Fairmeadow Elementary School eNews

Where Learning is a Team Sport!
November 14 , 2016
Fairmeadow News
Principal's Message
Greetings Fairmeadow Community,

One of the most important goals of our work as educators is to develop, nurture, and celebrate critical thinking by our students. We empower children to ask questions, to examine the world around them, and to articulate their ideas and their role in making those ideas a reality. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, many children in our community are asking hard questions, and working to make meaning of this significant political change for our country. Teachers continue to work with care, caution, and purpose to create safe spaces for children to express their questions, their concerns, and their insights. Our classrooms are powerful places, growing opportunities for our children through each new learning, every day. Our young learners are preparing themselves to lead us into the future, and I have endless confidence and optimism for the change they will seek for our world. We have a unique responsibility, and a renewed sense of importance, to ensure that the education our children experience in our classrooms serves as a powerful tool building our future. Please join me in celebrating our students, in encouraging their thirst for knowledge, and in working toward their hopes and dreams for our world.

Last Thursday, November 10th marked the end of the first trimester of instruction at Fairmeadow, and students have made noteworthy social, emotional, and academic growth during this first one-third of the school year. This milestone presents a great opportunity to reflect with your child about the many ways he or she has grown and changed during the first months of school. One way that your child's teacher will be providing feedback to you about your child's growth is through the elementary school progress report. The purpose of this progress report is to communicate students' social-emotional learning and academic progress based on Palo Alto Unified School District expectations and informed by the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The progress report highlights current performance levels, student strengths, and areas of concern in all subjects, as well as in areas of social and emotional development. Teachers will be sending home your child's progress report on or before Tuesday, November 22nd. Please communicate with your child's teacher if you have questions about the contents of this report.

Parents, please let me know if you have the interest and availability to help our school develop our new and innovative Fairmeadow Design Studio! Last year, our School Site Council and our Fairmeadow Leadership team took on a deep analysis of the Next Generation Science Standards in order to plan for the important instructional shifts on the horizon in science education. Planned for full implementation in 2017/18, the Next Generation Science Standards emphasize the interconnected nature of science concepts, they focus on student application of content understanding, and they promote design thinking and engineering through instruction K-12. Groups of Fairmeadow teacher and community leaders reached consensus that in order for teachers to support students through the design and engineering process, we need a space for an abundance of materials and tools, that encourages creativity, modeling, and problem solving within science. Our Design Studio space is taking shape, and thanks to our generous PTA we have the funding to make this vision for science learning and education a reality. Please send me an email if you would like to volunteer on our Fairmeadow Design Studio Planning Committee to get this important learning environment ready for our students and teachers. I anticipate this will require participation in a monthly meeting as well as miscellaneous ordering, inventorying, and planning responsibilities. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for encouraging our creative students, for contributing to our vibrant community, and for supporting our strong school.

Grant Althouse

PTAC  News
Financial & Legal Planning for Students with Challenges
Wed, Nov 16, 7-9 pm, Santa Rita Elementary, 700 Los Altos Rd, Los Altos
Whether your student's challenges are mild or severe, hear this expert panel describe the long-term financial planning and legal checkpoints parents may encounter. Topics will include financial planning, trusts and special needs trusts, conservatorships, SSI/SSDI benefits, and Medi-Cal benefits. Panel members includes Ken Prodger, Ann Robbeloth, Lisa C. Bryant and Sara E. Hire. For more information, go to cacpaloalto.org or contact paloaltocac@gmail.com.

The next monthly support group for parents of students with IEPs, 504s, and learning differences will meet on November 14th from 7-9 pm in the Los Altos Library. All are welcome, participants are asked to respect confidentiality.
ADHD and Barriers to Learning: How Working Memory, Processing Speed, and Executive Functioning Challenges Impact Functioning
Thu, Nov 17, 9-11:00 am, Terman Middle School Cafetorium (check-in at Front Office for a visitor badge)
Learn about how children and adolescents with ADHD often have barriers to learning that are outside the diagnostic criteria of the disorder (e.g., weaknesses in attention and impulse-control). Dr. Vivien Keil, Neuropsychologist at Children's Health Council, will describe why it is crucial to consider these areas, specifically weaknesses in working memory, processing speed, and executive functioning as these are often just as impairing, if not more impairing, than the core symptoms of ADHD, particularly as students get older and the academic demands increase dramatically in middle and high schools. Attendees will learn ways to manage these areas of weakness, with a focus on compensatory strategies that parents and teachers can use to help support their students. Presented by the Parents Education Network and co-hosted by Terman Middle School and Palo Alto CAC for Special Education. Free for PAUSD parents and staff. Spanish translation available. RSVP here or contact paloaltocac@gmail.com.
La tarea TDAH y Barreras para el aprendizaje: Como Trabaja la Memoria, la velocidad de procesamiento y el funcionamiento ejecutivo a los desafíos de Impacto
Cuándo: Jueves 17 de Noviembre 9 a 11 am
Donde: Terman Middle School, 655 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto
Vivien Keil, PhD, Neuropsicólogo Personal y Gerente de Programa Clínico en el Consejo de Salud Infantil.  Los asistentes aprenderán sobre cómo los niños y adolescentes con TDAH con frecuencia tienen barreras para el aprendizaje que están fuera de los criterios de diagnóstico de la trastorno (por ejemplo, deficiencias en la atención y control de impulsos). Es crucial considerar estas áreas, específicamente las deficiencias en la memoria de trabajo, velocidad de procesamiento, y el funcionamiento ejecutivo, ya que son a menudo y sin menoscabar, el mayor deterioro, las de los síntomas principales del TDAH, especialmente cuando los alumnos crecen y aumentan dramáticamente las exigencias académicas, como en las escuelas intermedias y secundarias. Los asistentes aprenderán la forma de gestionar estas áreas de debilidad, con un enfoque en estrategias compensatorias que los padres y los maestros pueden utilizar para ayudar a sus estudiantes. Presentado por Parents Education Network y co-organizado por Terman Middle School y Palo Alto Community Advisory Committee for Special Education. Gratis para padres y personal del PAUSD. Comuníquese con paloaltocac@gmail.com o con RSVP aquí.

Community  News
Family Holiday Volunteering
If you're looking for a way to get your family into the holiday spirit by helping others, check out Family Holiday Helpers, a non-profit website created by a mom of two PAUSD students to help families find local volunteering opportunities during the holiday season. There are a variety of local opportunities for families, such as prepping/serving food for Thanksgiving, working a shift at a food bank or holiday warehouse, or donating food or gifts for those in need. Happy volunteering!
Dance Connection's 18th Annual Nutcracker Ballet
Fri, Dec 2, 7 pm & Sat, Dec 3, 4 pm, Smithwick Theater, Foothill College
Mark your calendars for Dance Connection's 18th Annual Nutcracker Ballet! An entertaining, child-friendly, and professionally executed production the whole family will enjoy! Tickets go on sale through the Dance Connection website beginning October 24th. Reserved seating. More info here.
Make a difference: Tutor Low Income East Palo Alto 5th Graders in Reading or Writing (8 one-hour sessions)
If you've enjoyed helping in your own child's classroom, or just love literacy, please consider tutoring 5th graders at Brentwood School in East Palo Alto (near IKEA). It is a special project to work with low income students from February 6th to March 31st. Volunteers would work in the same classroom one day per week for an hour, either at 9:45 am (reading) or 11:40 am (writing). All Students Matter provides a brief training in January and coordinates all details. You can make a real difference! To sign up, visit allstudentsmatter.org or to learn more contact Keri Tully.
Society of Bookworms Book Club - The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
Wed, Nov 16, 4-5 pm, Children's Library, 1276 Harriet St
Discuss a great book with your friends at the library! Grades 4-6.
Friday Fun
1st Friday of Every Month, 3:30-5 pm, Children's Library, 1276 Harriet St
Drop in for board games, simple crafts, and a couple of rounds of Bingo!
Lego Friday
3rd Friday of Every Month, 3:30-5 pm, Children's Library, 1276 Harriet St
Let your imagination soar and come build with us! No registration required. For all ages.
Family Date Night - Let's Glow! A Mind Glowing 
Fri, Nov 18, 7-8:15 pm, Children's Library, 1276 Harriet St
Join us for games, crafts, and glowing fun!
Afternoon Adventure: Movie Showing
Wed, Nov 23, 3:30-5 pm, Children's Library, 1276 Harriet St
Relax and enjoy a movie and snacks at the Children's Library. Grades K-5. No registration required.

Archives and Publication Guidelines
Fairmeadow eNews is a publication of the Fairmeadow PTA. Previous editions of eNews can be found at the  eNews archive  page.  Please see the PTA website for the eNews Publication Guidelines If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact  Christy Moision , Fairmeadow's eNews editor.
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Important Dates
Nov 23-27 Thanksgiving - No School
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