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Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences  

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences
It is important for your child's welfare that we work together in his/her educational development. Parent-Teacher-Student conferences will be scheduled twice yearly for this purpose, but don't wait for them if you suspect a problem is developing or if you would like further suggestions on how to help your child.


Several families have commented that their child has trouble mastering basic math facts—but they get bored with "flash cards." Is there anything else they can do to provide help that avoids flash cards?
Many kids make it to junior high without knowing basic math facts. They can’t instantly recall the product of 9 x 8. They don't look at 7 + 5 and think 12. This can make math much more difficult for them. These activities can help:
  • Hot Potato. Call out a problem (such as 8 x 8) when you pitch a ball, beanbag, or potato to your child. See if he can say the answer before he catches it. Let him quiz you, too!
  • One minute tests. Twice a week write out (or computer generate) 50 problems. Time your child to see how many he can answer in a minute, Consider giving a reward if he beats his last score.
  • Multiplication Cards. Remove the face cards from a card deck. Each player turns over one card. The player who says the product of the cards first wins them. Go through the entire stack.
  • Beat the calculator. Write problems on slips of paper. Put them face down. After you flip one over, see if your child can say the answer before you solve it with a calculator.
For more helpful ideas check out math links in the resource center.

Are You Helping Your Child Get Organized?
How do you do at helping your child get organized?
Most students need help with organizational skills. Here's a quiz to see how you're doing. Give yourself five points for something you do often, zero points for something you never do--or any score in between.
_____ 1. I help my child get ready for the next school day at night.
_____ 2. I make sure that my child and I are aware of important school dates and events.
_____ 3. I advise my child to start long-term projects in advance and do a little each day.
_____ 4. I give my child a place to store school supplies.
_____ 5. I encourage my child to use an assignment notebook and calendar.
_____ 6. I regularly check my child's assignment book.
How did you score? Twenty-five points or above is good. Twenty to twenty-four is average. Below 20? Use the ideas in this quiz to improve your child's organization.
All children need rules and expectations to help them learn appropriate behavior. Family rules protect, support, and guide children. And they can keep your family life running smoothly.
Take this quiz to find out if the rules you set are appropriate. Give yourself five points for something you do often, zero points for something you never do--or any score in between.

___ 1. I give my child as much say as possible when making rules.
___ 2. I keep in mind that rules should teach children something--like how to care, share, or be safe. So when making a rule, I ask, "What do I want my child to learn from this?"
___ 3. I follow the same family rules I expect my child to follow. If the rule is, "Don't hit," I expect my child not to hit. And I don't hit either.
___ 4. I make sure the rules take into account my child's age and the environment. For in stance, a two-year-old doesn't understand time. So I wouldn't make a rule of, "Pick up your toys by five o'clock." And I might allow jumping on the trampoline, but not on the bed.
___ 5. I make rules my child can understand. I tell him "why" a rule is necessary.
How did you score? A score of 20 points or above is good. Fifteen to 19 points is average. Below 15? Try some of the ideas in this quiz.

Attendance is a key to your child’s success! Schools can’t do their job if your child is absent. Learning builds day by day. A child who misses a day of school misses a day of learning.
  • Research shows that attendance is the single most important factor in school success.
  • Research shows that children who are in school most of the time do better on standardized tests. Studies also show that absences affect test scores.
  • Being late for school hurts a child’s learning, too. A student who is 10 minutes late every day will miss 39 hours of instruction during the year. Children can copy notes or make up an assignment, but they will never get back what’s most important: the discussion, the questions, the explanations by the teacher, the discovery, and the thinking that makes the learning come alive.
How to Improve Your Child’s Attendance
Parents have the greatest influence on their child's performance in school. Research shows that parents affect the quality of a child's work just by being in the same room with them while they are doing their work.
  • Value education yourself and talk to your child about the importance of a good education.
  • Avoid scheduling family trips or medical appointments during school hours.
  • Accept no excuses from your child about why they should miss school or be late.
  • Support the school and its policies.
  • Talk to your child each day about what happens at school.
  • Talk with your child about the importance of punctuality and attending school regularly.
Parents are Teachers Too!
You have the greatest influence on your child. You determine how well your child will do in school. Pretty scary, isn’t it? With that kind of pressure, what’s a parent to do?
  • Stay involved, find ways to say “I love you” every day--no matter what your child’s age.
  • Make time to talk with your child and really listen to what they say.
  • Monitor your children’s school work. Talk to them about their progress and let them know you are proud of their accomplishments.
Recently, a parent commented, "Our family is so busy. My kids always have music lessons, soccer, etc. It seems we never have any time together."
Sound familiar? Usually the question that follows is, "What can we do?"
After-school activities do offer children a chance to make friends, learn responsibility, and develop skills. When kids are overloaded, however, they may becomes stressed and anxious. Children need "down time" to relax, think, and unwind. And they need this time often.
To help avoid overscheduling your kids, try these ideas:
  • Have a family meeting to discuss how things are going. Ask your child for her opinions.
  • Set limits, such as one or two after-school commitments at a time. Remind your child that studying comes first.
  • Space out activities. Consider scheduling lessons every other week for example.
  • Plan a "Family Night" that includes favorite pastimes, such as making homemade pizza.
  • Hang out. Provide opportunities for conversation. Meals and car trips are great chances to catch up.
  • Putting limits on after-school activities sends the message to your child that school is a priority.
This is an excellent time to check out your child's classroom, listen to his/her teacher share about goals for the upcoming year, and connect with other families.
The more you know about your child's school, the more comfortable you'll feel with it--and the better equipped you'll be to help your child. To make the most of this year's Back-to-School Night:
  • Be there. This shows teachers and your child that school is important to you.
  • Plan to speak up. This on what you want to know about your child's classes. Write down the questions ahead of time.
  • Get your child's input. What would he like you to ask or tell teachers? Is there anything he wants you to notice about his classroom or school?
  • Listen to what teachers say with an open mind. Don't tune out thins that seem unrelated to your child now. They may be useful later.
  • Take notes. It's hard to remember all of the helpful information provided. Write down anything that relates to your child.
  • Meet other parents. It's amazing how many common concerns you'll have. Exchange numbers and stay in touch.
  • Share what you've learned with your child. If you have negative reactions, though, sleep on them. Give yourself a chance to think them over. It's important not to hurt your child's attitude towards learning.
Attend Back-to-School Night and volunteer to help in ways you'll enjoy. Show your child that school is a family priority!

Children want to know where parents draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Boundaries make them feel safe. Although not always fun, setting limits for children is important.
Parents often have to set limits. It's an essential part of their job. Often this involves saying "no." But this simple word can frustrate kids who hear it too much. And it can lead to power struggles. Continue saying "no" when necessary, but try using these phrases too.
  • "Yes." Make it conditional. For instance, "Yes, you can watch TV after you finish your homework," Or, "Yes, you can go to Sarah's. But you need to finish cleaning your room first."
  • "I have an idea." Offer another choice. "We don't have pizza. But I have an idea! Let's make your favorite--tacos." The alternative should be as pleasing as possible.
  • "Let me think about it." It's tempting to say "no" when you're tired or grumpy. But a few extra minutes of thinking might change your mind--and avoid an argument.
  • "I wish we could." Sometimes kids want the impossible, such as an unaffordable vacation. Daydreaming can help. You might say, "I wish we could go. What would you like to see there?"
For additional resources and ideas on setting limits with your children, check out the following:
Setting limits plays an important part in disciplining children. For parents, the goal of setting limits and disciplining children is to foster and develop children's inner self-control. By setting limits, parents communicate certain expectations of children's behavior.
What's the one thing that you can give to your child and you will never hear them say - "Oh, thanks. I really needed that!"? The answer is limits. So what are limits and why are they so important in parenting?
Build your child's self-esteem by listening and talking about issues important to them.
Many middle schoolers become critical of themselves. They say things like, "I'm so dumb!" Your first impulse may be to disagree: "You are not!" But if your child responds, "Yes, I am," you're stuck going back and forth.
Try a comment like this: "Why do you say that?" Really talk out the issue. Chances are, you're child won't be able to back up her criticisms. Then when you tell her the truth--"You are smart...and getting smarter everyday," she'll be able to agree.

Are you the parent of a child who's glued to your lap at birthday parties? Do you often hear, "I can't do it!" or "I don't want to try it"? If so, you're probably concerned about your child's self-confidence. All kids need a boost at one time or another.
Happily, there are a few things you can do to help your child feel more capable and successful. Here are some suggestions.
  • Focus on the positive. Point out your child's accomplishments--no matter how small. "You poured milk on your cereal all by yourself!" Also, give lots of encouragement when she's not successful. Remind her that most things take practice, and she can try again another time. This will help her feel good about attempting new things.
  • Kids' choices count. Whenever possible, give your child the chance to make decisions. For instance, does he think Grandma would like a new sweater or plant for her windowsill? Asking for his opinion and taking his suggestions seriously will build his confidence.
  • Added responsibility. Meaningful chores teach responsibility and help make children feel great about helping. They can care for pets, pick up toys, dust, set the table, make beds, and water plants. It always helps to point out a job well done.
Remember: Playing with others can help your child feel more confident socially. And maybe then he'll hop off our lap and join the party.
Are you fighting with your child over math? Do his math papers keep getting "lost" or come home marked incomplete, fix, or do over? Or worse, has he stopped trying to do math?
Students are being introduced to more abstract math concepts. If they've missed basic concepts along the way, they can't keep up in class.
When this happens, they get anxious and defensive. Their lack of confidence grows and can cripple them in school and in life.
This is when parents must step in. Taking these steps can help:
  • Really listen to your child. Express some sympathy when he complains, "I don't get it!" Say it's tough. Then ask questions to find out what part is confusing.
  • Get familiar with the math concepts your child is learning. Look through his math text.
  • Don't try to reteach your child. Your approach might conflict with the teacher's.
  • Make the teacher an ally. Ask how she views your child's progress. Are his difficulties common for his grade? What special help can you, she, and the school provide?
Be prepared to eliminate clashes when your child is frustrated by math.
Parents often see crying as a behavioral “problem”—like biting and hitting. But child development experts suggest otherwise.
Children often cry to relieve stress. Their tears help them heal their personal frustrations, discomfort, emotional hurts, and disappointments. Although crying doesn’t make a frustrating situation go away or remove the hurt from an unpleasant experience, it does help make children feel better.
When your child cries:
  • Don’t say, “Don’t cry.” Remember, crying is a natural, acceptable, and healthy way to express feelings.
  • Don’t threaten or punish. “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about!”
  • Don’t bribe. “Stop crying and I’ll give you a cookie.”
  • Don’t tease. “You’re being a sissy.”
Instead, you should:
  • Acknowledge your child’s feelings. “You’re feeling angry right now, aren’t you?”
  • Use nonverbal expression to let your child know he’s loved and accepted. Look. Listen. Smile kindly.
  • Get closer, but not if this makes your child repress his crying.
  • Hold your child. Let him hang on and sob.
Sometimes a child’s only way to communicate how he feels is nonverbally.
Your child has scheduled two activities for the same day and time. Her little brother is driving her crazy. Or she borrowed a friend's CD player and broke it. Whatever the problem, she wants you to solve it.
Often it's better to back off. Give your child a chance to figure things out. Be available to listen to alternatives and discuss them. Talk about possible consequences.
Your child just may come up with a perfect solution. Meanwhile, she'll build important skills and self-confidence, too!
Letting kids solve some of their own problems builds confidence and responsibility.
Children are naturally self-centered. It's as if mirrors surround them. They can only see and think of themselves.
To become caring, sensitive people, they must learn to see and think of others' feelings and needs. Help kids see and think of the needs and feeling of others.
To help your child become more aware of things outside himself:
  • Play "The Noticing Game." Do this when you're traveling or at an unfamiliar place. Without a warning, ask your child to close and cover his eyes. See how well he can describe the scene. Let him initiate the game with you another time.
  • Put yourself in pictures. Find pictures in magazines of diverse situations. Take turns looking at a picture and describing how that person might feel. Start at the physical level. Imagine what people in the picture see and hear. Are they cold or warm? Then imagine how they feel emotionally.
  • Look and listen for needs. Have family members notice the people in need they see throughout the day. Talk about how you can help.
If your child sees a friend who is discouraged, he could offer support. If he has a classmate who is insecure, he could give a compliment. If he sees a child who seems lonely, he could take time to talk. He could include that child in activities.
Praise your child for making an effort to help those in need.
Have you noticed that sometimes middle school students can appear to be disorganized? How many of your first learned about a major project the night before it was due? You've probably talked many times about his need to improve, but it just hasn't seemed to help. What more should you do? Still struggling to get your child organized?

Try these six tips.
  • Stick to family routines. Eat, sleep, and do homework at about the same times every day.
  • Choose a study spot. Include an easy–to-use system for storing supplies and filing papers.
  • Use "to-do" lists. Have your child keep a small notebook/planner handy. Suggest he use to not only make lists of assignments, but also chores and other tasks. Check this notebook/planner frequently.
  • Maintain a calendar. He can note due dates, steps towards reaching goals, special events, and more.
  • Be consistent. Always putting things in the same place means your child will always know where they are.
  • Plan for the next day every night. Confirm who will be doing what when. Lay out clothes. Pack lunches. Put schoolwork by the door.
Students have so many interests--school, extracurricular activities, how to fit in with peers--that concentrating on one thing may become difficult.
That's especially true if the one thing is her homework or a chore you've asked her to do.
Parents can teach their children how to cope with everyday distractions. Try these ideas to help your child get focused:
  • Be supportive at homework time. This is different from sitting down with your child and walking her through her assignments. Instead, encourage and monitor your child from a slight distance. Let her know that you believe she can do the work. Offer a snack or drink after she's worked for a chunk of time. Offer suggestions for finding help--a book, the Internet, or a homework hotline.
  • Keep it short and sweet. You may find yourself thinking that your child's attention span hasn't been this short since she was a toddler, and you're probably tight! Before you're halfway through a lecture about feeding the dog, your child has tuned you out. Instead, try, "Anne, Dog. Please."
  • Encourage note-taking. Writing down instructions has helped many students! Do this for your child at home, and encourage it to be done at school when her teacher is giving directions or assignments to the whole class.
Children can be unkind to one another. Learning how to deal with teasing is an important skill for children at all levels of development. It's especially important if your child stands out at school because of an ethnic difference, a learning challenge, or a physical trait. Equip and empower your child what to say to others who may tease them.
Share these suggestions with your child:
  • Practice standing up for yourself. Use your words to tell the other person how that makes you feel. It's hard to accept teasing without getting angry or sad. But these emotions are exactly what the teaser hopes to achieve. Instead, practice looking someone in the eye and say something like, "I don't like it when you say that about me," or "You can talk, but I don't have to listen to those kinds of comments."
  • Choose friends carefully. Not everyone is a teaser. In fact, most kids look down on those who are cruel to others. Stick with a couple of supportive friends.
  • Be a friend. Don't tease others. If you treat others unkindly, you can expect to be treated that way yourself. Being kind and friendly to everyone will eventually earn you lot of respect.

The holidays are filled with food, fun, and family. But they can also be a time when children feel stressed from too much activity, too much sugar, and not enough sleep. Simply taking time to go for a walk or have some outdoor fun can help reduce holiday overload for you and family.
Here are some tips on keeping your child calm and ready for learning during the holiday season:
  • Stick to routines when you can. Make routines for meals and bedtime high priorities.
  • Follow traditions. Whether it's serving a special food or reading a favorite story, be sure to stick to your traditions.
  • Limit sweets. Between grandma's fudge and Aunt Dee's cookies, your child could eat a lot of sugar over the holidays. Limit the sweets your child consumes.
  • Build in quiet time. The holidays can be frantic. Allow a few extra minutes before bedtime for some quiet reading and snuggle time. Turn on some soothing music before dinner.
  • Focus on giving. Bake cookies to give to a neighbor. Buy a toy for a toy drive.
"I feel like I'm always telling my child to hurry up!" Does that ever sound like you? You don't want to rush your child, but he/she has a tendency to dawdle. How can you help without nagging?
A little dawdling is OK. Curious children enjoy taking time to watch a cat sleep. Or they ponder the movements of a clock. This helps them learn. But when kids dawdle too much, it keeps them from important tasks, such as doing homework or getting to school on time. Try these simple tips to keep your child on task and finish a job:
  • Be clear about time. Your statements should be specific. "Please get dressed and brush your teeth now," is better than "You need to get ready to go."
  • Follow up. If you say, "It's time to do homework," make sure your child gets started. Don't get distracted by a phone call and then have to make the same request again.
  • Avoid overwhelming your child. If you ask her to do several things at once, she may do the first task, but forget what else she was supposed to do.
  • Use when/then sentences to encourage success. "When you get in bed, then I'll read you a story."
Your fifth-grader says he hates math. His grades are still fine, but you can sense trouble up ahead. He rushes through his homework. He makes careless mistakes. The thought of working with flashcards makes him roll his eyes and he refuses. Sound familiar? What can you do?
Fifth grade is an important year. If your son doesn't master basic math facts and skills now, he'll fall farther and farther behind. So it is important that you help your son see why math is important, and also realize that he can do it.
Help your son see how math relates to the things he enjoys. Does he like sports? Suggest that he keep statistics on his favorite player. Does he like to be the first one to figure things out? Get him a book of logic puzzles.
Also help him see how you use math in daily life. Put him in charge of figuring out how many miles your car drives on a gallon of gas. Let him do some research on something he wants the family to buy--how much would you save if you bought it on sale?
Use a deck of cards to make math review a game. Draw three or four cards and lay them on the table. Using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, see who can come up with the greatest number of different answers in five minutes.
Help your fifth-grader see that math is both useful and fun! Then watch as his interest and his math grades begin to soar.
Where can your child explore far away places or go on wild adventures--while putting reading skills into practice? At the library!
Why not visit the quiet coolness of your local library and discover what it has to offer.
Check it out. If your child doesn't have a library card, take a few minutes to get one. Then watch the proud expression on his face when he gets to use it for the first time. (Tip: If it's your child's first visit to the library, ask the librarian if someone can give you a tour.)
  • Find answers. Whether your child loves snakes, stars, or seals, the library has lots of sources that are loaded with information. Try books, magazines, books on tape, encyclopedias, and even videos and DVDs!
  • Point and click. Your library should have computers available for your child to use. Learning to use a computer is an important skill for the future. Play educational games or surf the net for sights safe for kids. (Tip: Watch your kids on facebook.com--it's the #1 site for online predators!)
  • Get involved. Ask about summer reading programs. Then offer small rewards like stickers, bookmarks, or Jamba Juice. Take advantage of other library programs--story times, visiting authors, family nights, and puppet shows.
Visit your local library for some great summer ideas!
Elementary-age children are still developing their ability to store and retrieve information. So they forget their books, their homework and even their lunches.
It's tempting to keep track of your child's things. But this won't help him in the long run. His success in school will depend on his ability to take responsibility for himself and his belongings.
Doing these things will help him get started:
  • Write down what you expect your child to do. Post lists of his morning responsibilities, weekly chores, and items he needs for school.
  • Show your trust. Let your child know you believe he can be responsible for what's on his lists.
  • Establish a routine. Have your child show you his completed list before he can play.
  • Help your child figure out where to store things when he's not using them.
  • Set a good example. Know where you put your keys. Check your calendar to prepare for the next day.
  • Show your child how to keep his own weekly calendar. Use your child's daily planner to help her learn how to be organized.
  • Let your child experience the consequences of forgetting. Don't bring his homework to school when he forgets it.
  • Praise your child when he remembers to do what he's supposed to do.
Click here to learn more about teaching your child to be more responsible?

You'd never let a toddler play with matches. You'd never let your child jump off a bridge. But when it comes to setting other kinds of limits, some parents just give in.
Sometimes they are trying to protect their children from failure. And sometimes they're just tired out and want to avoid an argument.
But setting limits is one of your most important jobs. Observing limits will help your child develop the self-discipline needed to follow directions and concentrate in school. As a result she'll be more likely to do well and be a successful student.
Here are some tips:
  • Start with a behavior that matters to you. Limits are no good if they aren't enforced. If seeing clothes on the floor really drives you crazy, then that's a place to start.
  • Talk with your child about the limits. Tell your child why it's important to you. Start by asking for help rather than giving the impression that you're laying down the law.Work with your child to set up consequences. "If you don't pick up your clothes, then I won't wash them when I do the laundry."
  • Stick to the rules. Once you've set limits, you have to enforce them every time. Otherwise your child will learn that you don't mean what you say.
On average, American children spend more time watching TV than doing homework. The U.S. Department of Education also notes that when parents limit TV time, more homework gets done.
Schedule homework time first. Plan on 15 minutes per day for each year your child has been in school.
Then talk with your child about how much television and what programs he can watch.

There are times when your child may need medication (either prescription or non-prescription / over-the-counter items) during the day. With your child's heath and safety in mind, California state law specifies that children are not to administer prescription or non-prescription medications to themselves--this includes cough drops and Tylenol.
Any medication to be administered by school personnel must be accompanied by a written statement from the doctor detailing the method, amount, and time schedules by which such medication is to be taken. This form must be accompanied by a statement from the parent or guardian requesting school personnel to assist the student to take the medicine exactly as noted in the physician's note. Forms for these statements are available in the school office and online using the link below.
Please give all medications and consent forms to your child's teacher. Prescription medication must be in the original container with a prescription label stating the exact dosage.
Medications will be returned only to an adult when the time schedule for administering the medicine is finished.
Click here for online medication form.

Motivate Your Child to Love Reading
Once children can read on their own, they may not read as often. Here are some ways to make reading more fun:
  • Note your child's interests. Whatever he enjoys--from soccer to hamsters to dinosaurs--there is sure to be a book about it.
  • Share books you loved as a child. Take turns reading chapters aloud. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.
  • Look through a craft book. Start a project together. Have your child read the directions to you.
  • Encourage your child to read to someone younger. Say how proud you are that he is such a good reader.
  • Find answers in a book. For example, your child might ask, "What's that funny bug?" Visit the library to find out.
  • Set a good example. Choose a daily reading time, such as right before bed. Talk about how much you look forward to this relaxing time together.
Encourage your child to become a life-long reader and learner.

Parents Who Are Too Negative Send the Wrong Message
There isn't a parent among us who hasn't done battle with a child over the issue of homework. Parents should be involved with homework when children are in school. As they enter middle school, thought, parents should remained informed about tests and projects, but not become too involved.

Parents who are too involved:
  • Hover over their child as he works.
  • Get upset at mistakes their child makes.
  • Believe their child's success or failure confirms their success or failure as a parent.
  • Being too involved sends kids harmful messages like, "I don't think you're capable of doing this."
Such messages make kids feel guilty and incompetent. And being over-involved keeps kids dependent on you. They come to believe they can't do the work without you.
To ensure you're involved appropriately:
  • Provide a private place for your child to study.
  • Be less of a participant and more of a consultant to your child.
  • Make your interventions brief--a few minutes.
  • Suggest your child get help from the teacher.
"Please keep your sick child at home." It sounds like a logical, no-brainer--right? But it happens all the time. I've often wondered what goes through the mind of a harried/hurried parent that sends their sick child to school. I can certainly tell you what goes through the mind of a teacher (and it's not a very happy thought!).
I believe many parents feel (and hope) that their child will be just fine once they start participating in class.
I had a mother drop her son off for school one morning, telling me as she rushed out the door, "He threw up in the van, but he'll be fine once school gets started." The boy walked into the class and proceeded to vomit several times in several directions. Needless to say, the morning was disrupted, we started very late, the other children were exposed to the virus, our classroom had to get cleaned up and disinfected, and the sick child lay in misery until his mother returned.
The same is true in the classroom setting when a child isn't feeling well; learning isn't happening for that child and other children are being exposed to the "bug."
What's a family to do? Protect your child's health by making sure they have good nutrition, proper rest, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Teach them to wash their hands often, to cover their cough/sneeze, and not share towels, eating utensils, etc.
If your child seems ill, take his temperature and monitor him. If you are in doubt about a symptom, and your family doctor is not available, most hospitals have an Ask-a-Nurse line. Registered Nurses answer the phones and give out free medical advice.
A sick child needs to remain at home so that he/she can recuperate and so that any infection will not be spread at school. Please notify the school when your child will remain at home because of illness. Please remember, a child that is too sick to play outside is too sick to come to school.
If your child has a communicable disease, please notify the school so other families can be notified.
We recognize the difficulty working parents have when their child is sick. However, for the benefit of your child, other children, and teachers, we ask that you find alternative care when your child is sick. Arranging such care before your child has symptoms will avoid a last-minute rush. Please be considerate of other families by not exposing their children to a sick child.
If your child becomes sick at school you will be notified and asked to come immediately to pick up your child. If a parent cannot be reached, the person listed as the emergency contact will be called to take the child home. Children who have a fever, diarrhea, or have been vomiting must be kept at home for 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided. A child taking antibiotics must have been on the medication for over 24 hours before being allowed to return to school.
If your child has any of the symptoms listed below, or is otherwise ill, you will be asked to take your child home:
  • sore throat or cough
  • fever (100 degrees or above)
  • eye infection (conjunctivitis or "pink eye")
  • diarrhea--very liquid stools
  • cold--sneezing with green mucous discharge
  • undiagnosed rash
  • vomiting
  • ear ache
  • headache
  • lice
If a communicable disease is present in your child's classroom, each family will receive written information about the illness, including symptoms and the number of days the child should stay at home.

School Immunizations and Physicals
All children entering kindergarten or 7th grade this school year need to have a physical exam. This exam needs to be completed before your child enters school on the 15th. Students going into seventh grade need to be certain that their physical includes a scoliosis exam. A “Student Medical Record” form can be downloaded from our website or obtained by contacting our office.
California law requires that each student entering school for the first time (primarily kindergarten) provide written evidence that he or she has been immunized. Students need the following immunizations:
  • 1 dose for Chickenpox (on or after the first birthday)
  • 3 doses of Polio (unless the last dose was given before the fourth birthday, then an additional dose is required)
  • 4 doses of DPT (if the last dose was given before age 4, another dose is required)
  • 2 doses of MMR for children entering kindergarten (For students in grades 1–6, one dose of MMR on or after the first birthday. For students in grade 7, two doses on or after first birthday.)
  • Hepatitis B (Three doses are required for kindergarten and 7th grade entry.)
  • TB Test (Within the past 12 months)
Contact your child’s doctor today. School physicals and immunizations must be completed before children may enter school on August 15.
Download Student Medical Record.

At times, we have a lot of colds and flu going through our school; we’ve got sick kids, teachers, and staff. The Health Department is advising that during the flu season, there are several things that can be done to help prevent the spread of viruses:
  • Wash your hands with warm soapy water for 30 seconds (long enough to sing the alphabet song).
  • Clean and disinfect flat surfaces, especially places of multiple contact--such as doorknobs and light switches.
  • Soaking your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide (or, better yet, replacing it) will help prevent you from reinfecting yourself.
All children scream for more independence. But connections with parents make kids feel good about themselves. This helps them in school and throughout life. This New year, resolve to build a stronger relationship with your child. Consider doing one of these things:
  • Eat at least one meal a day together.
  • Have media "blackouts." One night a week, turn off TVs, computers, radios, cell phones, and iPods. Play games together, sing favorite songs, read, tell stories, and talk.
  • Check in. When your child expresses her feelings, restate what was said to make sure you understood.
  • Count your blessings. Make it a habit to discuss the best things that happen to you each day.
  • Have family meetings. Give your child a say in things that affect him/her.
  • Plan one-on-one time. Once a week, spend an hour with your child alone. Do something she wants to do.
  • Send your child letters, notes, emails, or text messages. Keep them friendly and positive.
  • Tell your child that you love and appreciate her.
Find creative ways to build a stronger relationship with your child.

Discipline works best when parents have the respect of their children. One good way to earn your child's respect is to be consistent.

Consistent parents:
  • Don't need many rules, just a few important ones. They do not bend the rules according to the situation.
  • Have a united front. Even if they are single parents, there may be other adults who are part of their child's life. If they forbid a certain TV show in their home, then Grandma should know that the child is not to turn it on when she is visiting. Two-parent families should set rules and work together.
  • Mean what they say. Avoid empty threats such as, "Maybe you'd like to go off and live by yourself, young lady."
  • Follow through. If they promise they will do something with their child, they do it. If they tell their child a consequence is coming, the child receives it.
  • Help children follow through. "We agreed you would mow the lawn before you went off with your friends today. I want us to check the lawn together before you head out."
Consistency is a key to parenting your children. Consistent parents share several characteristics that help them earn their child's respect.

The best way to help develop your child's thinking skills is to get them talking.
Parents want their children to ask questions and think through problems. There are many ways you can help your child learn these important skills. Here are some ideas to try:
  • Ask questions. Say things like, "I wonder why that happened?" Encourage your child to ask the same kinds of questions.
  • Encourage your child to find facts to back up her opinions. If she feels strongly about an issue, help her write a letter to the newspaper or the mayor.
  • Ask questions about school work. After your child reads a lesson, ask her what was the most important thing she read.
  • Talk about the questions teachers are asking, not just ask what they are teaching. In history, the teacher might have asked, "Why did people come to live in the Americas?"
  • Think out loud. We don't always let our children know how we solve problems. The next time you face a decision, share your thoughts as appropriate. Talk about each step. Your child sees what it takes to think a problem through.
Adapted from: Carol A. Weiss, "But How Do We Get them to Think," University of Maryland Center for Teaching Excellence.

Try Counting Off Instead of Reasoning With Your Child
Are you frustrated trying to find an effective and positive way to discipline your children? Most parents want their kids to listen and they want to enjoy their family life. 1-2-3 Magic offers parenting solutions that are easy-to-learn and that WORK!
Thomas W. Phelan, a psychologist and author, has a saying about children: "They're not little adults!" So they don't respond to reasoning the way an adult would.
Phelan says many parents try reasoning when their child misbehaves. Then they become frustrated when it doesn't work and yell at their child. Phelan suggests that you:
  • Tell your child. "You know, Jake, Mom is tired of yelling. So I'm going to stop. When you misbehave I'll say one. If you keep going, I'll say two. If you still keep going, I'll say three, and you go to your room for time-out."
  • Keep your voice steady when the time comes for counting. Speak just loud enough for your child to hear. Or say nothing, and simply hold up fingers, as long as your child can see them.
  • Escort the child to his room if you get to three. He should stay for about one minute for every year of age.
To learn more about 1-2-3 Magic, click here to check out Dr. Phelan's website.
When your child has spelling words to memorize, does he stick to a routine? Some of our kids have been consistently practicing spelling words every day in order to prepare for the Spelling Bee. 
For many families, though, it's usually, "Quick! Let's learn them on the way to school Friday morning?"
Studying the words the same way every week may help. Try this method:
  1. Read the word aloud.
  2. Cover the word and write it.
  3. Check the spelling.
  4. Do steps 2 and 3 several more times for each word.
For other ideas and games to help your child become a better speller, click here.
Parents do make a difference in building their child's self-esteem. A concerned parent asked, "I want my child to know how wonderful she is. Besides telling her that, how can I build her self-esteem?"
Although maybe you've never asked that question aloud, you no doubt have thought about it. How do I foster my child's self-esteem?
True self-esteem comes when children understand their positive strengths and build on them. As kids become successful, they work harder to enjoy and improve their talents. Here are some ways you can help:
  • Describe what you see. "Your picture has wonderful color combinations. You're a great artist!"
  • Remind your child of past successes. "Your teacher told me about the amazing drawing of a horse you did last month."
  • Describe how your child's skill affects others. "Did you see Grandma's face when she opened the painting you made for her birthday? She loved it!"
  • Let your child overhear positive comments. "Grandpa, you have to see what Leo made for Grandma. It's beautiful!"
  • Give your child a chance to be the expert. "Mrs. Brown called about art class. She wants you to help another class with an art project next week."
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