Happy Friday! Despite the rain, we enjoyed this first week of October. We were able to come today in the sunshine at Community Meeting and thank Elyssa and Kimberly’s class for leading us in song.
Calendar Update: As a reminder there is no school on Monday, October 10. Tuesday, October 25 is a half day with noon pickup. And I hope you’ll join us on the evening of Friday, October 28 for our first CWS Community Meeting night in the schoolyard – more details to come.
Safety Update: As a reminder, all visitors to the building must sign in at the safety agent’s desk. You will need to show your photo ID and proof of vaccine. Also, every year we review our different drills including fire drills and lockdown drills with our students. These are presented in an age-appropriate manner and we let the students know that there is no immediate risk to their safety but that it is important
Physical Health Update: We have had multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 and flu in the building this week. The city recommends vaccinating your children for COVID-19 and flu, as a strong flu season has already begun and will last through the winter. If your child is sick, please keep them home. They must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medicine before they can return to the building, and must wear a mask for a total of 10 days from the beginning of symptoms, even if their COVID test is negative.
Mental Health Update: Our teachers, counselors, and social workers as champions of your child(ren)’s academic and social and emotional needs, we will continue administering the Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) that was introduced last school year. The DESSA is a strengths-based Social Emotional Screener that asks questions about areas of social-emotional functioning including decision making, relationship building, confidence, and others. This tool is completed by someone who knows your child really well—in most cases a teacher. Please read the letter below for more details on this.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome back to the new school year. Your continued partnership with us is more important than ever as we strive to ensure your child excels this school year and beyond. To further support you, our teachers, counselors, and social workers as champions of your child(ren)’s academic and social and emotional needs, we will continue administering the Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) that was introduced last school year.
The DESSA is a strengths-based Social Emotional Screener that asks questions about areas of social-emotional functioning including decision making, relationship building, confidence, and others. This tool is completed by someone who knows your child really well—in most cases a teacher. Research has consistently shown that developing the social and emotional skills of students helps them to succeed academically, gain confidence, and be happier. Social-emotional learning, or SEL, includes developing relationship skills, self-awareness, responsible decision-making, and optimistic thinking.
Through use of the DESSA last year, we were able to build on each student’s strengths while identifying the social-emotional skills they needed to further develop. When the students’ growth areas were identified, we developed a highly responsive plan to target, strengthen, and enhance those skills in the most appropriate manner and settings.
The results of this screener will not be included on report cards, will not have any impact on grades, and will not be used to make any diagnostic or evaluation decisions. The results will be stored securely in an online portal that meets the DOE’s strictest privacy and security settings and will only be viewable by your child(ren)’s teachers and select school staff such as the principal or counselor.
We are excited to implement the DESSA beginning 10/17/2022. If you do not want a staff member to complete the DESSA screener for your student, you must write a letter stating that. This must be done on an annual basis and the letter needs to be received by the school by 10/17/2022. If you have any questions regarding social-emotional learning or the DESSA, please reach out to Jennifer Rios or Maria Velez-Clarke.