From the Principal…

 

Happy Summer Bluff Creek Families!

I know most of you are anxiously awaiting news about the start of the new school year. Everyone at both the district and school level is hard at work creating opportunities that will support the decision from Governor Walz expected no later than July 27.

We know that our families have a lot of questions. Our district launched our Return to Learn website as the home base for all information related to what school may look like and what we’re doing to prepare. It’s important for our families to know that no matter what the governor’s decision is, a distance learning track will be available for those families who are not comfortable sending their children back to school in person.

Eastern Carver County Schools wants to hear from you. As we continue to refine learning models, we need your input. This is a preliminary survey to get a better understanding of family preferences and concerns. There will be more opportunities for feedback and to ask questions. Please complete the survey by Wednesday, July 30.

A few parents have reached out to me about student anxiety about the new school year. I found a few resources and have modified some parent tips to respond to your concerns.

How can we help our children turn the times of uncertainty into empowering, resilience-building experience?

Many families are experiencing a great deal of uncertainty these days. Many of us struggle with the unknown and there is a lot to worry about- will schools reopen and if they do, for how long? Will there be a second wave of the quarantine coming? Do I need to wear a mask to school? How can we social distance at school and still be with our friends?

 

These challenging times do provide a great opportunity to model and teach our children a very important concept: We can choose how to respond to things we CAN’T control in life and focus on things we CAN control.

The idea is to reframe our thoughts, like this;

“There are things we cannot control in life such as the weather, global pandemic, not being able to see friends when we want to. And there are things we CAN control: our actions, our attitude, and our reactions to those things we can’t control. Rather than simply reacting to things we can’t control, we can make a choice of HOW we want to respond. With practice, we can get very good at choosing how we react so that it’s the most helpful to us.”

 

Some children might need further explanation about HOW they’re able to CHOOSE how they react to things.  You might want to use this simple analogy:

 

Ask your child to close their eyes and imagine color RED. Then ask them to imagine color BLUE.

You can say, “It looks like you were able to direct your mind to imagine the color you wanted. Was it easy for you to do that?”

Now ask them to close their eyes again and imagine a circle, then a square, then a triangle.

Then, in the same way, point out that they were able to direct their mind to think about and imagine certain things.

Encourage your children to practice this skill-

“We can direct our brain to think a certain way when something happens that we don’t like. We can practice directing our brain and our brain will get better at reacting the way we want it to react—the way that makes us feel better.”

 

This can be applied to school related anxiety for example, if they want to go back to school in person but school is offered through distance learning, they can react by planning fun things they want to learn this school year while staying at home.

I know that we are all looking forward to a decision about this school year. Regardless of how we start this school year, it will look and feel different because of COVID-19. I want you to know that everyone at Bluff Creek is committed to partnering with our families to make sure each child and staff member has what they need to be safe and successful in school.

Please enjoy this beautiful weather and stay safe.

Warmly,

Joan MacDonald