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This Week In Lower School 3/27/2020

Friday, March 27, 2020

Remote Learning Week 2 
In week two of our remote learning, we have seen our community connect beyond the academic demands of our school. With the tool of video conferencing, our teachers have connected our students with their social-emotional well-being at mind. Our cheery preschool students connected for video chats for circle time, share time, and Shabbat. It was inspiring to see the joy and happiness on the faces of our youngest students as they were able to see their class together for the first time since March 12. Our Kindergarten - 5th grade students were able to participate in lunch meet-ups and other virtual socials throughout the week. There were scavenger hunts, show and tell, video hangouts, readings, and lunch socials. Through this technology, our students connected as if they were at lunch or on the playground! We also had our first K- 5th grade virtual Shabbat. It was lovely to see all our K-5 students together again celebrating Shabbat. We learned that it is essential to remain connected during this time of distancing. 
With our annual Good Deeds Day that was to be recognized on March 29 and has been halted due to the global pandemic, however, our Lower School is still looking for ways to deliver good deeds to our community. Fourth graders Mia Scala and Addie Kelly have also been working with Lower School Counselor Ms. Kendra. Together they have been preparing a Kindness Challenge initiative for students and families to participate. Please be on the lookout for the announcement next week. 
Each cast member of the Lower School production of Mary Poppins got to pick one dress-up item that their character would wear on an outing to the park. If we were still in school, we would be adding costume sets, lighting, and sound and getting close to the opening of the show. It was a fantastic rehearsal with the cast singing, dancing, and practicing their lines. The Mary Poppins cast have regular zoom rehearsals every Thursday at 3:30 pm.
From your AEC School Counselors
There is no academic emergency right now!  These are unprecedented times and adults and children alike are working to adjust and cope with what is our new normal.
First and foremost, you are a parent.  Decrease the possible pressure you place on yourself to be the main educator or academic teacher at home.
Learning will look different than it did in in-school classrooms.
In order to thrive in stressful times children need supportive and stable relationships with the adults in their life.  Make time to listen and help them manage their expectations, fears, concerns and emotions.
Expect learning at home will be like a rollercoaster.  One minute you look around and all is going perfect, according to plan, and you feel like you have this home learning thing down.  Thirty seconds later, chaos ensues, meltdowns are happening and it is insanity. BREATHE, BREATHE and BREATHE. Then... BREATHE some more.
Model emotional control for your children.  Recognize when you need to tap out, step out or ask for help.  Practice the pause; pause before responding, pause before reacting, pause before speaking.      
Many parents are doing triple duty: parenting, working and teaching.  This is a huge ask on your emotional resources.  Make sure to take care of yourself and practice good self care.  Just as the airline industry says, put on your oxygen mask first before placing one on your child.
Lean on your support system.  Social distancing does not mean social disengagement.  These are times when social support of family, friends and community are vital to our  overall well being.
Reach out to AEC counselors!  We are here for students, faculty, AND parents.
Conversations will not be cancelled.
Relationships will not be cancelled.
Love will not be cancelled.
Songs will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Hope will not be cancelled.