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    Translation:

    Si ustedes tienen alguna pregunta acerca de la traducción, por favor pueden ponerse en contacto con la maestra de su niño/a o con Ms. Nina Machuca, ELL IA, (252-6080), para ayuda inmediata.

    連絡事項について、ご質問及び翻訳の必要がございましたら、日本語の担任または、春美チャペル先生ELL IA (252-6080) までご連絡ください。 

     

    Dear Families,

     

    Yesterday all students participated in the Marshmallow Challenge!  Every student was put into a group of about 10-12 students – all ages and both languages – with an adult at JSIS – yes, even Ms. Jill participated!  In their group, they were challenged to build the tallest free-standing structure they could, using only 20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 marshmallow, 1 yard of tape and 1 yard of string.  This idea came from BLT and our Climate committee as we looked for ways to bring both languages together and have students get to know one another and staff.  It was also an opportunity, like Young Author’s Day (if you were here last year, otherwise you will hear more about this later this spring), to create multi-age groups. The other awesome characteristic was that we ensured that if the leader of the group spoke Japanese or Spanish, there were 4th and 5th grade students of that language in the group.  The leader only spoke in the language, and the 4th and 5th graders translated for all the students from the opposite language.  This was an amazing example of our students demonstrating leadership!  The best part is that we will utilize these same groups again in April when students will have another opportunity to participate in a different activity.  The feedback from staff and students was wonderful, and I am glad that we were able to bring this idea to reality!  Here are just a couple pictures of the amazing structures students constructed.

              

     

    On a sad note, this past week we lost a parent in our community.  Some of you have inquired for suggestions about talking to children about death and loss.  Here is a note from Mr. Michael, our school counselor…

    When speaking to the students honesty is the best way to go in order to dispel rumors or allowing “imagination” to take hold, especially in the Kindergarten students. Letting them know that the student will likely bring it up when they feel like it, and that they do not need to go out of their way to express their condolences (but can) is essential so the student in grief doesn’t feel overwhelmed or like they have a spot light on them. 

     

    Parents may get more inquiries about mortality from their children, and some children may begin to fear for their own or their parents’ well-being. This is natural, but if you feel their thoughts are becoming a hindrance to their daily functioning, parents are always welcome reaching out to me and I can work with your child as well on this. 

     

    As for the Kindergarteners, it is important that her peers are aware, but not overbearing about their support. Children this age in grief may experience highs and lows back and forth rather abruptly, and her peers need to know that may happen, and that it is perfectly natural. Many kinder level peers react to this with overbearing sympathy such as hugs, which may be rejected initially. They need to be aware that sometimes she will simply need space If she has a sudden dip in emotional state. Other students may feel personally attacked or snubbed, and they need to know that their friend is going through a hard time, and their feelings are very tender. This is one of the hardest things for the kinder level. 

     

    For the second graders I would give the same advice, basically that they should be aware of their peer as they grieve, and sensitive of her situation. 

     

    I would advise parents to allow for processing as you discuss a parents death with your child; allow the child to assign feelings and emotion words to how they are doing. Let them know how you are feeling as well, and discuss how they think their peer feels. Allowing them to express themselves, even if it didn’t happen to them specifically, is important. No responses are bad so long as they are honest. 

     

    Thank you for reaching out, and I am sorry I hadn’t been able to reply sooner. Few free to forward this, and I have copied the teachers as well. As a reminder I am in the building Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and AM Friday’s. 

     

    Please see the attached March calendar, and take note of a few events… First, Japan Night!  I hope that all of you, regardless of language, will come to Japan Night!  This is an awesome event with performances, activities and food. Second, Coffee Hour.  Somehow in the eNEWS there was a mistake with the time of coffee hour.  March’s coffee hour will be from 8:10-9 in the LSA classroom.  I apologize for the miscommunication. Third, you will notice the Art classes. These are lessons that the artist in residence conducts with each class.  We are so thankful to PTA for funding this amazing opportunity each year!  Fourth, the 4th grade and 2nd grade musical performances are in March.  Thank you to Ms. Ahmed and the students for working so hard to prepare amazing concerts.

    Lastly, it’s time again to start thinking about hosting an intern next year… Soon more information will be sent out, but it’s never too early to start talking to your family about whether or not you would like to host an intern!  We will be looking for families for 4-5 Spanish interns and 2-3 Japanese interns.

     

    Thoughtfully,

     

    Sarah

     

     

    Sarah Jones

    Principal, John Stanford International School

    4057 5th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105

    sajones1@seattleschools.org

    twitter: @jsisprincipal

    Office: 206.252.6080

    Fax: 206.252.6081