Sunday, January 15, 2017

Community Service Recognition and Family Learning Opportunities

Students representing Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) present their annual grants

We recognized 763 students this past Wednesday evening for their service of at least 25 hours to our community during 2016. It is always one my favorite events of the year, as it is done in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King and represents students giving of their time to individuals and organizations that are meaningful to them. Thank you to staff members Melissa Dempsey, Kay Steeves, Shannon Dandridge, Glenn Manning, and all who contributed to make it a successful event.

YIP advisory Sara Clinton and students presenting this year's grant awards

Three upcoming ABRSD Family Learning Series events may be of interest to you:

January 25, 2017: Pamela Katz Ressler on Mindfulness
Audience: Grades PK-12
RJ Grey Auditorium

Please take a few moments to check out the ABRSD's January Expanding Our Notion of Success newsletter, which focuses on mindfulness.  ​Author Patricia Jennings defines mindfulness as "attending to things in the moment with curiosity and acceptance."   

This month’s newsletter contains a variety of resources about mindfulness: how it appears in our schools, video resources, apps, books, and more.  We hope that you will find some of these useful.

February 6, 2017:  Dr. Josephine Kim
Let's Talk! Bridging the Cultural Gap Between You and Your Child
Audience: Grades PK-12 and students grades 6-12
ABRHS Auditorium

February 13, 2017: Chris Herren
Rebound: The Chris Herren Story
Audience: Grades 6-12 and students ages 13 and up
Location: ABRHS Auditorium
If you haven’t had the chance, I encourage you to spend some time on our district's AB Wellness website, created by Assistant Superintendents Dr. Dawn Bentley and Deborah Bookis to learn about our efforts to support our long-range strategic plan, which focuses on wellness, equity, and engagement. This positive, proactive approach to social and emotional learning and wellness will continue to be our district's focus.

In continuing support of our high school students, our counselors and psychologists have now visited all 10th and 11th grade classes to share a presentation and discussion about depression, suicide, and how to ask for help on behalf of themselves or on behalf of friends about whom they have concerns. The therapy dogs are with us at least once each month, and we will be offering our students a variety of wellness-oriented activities during Midyear Week. Beginning this month, our extended Advisory lessons are focused on community building, anti-bullying, building empathy, and mindfulness. 

Our high school staff continues to keep in their thoughts the staff members, students, and families who have been most impacted by the death of an elementary school student last weekend. I met with my Principal's Advisory seniors on Tuesday, and I was heartened by the care, concern, and perspective they held for others during this difficult time. We talked about the influence of social media during times like this, and they made me very proud with their clear and firm stance that negative, critical messages are not helpful as we work to support each other within our school community. Their positive leadership continues to inspire.

I hope you are enjoying the long weekend~