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Nathan Notes

Special Update from Mrs. Loy

May 29, 2017

Dear Hawk Families,

I have some great news for the week. To begin with, we had no new cases of flu virus reported on Thursday or Friday this past week.  With our virus numbers down, I am so happy to report that at 10:55 Tuesday morning, we will open the play structures for students during recess.  We will continue to be diligent with our hand washing, before and after every activity, as we do have several events that will be taking place this week:

Wednesday, May 31st, from 3-4:30, is our Parent Appreciation Tea. This year, it will be held in the Outdoor Classroom.

Wednesday, May 31st, our kindergarten performance for parents will take place in the cafeteria from 9:30-10:00am.

Friday, June 2, our 3rd grade students will be traveling to Almaden Swim and Racquet Club. Students will need to wash hands before boarding the buses. Students will not be permitted to share their lunches.

We will continue to keep a close eye on absences that may be flu related, and will adjust activities and events as needed.  Thank you all for your support as we have worked to eliminate this bug.

Kind Regards,
Carmen Loy

A Message From Ms. Loy, Principal

May 4, 2017

Dear Hacienda families,

The school year has flown by, and we are in the final weeks before summer is upon us. We have wrapped up our Earth Day celebration, Going Native Garden Tours, and even our Spring Fling is a recent memory.

HIPS will soon be voting on the budget for next year, and as a result, I would like to take this opportunity to share some important information about the Recess 101 program, which HIPS currently funds.

The program costs approximately $26,000 per year. Occasionally, parents have asked what that $26,000 pays for. It pays for a lot! I don’t think we can put a price on the benefit that this program has in meeting the social and emotional needs of our students.

Recess 101 begins with the coach teaching students the procedures and rules for the games that are played during recess and lunch, and teaching strategies for conflict resolution. This ensures that students are all playing by the same rules, and helps students resolve their differences when someone is called, “out.” The coach sets up a game of the week, however, there is ample space and opportunity for students to have unstructured free play, as well, if they do not choose to participate in one of the games.

Once all of the procedures and routines are in place, 4th and 5th grade students are trained as Recess Leaders, which builds their leadership skills, and provides another layer of support in assisting our younger students to resolve their differences.

Recess 101 does not in any way replace physical education instruction (which is mandated by the state of California, and which includes 200 minutes of PE instruction every two weeks). It does, however, support students’ health by providing additional exercise during Physical Activity Classes. Each month, the coach and the teacher provide instruction together that reinforce the games and rules that students commonly play on the playground. Thus, students are playing by the rules, and teachers are learning the rules. This can sometimes, coincidentally, take place during PE time, although the PAC classes only happen once per month. While teachers are supervising during recess, it is very helpful for them to have this knowledge to support and understand any problems that arise during this time.

The final piece of the Recess 101 program typically takes place in the Spring, and includes tournaments that are based on the preferences of games that students play throughout the year. These, like most of the Recess 101 activities (except PAC classes), are completely optional for students.
Students are free to create their own activities (and many do!) on the grass or on the play structures.

When students can respond to each other with a, “Good job, nice try!” and an encouraging comment during games, students’ self-esteem flourishes. The primary intent behind Recess 101 is to provide social and emotional support for students during play time. It is, in my opinion, some of the most important money that HIPS spends.

I hope that you agree.

Kind regards,

Carmen Loy
Hacienda Principal