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January 2020

Dear Big Springs Community, Welcome back and Happy New Year!

Communication: The school sends out many text messages and emails regarding reminders for upcoming events or changes in schedules. Please be sure to check those or our school website for any updates.

Calendar: January 7 is the first day back for students after winter break. Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Holiday

Organization: Many of us start out the school year with everything in order, but as the year progresses that begins to lapse. Here are some tips to help organize your student's backpack for the New Year.

  • Find a backpack that meets your child’s needs. Take into consideration their own size and motor skills when it comes to selecting the backpack.
  • When reorganizing your child’s backpack, empty it out completely and start with a “clean slate.” Then work with your child to sort and group school supplies. For example, one compartment could be for pencils, erasers, highlighters and another compartment for folders, books, etc... S
  • Schedule a regular time (every weekend for example) to go through the backpack to ensure it stays organized.

Homework: Take time to discuss with your child when and where homework will be completed; your own expectations for their education and set goals for the school year. (You may have already set goals for your child earlier this year.) Students do best when rules are in place and expectations are followed, that of course always starts at home. If you ever have any questions about how to make sure your child is working up to their potential, please do not hesitate to contact their teacher or myself.

Curriculum at home: We appreciate the time parents spend supporting their children with their overall learning. Make sure you are having discussions with your children as well, regarding how reading, writing and math are not only important during school, but that these skills are necessary in everyday life. When spending time together outside of school, discuss and show each other how we use these skills in daily life activities. The conversations should be causal in nature, of course. This practice will make what they learn in school that much more meaningful.

Tips for Good Study Habits: Show your child how to position their workspace at home away from visual and auditory distractions. You can help to create a portable homework station to keep all of their study materials on hand. Learning how to prioritize is an essential skill for studying. Keeping an eye on due dates is helpful, but it might not be the only way for your child to prioritize homework. Some students prefer to start with the easier work before moving on to the harder things. Others prefer to tackle the tough ones first. Watch your child to see which option seems to work for them. Lastly, do not forget to teach your child how to organize their backpack or break down assignments into smaller steps.

Attendance: Please make sure students are to school on time each day. Even being a few minutes late can get their day off to a rough start and disrupt the learning of others. Make every attempt to schedule appointments after school so students do not need to be checked out early and miss class time. We see many students checked out early prior to the weekend, please make every effort to ensure students are in school the entire day. When students are checked out early it disrupts the instruction of others and your student is missing important class time. Even those moments in a classroom that may seem non-instructional to you are probably a chance for your student to bond with his or her peers and find some lighter moments in the school day.

New Big Springs Monument sign: We have a new monument sign on the corner of Big Springs and Fort Davis. It has come to our attention that students are climbing on that sign after school. Please be reminded that we want our sign to continue to look great, but more importantly, climbing on it is not safe. This is not a playground apparatus and students could easily be injured falling from or hitting heads on the monument.

Parking Lot: Typically the monthly newsletter includes a lot of information regarding drop off in the mornings and pick up in the afternoons in relation to our school parking lot and surrounding neighborhood streets. This time it is going to be a bit shorter and succinct.

When dropping off in the morning please make sure your child is ready to exit the car on the right side with supplies (backpack, lunch, etc...) ready to go. Parents should not get out of the car to help. This may seem a bit callous, however, when parents leave their car to help their child with clothes, school supplies, and to say goodbye, it holds up traffic in our drop-off line. The same goes for the afternoon pick-up. Please make sure you are moving forward in the afternoon so all cars can begin to move freely within our parking lot. You should not leave your car at dismissal time as well, because this creates unattended cars that don't pull up, once again inhibiting the traffic flow. The parking lot system and protocols currently in place work only when ALL of our community members follow these procedures.

The Simi Valley Police periodically monitor all schools to remind drivers of appropriate driving and parking laws. This monitoring is both inside the school parking lot and while driving or parking in the neighboring streets. Feel free to contact the police directly if you witness unsafe driving practices around any school within our community.

Be courteous and patient while driving around the campus, the parking lot and surrounding neighborhood streets. We ask that when dropping off or picking up your children from school, that you respect the directions our campus supervisors or any staff member is conveying such as moving up within the loading zone so traffic can proceed in a timely manner. We are all role models to our students about following rules and demonstrating patience.

Bicycles: Children in Grades 3 to 6 may ride their bicycles to school. All bike riders must dismount at the edge of the school grounds and walk their bikes to the bike rack where they should be parked and locked. All students riding bicycles to school are required to wear a safety helmet as required by California State law, and have the ability to lock their bike to the bike racks. A Bicycle Permit must be on file with the school before a student may ride their bike to school. Forms are available in the school office.

Animals on Campus: Please leave your animals at home when you are dropping off or picking up your students. Animals, except approved service/therapy animals, are not allowed on campus for safety and sanitation reasons.

Reminder: When on campus or even while waiting outside the gates at dismissal time we ask that parents do not take pictures or video of students. Privacy and safety concerns may be compromised if this were to occur and we appreciate your understanding.

PTA: If you ever have a suggestion or idea for programs or how to improve existing ones, we encourage you to contact the PTA or school. Many times, we hear about concerns and/or comments on social media or other means, it is always better and more appropriate to have a discussion directly with those planning these events so we can all work together in a responsible, productive way to enhance the great service our school and PTA offer for all our students.

Thank you,

Sean D. Platt Principal