Newsletter

11/19/2021

Hello Mill Park Families, 

Have you seen your child take deep breaths to calm down? Do you do this at home as a family? This year schoolwide, we’re teaching kids 12 “tools” to help kids (and adults) calm themselves and problem-solve. Our curriculum is called Toolbox. At this point, we’ve introduced the Breathing Tool which helps kids calm down by using three big, deep breaths. 

Our second Tool was the Quiet Safe Space Tool. Kids close their eyes and imagine a calming place like their bed or the beach. This tool can help them reset and feel more relaxed, so they are feeling confident and ready to learn. 

The last problem-solving tool we introduced is the Listening Tool. We explained to kids that it’s important to listen to others with your “ears, eyes and heart.” I encourage you to encourage your child to use a tool when they are upset at home. Here are more details about this curriculum as well as the full 12 Tools: The Toolbox Project brochure

Do you know what a Paw Ticket is? Ask your child to explain. Paw Tickets are little, green pieces of paper that we pass out as a part of our positive reward program at Mill Park. We give these to students when we notice students exhibiting one of our character traits like cooperation or compassion. 

Each month we teach and practice a new character trait. This month our focus character trait is Organization. I have been passing out Paw Tickets when I walk into classrooms and see kids with clean desks. I circle “Organization” on the back of the Paw Ticket so the kid receives specific positive feedback about what they are doing right. 

If students collect ten Paw Tickers, they can “buy” a photo of themselves that we put up in the hallway. For every additional ten Paw Tickers, they can earn a star on their picture. Some kids already have over 5 stars on their picture! Paw Tickets also go into weekly and monthly drawings. 

Below are the character traits we’ll be teaching each month. Try discussing the character trait of the month with your child at home. This month, we’ve talked about what it looks like to be organized at school. What does it look like to be organized at home? 

  • ​​September – Responsibility
  • October – Cooperation
  • November – Organization
  • December – Compassion
  • January – Work Ethic
  • February – Respect
  • March – Integrity
  • April – Perseverance
  • May – Self-Control

As a classroom, teachers pass out tokens for great class behavior. When their Token Jar is filled, kids can earn a party. There are plenty of ways kids get rewarded at school for positive behavior.

Overall, we are committed to creating a positive environment at Mill Park. We want school to be engaging, calm and challenging. Please never hesitate to ask questions about what we’re doing to build a positive school community. 

Lastly, please review the important dates below. Conferences are coming up next week. You should know your time and have your virtual conference link.

Upcoming Important Dates

Monday, November 15 –  Monday, November 22nd – Mill Park Book Fair, send money with your child if you would like them to buy a book

Monday, November 22 – ALERT: Early dismissal at 1:40 PM (not 2:00 as previously communicated)

Monday, November 22 – Virtual Parent Teacher Conference from 4 PM – 8 PM

Tuesday, November 22 – No school for Kids, Parent Teacher Conferences from 8 AM – 8 PM
Tuesday, November 22 – Friday, November 5 – No School, Thanksgiving/Day of Mourning Break

November 29 – December 17 –  MiIl Park Parent Survey Window – Please take this so we can improve our school: Access survey here

Respectfully,
Heather Craig
Interim Principal
Mill Park Elementary
Heather_craig@ddsd40.org