Winter Parties…


Amelia Elementary Families,

 As you know, we have the class winter parties scheduled for this week.  I have given this event a great deal of thought and feel strongly that our students need to experience this wonderful childhood school experience. That being said, I will be managing parents that enter the building differently in an attempt to heighten security. 

If you plan on attending your child’s classroom party, you must understand, and welcome, any minor inconveniences associated with following simple rules and procedures, as these procedures ensure the safety of our students. 

The following procedures will be in effect and expected to be followed with NO EXCEPTIONS:

  • All parents will be checked-in in the main corridors of the building.
  • Any parent wishing to enter the building must have their assigned green car dismissal tag.
  • If a parent does not have a dismissal tag (children who are walkers or bus riders), they must have their driver’s license.
  • Students will NOT be dismissed from classrooms at the end of the party.  Students must move to their dismissal locations, and parents will follow typical dismissal procedures. 

Again if you would like to join your child on their scheduled party day, you must have the green car dismissal tag and/or drivers license.  I expect that there will be a delay in entering the building as we are being extra diligent in identifying all visitors.

 

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation,

 Stephanie Walker

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Letter from Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg of Clermont County:


In the aftermath of the unfathomable tragedy in Connecticut last week  I felt it was appropriate and important for me as Sheriff to offer some thoughts.  What happened on Friday was a wake-up call that rung loud and clear throughout our country and county that what happened in the placid community of Newtown can happen anywhere.  The fact that the target of the attack was an elementary school with very young children makes the reality even more stark.  Years ago in the aftermath of Columbine and other school shootings the Clermont County law enforcement community came together as one to address this perplexing issue.  We trained as a ‘team’ to hone tactics that were recommended for responding to school shootings.  Also, through monthly meetings of the Clermont County Police Chiefs and Sheriff Association we discuss critical issues and problems facing our community.  We will continue to do so and after the horrific event of last week  will re-focus upon school safety as a top priority.  I will personally do whatever I can to facilitate this process and in collaboration with other county law enforcement executives and our dedicated troops we will leave no stone unturned.

   We need your help.  In a number of past tragedies involving school shootings there was a preview of what was coming.  Stray comments, text and e-mail messages, journal entries, Facebook posts and other communications contained indicators of the approaching storm.  It, therefore, behooves everyone of us to keep our eyes and ears open to the written and spoken words of those around us.  If anything is heard or seen that raises a red flag take action immediately.  Report your concerns to a trusted loved one, school official, or law enforcement.  Better safe than sorry is clearly applicable here.  In Clermont County the Sheriff’s Office has a 24/7 anonymous tip phone line (513) 625-2806.  Individuals can call at anytime of the day or night and leave a message.  PLEASE use this tool if you have any concerns about what you see or hear, and if you do so leave as many details as possible so that the matter can be properly investigated.

  To parents, stay connected with your children, and particularly be vigilant regarding their behavior as they become teenagers.  That chapter of life can be overwhelming for our youngsters and in most school shooting incidents the perpetrators have been teenagers or young adults struggling with mental health or emotional challenges.  Some of the plans and logistics of school tragedies have been conceived at home, in the bedrooms and on the computers of the young perpetrators.  Sadly more than once, evidence of this has been discovered only after the carnage has occurred.

   For our teachers, you have a difficult and often thankless task today.  Many students spend more time in contact with you in their lives than they do with parents and families.  That puts you in a position to observe and perceive behavior than is troubling and potentially destructive.  Remain alert for this and if a potential problem is seen, heard, or suspected report it promptly to school or law enforcement officials.

   Finally to our young citizens– you are facing challenges and stressors in your development and passage into adulthood that can be very unsettling.  Yet, there are many around you, including those in the law enforcement community, that stand ready, willing, and able to help you navigate the storm.  If you feel you are alone, adrift, or sinking talk to someone.  If you have a friend who you see in distress or floundering do something to help them, if not on your own, through somebody else.

   The late Martin Luther King once said, “We must all live as brothers or will perish as fools.”  The tragedy of last week truly brings home the fact that we must strive to be our brother’s keepers and of all our responsibilities and priorities in life this is of tantamount importance.

Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg – Clermont County

Dear Amelia Elementary Families,


 

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Friday’s horrific and shocking event has had a profound impact on our shared sense of security. Our entire school community is reeling from the unimaginable tragedy that Newtown is dealing with and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Amelia teachers, support staff and I will welcome students tomorrow morning as they arrive at school with warm greetings, smiles and reassuring welcomes to ensure a sense of comfort and security, recognizing that students will be returning to school with varying levels of awareness of the unthinkable tragedy that took place on Friday.  Teachers will focus on maintaining a level of normalcy, but will also be prepared to support students in whatever way is necessary to assure them that their school is safe.

I have had several parents contact me over the weekend regarding our safety procedures.  I can assure you that we have an up to date safety plan in place that was developed in conjunction with the Village of Amelia Police Department and it is on file with the Attorney General’s Office.  We conduct a lock down drill on a yearly basis so that students and staff know what to do in case of a dangerous situation.  We will continue to review our plan, with the support of the local police department, to make sure it is as good as it can be and can keep our students and staff as safe as possible. 

In addition to supporting students, every staff member of Amelia Elementary is reminded to follow our security procedures and practices. We must all understand and welcome any minor inconveniences associated with following simple rules and procedures, as these rules ensure the safety of our students and staff.   Amelia Elementary is safe, and although our sense of security has been shaken, we will stand strong and reassure our students (and each other) that we can contribute to the overall safety of our school and community by being extra diligent and maintaining a healthy sense of awareness.

I encourage you to join me and say a special prayer for the community of Newtown and for every school in this country to be safe.  As it is each week, the entire Amelia Elementary staff looks forward to seeing our wonderful students in the morning.

Please contact me with additional questions or concerns.

Stephanie

Parent Resources:


I am sure that many of you are following the tragedy in Connecticut on Friday.  As you can imagine, I have struggled to write a coherent post that is sensitive to potential readers of all ages.

 As I work to come to terms with this terrible event, know that I am also working to find resources to support staff members as they could possibly receive questions from children next week.  I can assure you that the Amelia Elementary staff will do all that we can to respond sensitively to questions.

 For those of you who are struggling with how to respond to questions from your children throughout the following days, I offer some resources that I have found this afternoon.  I recommend that you read these links carefully so that you can filter through appropriate responses for the age of your children.

 Please know that we will be focused on keeping our school environment safe and on learning… at the same time be prepared to respond to questions that we may receive.  We care deeply about your children.  

Our thoughts are with the students, families, staff and community of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

http://www.micheleborba.com/blog/2012/12/14/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-the-newtown-school-shooting/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/betsy-brown-braun/talking-to-kids-or-not-ab_b_2304362.html

http://www.boston.com/dailydose/2012/12/14/how-talk-kids-about-the-connecticut-school-shooting/GsG2TFfNSH1IohWneiXioN/story.html

http://www.pbs.org/parents/rogers/special/scarynews-thoughts.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15109195/ns/health-childrens_health/t/how-talk-your-kids-about-shootings/#.UMuxFD-sMyB

http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2012/12/14/the-best-resources-on-talking-with-children-about-tragedies/

http://www.nytimes.com/video/2012/12/14/health/100000001958106/speaking-to-children-about-the-shooting.html#100000001958106

Quick up-date:


Breakfast with Santa:  Breakfast with Santa is on this Saturday at Amelia High School in the cafeteria. The sessions are from 8:30-9:30 and 10:00-11:00. Unfortunately we will not be able to have the Santa Shop at the Breakfast as originally planned; so if students have shopping to do please do so on Friday at scheduled make-up times.

Kindergarten Schedule:  Monday/Wednesday kindergarten students are scheduled to be in session tomorrow, December 14th.


reindeercam.com

I followed this site last year and thought that you might be interested in watching with your children.  This is a site that you can watch the reindeer at the North Pole. Santa feeds the reindeer each day live at 11 a.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

SUGGESTION:  If you want to get rid of the viewer comments, there is a “hide” button on the right corner of the comment box. Might be a good idea as you can not anticipate what could be posted there… just to be safe.

Reindeer facts that I learned while visiting this site:

  • Reindeer are believed to be the only mammals that can see ultra-violet light.
  • Reindeer have specialized noses that warm incoming cold air before it enters the lungs–giving them a super sniffer!
  • Reindeer grow facial hair down to the lips. This protects the muzzle when they graze in snow. No chapped lips here!
  • No two antlers are the same. Every antler has its own shape and design just like a snowflake.
  • Reindeer live in large groups called herds. There are up to 1000 reindeer in a herd.

Enjoy!  Mrs. Walker

AE Holiday Shop:


photo (3) photo (4)This year’s Holiday Shop will be open Monday, December 10 through Friday, December 14. Each class will be assigned a specific time slot during which students may shop. Gifts for family, friends, relatives, pets and even local professional and collegiate sports teams will be available. With over 100 “kid-priced” gifts, the students are sure to find that perfect gift! A portion of this year’s proceeds will go toward providing food to our Amelia Elementary needy families during this Holiday season.

Holiday Shop Schedule:

Monday, December 10
9:15-9:50: Wells
9:50-10:25: Smith
10:25-11:00: Light
11:00-11:35: Varney
12:35-1:10: MacFarland
1:10-1:45: Moorehead
1:45-2:20: Hucker
2:20-2:55: Burnheimer

Tuesday, December 11
9:15-9:50: Wells
9:50-10:25: Smith
10:25-11:00: Trent
11:00-11:35: Zoldesy
12:35-1:10: Hennessey
1:10-1:45: Evans
1:45-2:20: Amann
2:20-2:55: Dunn

Wednesday, December 12
9:15-9:50: Wolff
9:50-10:25: Hale
10:25-11:00: Carter
11:00-11:35: Knapke
12:35-1:10: Schneider
1:10-1:45: Staffiera
1:45-2:20: Kratzer
2:20-2:55: Fowler

Thursday, December 13
9:15-9:50: Ary
9:50-10:25: Kahles
10:25-11:00: Johnson
11:00-11:35: Heltzer
1:10-1:45: Marcotte
1:45-2:20: Langdon

Friday, December 14
9:15-9:50: KDG/1st Grade Make-up
9:50-10:25: 2nd/3rd Grade Make-up
10:25-11:00: 4th/5th Grade Make-up

For questions about the Holiday Shop, please contact Danielle Humphries at: dhumphries@fuse.net