Dear Ocean Shore Families,
Hello! Next week we celebrate Valentine’s Day and anticipate “Ski Week” for a well-deserved week off! I hope you will enjoy a lovely time together.
In a K-8 school, Valentine’s Day is a sweet celebration of friendship and kindness. I encourage you to remind your child that we want all of our students to feel included and recognized. Bringing valentines is a lovely gesture, especially when everyone receives it. Please be mindful and sensitive to our children with food allergies should treats be associated with Valentine cards, and get further direction from your child’s teacher regarding classroom protocols. I look forward to this sweet celebration!
Reflections from my Office:
My dog Bea and I run each morning in the dark. I have come to cherish this activity, despite the early hour. It is a fun time to be outside, hear the ocean and watch the sun begin to rise over the horizon. However this morning, I was particularly irritated by the condition of the beach that I run through each day. There was trash everywhere! My dog Bea finds this delightful – it a mine field of treasures and snacks for her! Getting her to focus on the run is an extra challenge. I kept thinking, “Why can’t people clean up after themselves? Don’t they know how this trash impacts others?”
When I arrived to school, I kept thinking about how our campus also experiences the impact of trash left carelessly out on the sidewalk or thrown over the fence. Thankfully, our stellar custodian Ron arrives to sweep the campus before the kids even arrive. This resonated strongly with me. How can we encourage kids today to learn from the careless actions of others?
One of the best parts about being an educator is seeing the positive influences that kids can have on one another. Just when you are feeling down and out on the world, kids have a magical way of lifting you up and taking a stand for injustices that occur – like the mistreatment of facilities or park spaces. This is what happened to me as the day progressed. This afternoon, I was excited to see a group of students take a stand for kindness. Our Student Council has been busy designing new trashcans to help beautify our campus and encourage their peers to be mindful of the trash on campus. They had an idea to be kindness ambassadors and recognize kind deeds being exchanged on the playground, and encourage all of our students to take ownership to keep the school clean and beautiful. They discussed their plans for the school improvement over the course of multiple meetings at recess, and enlisted the help of their schoolmates. Their message – to catch others being a kind and thoughtful about taking care of our school and celebrate this act – resonated with me in light of my frustration this morning. We have talked a lot this year about kindness from our Abilities Awareness Week, the Found Money Project and our 7th and 8th grade Peer Mediators (an elective class) championing these initiatives for our student body. I love how this act is catching steam, as kids become coaches to each other!
Seeing how kids can command the attention of their peers gives me hope! While we can’t control every indecent act – like trashing the park or a school – we can control how we respond. Kindness always wins. Kind kids are leading our school, and helping to minimize the negativity and mistreatment of others and shared spaces.
Here are a few pictures of our Student Council!
Staff Makin’ Waves:
We are fortunate for the expertise of Matt Hayden, who is a gifted special education teacher. His work with all of the students at Ocean Shore, beyond his own class, is an integral part of our community. The collaborative effort between Matt and Education Specialist Natalie Abinante to plan, coordinate and deliver such a meaningful experience for our kids last week during Ability Awareness Week was one example of how they play such an impactful role for our school. Their advocacy for all children is inspiring!
From the Front Office:
School Supplies for a School in Guatemala!
Kindergarten teacher, Jennifer's daughter Izzy is currently in Guatemala volunteering at an animal rescue organization and improving her Spanish. Jennifer and family are visiting her over Ski Week and are planning to bring a suitcase full of school supplies for a local school and dog toys for the street dogs Izzy is working with. If you'd like to make a donation you can drop it off in Jennifer's classroom, A-23 before the break.
They're collecting the following school supplies:
Dog toys are totally up to you but smaller is easier to transport. Jennifer and her family thank you for your support.
Jump Rope for Heart Health Fundraiser!
t’s February so that means hearts of all kinds become part of the décor. It also means we jump rope to promote heart health. Again this year we are jumping and raising money for Gable Heart Beats, which is a local charity that screens children and adults for heart problems, as well as purchasing defibrillators for public spaces. Last year the money raised for Jumprope for Heart purchased a defibrillator for our District bus. This year, we hope to raise money to help Gable Heart Beats to further its mission. Gable Heart Beats’ mission is to save lives by early detection of heart issues and placing defibrillators (AEDs) in places where kids are present. Gable Heart Beats fund heart screenings for youth, which includes both an EKG and Echocardiogram, providing two of the best tests to detect an underlying heart issue. They also provide defibrillators to schools, gyms and sports fields to have on site in case of emergency. ATTACHED HERE IS A PLEDGE FORM .
Jumprope for Heart is next Friday, 2/15, during our pod time.
Your family will get a donation form for our Jumprope for Heart event from your teacher or posted here. If your family is interested in donating, please return the form with your donation to your classroom teacher. We hope to collect money by next Friday, 2/15. Checks may be made payable to 'Gable Heart Beats". For information on Gable Herat Beats, you can check out their website: http://gableheartbeats.org"
Do You Have Any Extra Beyblades at Home? We are looking for these toys for some of students with special needs. If you have used or new Beyblades, our students can put them to good use! For any questions, please email Matt Hayden at email@example.com.
WE NEED YOU! New Year, New Habits! Can you lend us a few minutes before school in the morning for a week? Do you find yourself frustrated when dropping off your child for school for the lack of safe driving practices from other parents! Join our task force and earn bonus volunteer hours! We are looking for parents willing to help us monitor our two drop-off spots during the 15 minutes before school. Parents would wear a safety vest (affectionately labeled “Respect the Vest”) and be a presence to encourage parents to be compliant with our traffic rules. We are also looking for anyone willing to help schedule volunteers. Let’s tackle this challenge with a solution! Channel your inner-child that dreamed of being a traffic safety officer, and volunteering with your friends is highly encouraged! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to help!
Yearbooks are on Sale! Our middle school staff will be working hard to preserve your memories. Don't let these memories pass you by, order yours today online visit:
Private OSS passcode: 1014115995473789. If you have any questions contact email@example.com
The Yearbook is in need of photos for events and classrooms. We would love your photos!
You can submit them to treering.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line write - Yearbook
-All and any teacher classroom photos
-1st day of school
-end of year picnic
-ability awareness day
From the Diversity Leadership Group: Are you a member of a Multi-Racial and/or Multi-Faith family and would like to share your story!? The Diversity Leadership Group is hoping to find a few families who would be interested in talking to our students about your experiences at home, at school, and in the world on Celebrate Diversity Day (CDD). CDD is taking place on Friday, March 22. Timing is flexible. If you are interested in participating, please contact Lissin at Lissin@EarthCapades.com
NEXT WEEK HAPPENINGS!
Tuesday, 2/12: PTO Executive Board Meeting 7- 9 pm OSS Staff Lounge
Tuesday, 2/12: Food Allergy Expert & Specialist Dr. Rani Maskatia Shares the Latest in Food Allergy Research, Diagnostics, and Treatment Options
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7:00 pm, Martin Family Hall. Join us for an educational community event offering information and support to food allergic families and friends featuring Dr. Rani Maskatia, a board-certified allergist and immunologist from Latitude Food Allergy Care who has deep training and expertise in food allergy diagnosis and treatment. You will also hear from experts from the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford, and children and families who have been through treatment will share how it improved their quality of life. This is an open event, please feel free to share the invitation. RSVP event here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-allergy-information-session-registration-54938770341
Friday 2/15: Jump Rope Fundraiser (See above for more information!)
Monday 2/18 – Friday 2/22: NO SCHOOL!
Monday 2/25: School Resumes!
Thursday 2/28 10:30 – 11:30 am: Safety Drill at OSS (More details to come!)
Friday, March 22nd: Diversity Day!