From the Principal

Happy Friday Bluff Creek Families!

I hope to see many of you at the Spring Fling this evening. March is here and to celebrate mindfulness, we will begin our initiative called Mindful Me. Our hope is that by increasing student and staff awareness of self- care through mindfulness we will prepare ourselves for the remaining two months of school which includes testing season.

Why is mindfulness important? Healthy stress is a natural part of life, including childhood. Children and adults need to be challenged in order to grow and develop. However, the demands of school can sometimes displace healthy stress with toxic stress. Toxic stress occurs when life’s demands consistently outpace our ability to cope with those demands.

For our students, toxic stress impairs attention, emotion and mood regulation, sleep, and learning readiness.  Even more troubling, prolonged exposure to childhood toxic stress has lifelong impacts on mental and physical health. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that supports children in calming themselves, focusing their attention, and interacting effectively with others, all critical skills for functioning well in school and in life. Incorporating mindfulness into education has been linked to improving academic and social and emotional learning. Also, mindfulness strengthens some underlying development processes—such as focus, resilience, and self-soothing that will help kids in the long run.

If you want to learn more, here is some great information:

 There are several upcoming opportunities for parents to visit BCE and I hope you will find an opportunity that fits your schedule.

Monday, March 18th 12:00-1:00 p.m. Coffee and Conversation with Mrs. MacDonald and Mrs. Best – participate in a conversation and sharing session about the District 112 Equity Vision.

Monday, March 18th 3:30-4:30 p.m.  Join us for the Ed Issues Forum and participate in a conversation and sharing session about the District 112 Equity Vision.

Please join us for Coffee and Conversation! I would like to invite interested parents to join my special guest, Parent Educator, Lisa Weir for an energetic, inspiring and informational discussion of the best seller, How to Raise an Adult, by Julie Lythcott-Haims.  In her book, Lythcott-Haims provides a thought provoking practical road-map to assist parents in raising, confident and competent “life-ready” kids.  In this two-part parent education session we will explore alternative ways to cultivate, resilience, resourcefulness and the determination necessary to be successful.

Bluff Creek Elementary School

Part 1:  Thursday, April 4 – 1:30-3:00pm

Part 2:  Thursday, April 25 – 1:30-3:00pm

We need interested families to RSVP to Joan MacDonald by contacting Jackie Schmidt at by Wednesday, March 20th.

 March 1st marked the end of trimester 2 for all elementary learners. All elementary school subjects are considered full-year courses, and our instruction and grading practices for these courses reflect this shift. Learning progress from trimester 1, trimester 2, and trimester 3 is collected and combined to create a cumulative grade at the end of the school year.  A final cumulative grade will be posted to the report card at the end of the school year.

Learning progress is updated throughout the course of the year, however the end of the trimester is a good time to make sure you check-in on your child’s progress.  You will be able to find information about where your child is at any time in Empower and/or Parent Portal. Please click on the links below to view instructions on how to access Empower and/or Parent Portal, as well as information on how to check on your child’s progress.  As always, you can contact your child’s teacher for additional information on learning progress. If you are unable to login please contact the Digital Learning Coach in your building.  NOTE: Click the links below for more information and visuals on progress reports:

-Empower Login Directions (English | Spanish) | Empower Info PageParent Portal

Have a wonderful weekend!

Joan MacDonald