As a Community Unified to Build the Success of our students, we have made it a priority this school year to keep our Chaparral Mission Statement as the guidepost for all decisions regarding our teaching and the students’ learning. Our collective vision led to the development of our Mission Statement and provided direction for our School Site Council in the writing of our Single Plan for School Achievement (SPSA). This important vision is not just a matter of the staff, parents, and community agreeing on a good idea; it is a mental image of what is important to us as individuals and as an organization. We envision Chaparral as a unified community dedicated to building an environment that promotes the development of the whole child as a successful individual through:
In our unified community, we are all responsible for our actions, but the common good is placed on par with personal ambition. Our relationships will be described as caring, with the caring supported by open communication, made possible by trust. Communication and trust are two attributes of a unified community that we all agreed (in last year’s parent and staff surveys) that we needed to further develop and strengthen here at Chaparral. Communicating effectively and trusting one another are the essential keys to building strong partnerships in our community.
As we wrote and developed our school plan this year, the results of our 2012-2013 survey were used to design goals as well as policies, procedures, and programs to reach them. You will soon receive a more detailed letter regarding the specifics of our first survey and the goals we developed. Then in April, a survey for this 2013-2014 school year will be coming home. I urge you to take the time to fill out the survey and give us feedback on our progress toward our mission and vision of becoming C.U.B.S., a unified community building success for Chaparral students. Everyone will be asked to fill out a survey. We need staff, parent, and student input to measure our progress toward our goals and to begin planning for the next school year. We are in this together; we all need to be part of this process.
In this March message, it is important to begin the discussion of what it means for us to focus on the learning and achievement of all students. For now, I would like to focus on the four C’s found in our Mission Statement: Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity, beginning with Communication and Collaboration. I believe that through effective communication and collaboration we develop a strong, respectful relationship that ultimately unifies our school community.
This month, let’s all agree to instruct our students in communicating respectfully. This is one of the most important lessons we can teach children so that they make others feel respected and earn respect in return. The following are suggestions we implement in our classrooms that can be adapted at home: 1) Behave respectfully. Together, create family rules that contain the word respect. For example, “Respect others by keeping your hands and feet to yourself” or “Respect property by putting clothes and toys away.” 2) Speak respectfully. Ask your child to rephrase requests that are not respectful. If he shouts “I’m hungry!” you might say, “I’ll listen when you ask nicely.” 3) Disagree respectfully. Teach your child to share his opinion politely. For example, show him how you respect his choice of food while explaining your own: “Bananas are delicious, but I like strawberries better because they are so tangy and sweet.” Remind him that he won’t always agree with people – sometimes it’s OK to “agree to disagree.”
Through our vision and mission process, and through classroom instruction and strong family support, Chaparral staff and parents will continue to work together to create an atmosphere of Collaboration and Communication – one of mutual respect. When we model these behaviors, our students see adults working together for the betterment of all at Chaparral.
ADDITIONAL REMINDERS FOR MARCH:
REPORT CARDS FOR THE SECOND TRIMESTER WILL BE COMING home Friday, March 7 for grades 1-5 and will be handed out at conferences for Journeys/Kindergarten during the week of March 10-14. Please take a moment to reflect on the best ways to discuss your child’s report card with him/her:
- Read through the report card before reacting. You will be able to see the full picture and pick out parts to highlight with your child. Ask for a conference with your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns. Try not to worry your child. This is a partnership.
- Celebrate progress and strengths first. Find a mark that went up, a tough subject your child has held his or her own in, or any improvement you see. Let your child know you are proud of him or her.
- Your child already knows the disappointments. Most children know the areas they are struggling with or are strong in. Discuss what happened and ways you can all work together to improve. Let them know they are not alone. Being upbeat will inspire them to try harder and “never give up.”
- Remind them that the report card is not about them personally. It is never a label of their ability. It is a way to communicate to everyone the academic and social-emotional areas that are strong right now and those that are still developing.
STUDENT SAFETY – DROP-OFF LANE AND AROUND SCHOOL: Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help open car doors and who keep our drop-off line working efficiently. Your efforts help to keep Chaparral a safer place for our students. To keep students safe, we must issue a few reminders. Too many parents are making dangerous U-turns and/or double parking when dropping off students. After you pull to the curb and quickly drop your child off, please keep moving forward so the traffic does not back up. DO NOT get out of your car when using the drop-off lane. Additionally, the parking lot is not a safe place to drop off students and is marked as a no drop-off zone. Please obey the sign and attendants. Finally, our crossing guards are concerned with the jaywalking that occurs. Please walk your child to the crosswalk and WAIT for the crossing guard to stop traffic. Take the extra time – it will mean that all students will be safe around our campus.
FROM THE OFFICE: We are finding that many of the emergency phone numbers we have for students are out of date. Please make sure you let us know of telephone number or address changes. In addition to notifying the office, please access your student’s Aeries parent portal account and update your contact information.
ATTENDANCE: Please remember and respect that our wonderful, caring office staff are the messengers, but school attendance is actually a legal requirement. It is mandatory that you report all absences on a daily basis regardless of the reason. Parents may:
- Call Chaparral’s absence line at (818) 591-2428 and press “1”
- Email Brenda Shearer at
- Send a note to school with your child
The law requires your student to attend school. It is not a district or school policy, it is the law. Public education is compulsory. Family vacations should coincide with the school district’s recess days. If your child misses more than three days without a valid excuse (illness), you may receive a letter from Chaparral and possibly from the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) about truancy. Tardiness is also tracked. If an absence or tardiness pattern continues, you may be required to attend a SARB meeting with the Los Angeles County District Attorney. We must take school attendance very seriously. Research on the effect of school attendance on students can be found online (http://www.attendanceworks.org/research/
) and the school district calendar can be found via the LVUSD webpage
. While you are there, check out the Chaparral school link for additional information.