Issue 31: April 23, 2021

From the Elementary Principal

Dear Parents,

After more than a year of COVID closures and irregularities, how can we help our children finish the year in an effective, meaningful way?

Recognize the source of stress

When we are stressed, our bodies produce neurochemicals, including the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. When these build up over time, they can have a very harsh impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing—and potentially cause dysregulated behavior. While much time has been spent wondering when things will return to normal, let us be mindful of our elevated levels of stress caused by the disruptions brought on by the pandemic. Daily reminders of God’s grace and the fact that each day is a gift will help us regulate our stress levels and decrease dysregulated behaviors.

Establish safety

We simply cannot be ourselves when we feel unsafe. Maintaining school and home environments for our children, whether virtual or in person, that foster a combination of physical, relational, and emotional safety is essential.

Relational safety: Trusting that the people in our lives will protect and support us no matter what. We must let our children know that we care about them even when they make mistakes or misbehave.

Emotional safety: This occurs when we bolster our stress management skills and give our students and children frequent opportunities to practice these skills so they become healthy habits. These skills could include:

  • identifying those moments when we are feeling stressed.
  • expressing verbally our emotions so that others might better understand and support us.
  • letting go of minor irritations which tend to build up and appear enormous.

Build connections

Caring relationships help us:

  • compose ourselves when we’re under stress.
  • keep us healthy in the face of adversity.
  • heal us from trauma.

In this current era of social distancing, it is vital to strengthen relationships. Here are some examples of ways we can support our students and each other:

  • Try to create opportunities for children/students to connect and have fun with each other, even if it’s in a virtual or distanced setting.
  • Allow them to socialize outside—while following any health guidelines your family deem appropriate, of course, given the current state of the world.
  • Give them a chance to make cards or write letters to family members.
  • Celebrate acts of kindness and altruism.

Take time to admire the positive!

Even small bursts of positive emotions like joy, gratitude, and compassion help us stay resilient in the face of major stressors. They keep our frontal lobes engaged, which allows us to think and act with intention instead of simply reacting. We must try to give students the chance each day to share something positive or good going on in their lives or in the world.

We’re still right in the middle of challenging times, and it is understood that more tough days are ahead. Let us act with thoughtful intention about how to help, as opposed to inadvertently harming. We will come out of this pandemic stronger, wiser, and more compassionate.

Neil Cantrall,
Elementary Principal

Adapted from the article by Dr. Joyce Dorado titled:
A year with COVID: Five ways to foster well-being and resilience in the classroom

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Drama Announcement

Thank you and congratulations to all our drama cast and crew!
The performance was amazing and you all worked so hard and did a great job.

Stay tuned…June 5 we will have a red carpet movie premiere for our community! Tickets will be on sale soon!

BOB Intraschool Battle!

Please encourage our BAIS Battle of the Books team members as they participate in the intraschool BOB battle over Zoom on Thursday, April 29th!

Summer Programs for High School Students

Reminder to check out the list of summer programs!

Throughout the school year, we receive information about summer programs at universities around the world. We have combined it into one document for quick access and would like to pass that information along for you and your student to look into. Please be aware that some due dates are coming up quickly.

Check out this link for a list of summer programs.

PSAT 8/9 & PSAT 10 Scores

For the students who took the PSAT at the beginning of March, scores have been posted to the student’s CollegeBoard accounts.

Students can read how to connect their score report to Khan Academy for an individualized study plan.

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