridge will be hosting its first-ever Cultural Night to celebrate Diversity and Inclusion!
What is Cultural Night? On Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 we invite East Ridge families to showcase their culture through food and poster displays. This will take place in the gym.
As a school and PTA, we strive to develop connections among our school’s different cultures and become a closer community.
What do we need from you? We are looking for families of all cultures to participate and showcase their unique traditions at a table where you can show and tell about your country through your poster boards, food (small bites) and other items (examples: jewelry, games, maps). We also encourage everyone to wear traditional clothing and dress!
ERPTA will provide the poster boards and tasting cups, napkins and spoons for the food samples you prepare.
Sign up forms are available online at www.erpta.org and went home in folders last Friday!
Questions? Email Tanya O'Rourke at: email@example.com.