From the Principal

Welcome Back!  I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving Break.  It will be a quick stretch between now and the holiday break, with only three weeks left until then.

A reminder that report cards will come home on December 9th.

Appropriate Dress:  Just a friendly reminder that as the weather turns colder students should come to school with appropriate clothing for outdoor recess.  We are seeing many students without coats or warm clothing.  Please be sure that your child is prepared for outdoor recess as we go outside most days.

MTSS:  Dunn School’s MTSS team is highlighting monthly strategies to staff. One of the strategies the staff has recently reviewed is called connect and redirect. The essence of this strategy can be applied at home as well.

When a child is feeling overwhelmed, their right brain takes over. The right side of the brain is the emotional side, while the left side of the brain is the logical side. This imbalance can prevent children from making responsible choices when they are upset.  One way to correct this imbalance is to build a connection. First, try listening to your child’s frustration and validating their feelings. Your tone of voice and body language are more impactful than the words you say.

Once the connection is established, you can try to redirect them to see the problem with a clearer lens. While staying firm within your boundaries, you can provide the child with choice or find a compromise you are both comfortable with.

Miss Lindsay’s Counseling Corner

I sent a letter to parents/caregivers of 3rd and 4th graders via School Messenger this past Tuesday to share information about next week’s in-class social emotional learning (SEL) lessons on personal safety. Please refer to that letter for more details and links to caregiver resources. 

To support the safety and wellbeing of children, the state of Maine now requires school staff training and student lessons on the prevention of child sexual abuse.From December 5th – December 9th, I will be visiting each 3rd, 4th and ¾ multi grade classroom to teach a social-emotional learning (SEL) lesson on Personal Safety.  The lesson will encompass the following key concepts:

  • Introduce students to the term “mindful awareness”, which is noticing how our body feels and the cues and signals it gives us when something does not feel safe or comfortable  -”uh oh feelings” or our intuition.
  • If students get an “uh oh feeling”, they can use the concept of NO, GO, TELL:
    • NO  – tell that person to stop/refuse to participate , GO – walk or run from that person and situation TELL-  a trusted adult at home and at school.
  • Safe touches vs. Unsafe Touches
    • Safe Touches are consensual hugs, high fives, fist bumps, handshakes, pats on the head, arm, shoulder or back when someone does a good job (or wants comfort) are touches that one person can give to another to greet, celebrate or comfort. 
    • Unsafe touches are hugs that are too tight, tickling that won’t stop, kisses from someone a child doesn’t like or feel comfortable with, slaps, kicks, pushes, punches, pinches, hard squeezing, grabbing or touches that hurt; touches on the private parts of a child or someone else in a child’s presence. 
  • It is always unsafe if someone shows us a picture of their private parts or someone else’s, when someone touches your private parts, or when someone asks you to touch your private parts.  “Private parts” are the parts of the body covered by a bathing suit (chest, bottom, and in between your legs) as well as the mouth. Private parts should always be described using their correct names.  No one should touch your private parts except if you see a doctor for a medical concern and your trusted adult is in the room with you.
  • The importance of establishing a personal safety network of at least four trusted adults that you can tell if you have received unsafe touches. At least one of these trusted adults should be someone at school. 
  • Kids should never keep secrets when it comes to receiving unsafe touches or finding themselves in unsafe or uncomfortable situations. Always tell one of your trusted adults!

I understand that families have varying degrees of comfort when it comes to having these important conversations. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me by this Friday, December 2nd if you have any questions, would like more information, or if you would like to opt-out of having your child attend this in-class SEL lesson on personal safety.

Warmly,

Lindsay Friberg, Dunn School Counselor (lfriberg@sad15.org)

From the Health Office

The Health Office is accepting donations for new boys underwear and boys/girls gently used or new winter coats sizes 8-16. Any donations would be greatly appreciated!  Also, please see the attached document for a list of links to community resources that may be able to provide assistance during the holidays and beyond.  Be well!

Our first Fluoride Varnish Clinic is coming up December 16th.  If you have not already signed up your student and would like to, please contact our nurse at tgilley-pratt@sad15.org.

From the PE Program

There is still room in our “Rise and Shine” program for 3rd and 4th graders.  The program will take place on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 7:30 to 8:20 AM.  If you have any questions or would like to sign up, please contact Mr. Kramer @ rkramer@sad15.org

From the Office

Please contact our office if your child will be late or absent:  207-657-5050 or jsouthard@sad15.org.

Our lost and found has a large number of jackets and personal items (water bottles, lunch boxes, etc).  If your child is missing any of these items, please encourage them to check the lost and found area.

From our Patriot Parents

Candy Cane Lane is coming back on December 13th!  Please see the attached flyer for details.

The Patriot Parents PTO will be holding a Math-A-Thon on December 14th.  Pledge sheets have already come home for this – please have your child request an additional sheet from their teacher if necessary.  Please hold on to your child’s sheet until they have collected their pledges.  All sheets and funds will then be due by December 21st.  Thank you for your support!

Art to Remember orders are expected to be delivered to Dunn approximately Dec 14th. We will send them home with students as soon as possible.  If you have any questions about ordering any additional items (which will not arrive until after the holiday break), please reach out to Deb Carson at patriotparents@outlook.com.

We will be hosting a Spirit Wear sale in early December – more info to come soon.

Holiday Assistance

GNG Caring Community is now accepting applications for families in need of holiday gift assistance for their children aged 17 and younger. You must show proof of residency in Gray or New Gloucester, and applications must be submitted no later than December 9.  Here is a link to the application form:  https://forms.gle/SdC2tA9D6QMPzZ7t9. Please call Christina with any questions: 233-0828.  If you would like to sponsor a family, please email gngcaring@gmail.com.

Dates to Remember 

Dec 9 Due date for Caring Community assistance applications

Dec 13 Candy Cane Lane in-school shop

Dec 14 Math-A-Thon and Early release day:  grades 3 & 4 dismissed at 1:00 PM, no preK classes

Dec 21 Math-A-Thon pledge sheets & funds due

Dec 23-Jan 2 Holiday break:  no school

Jan 3 Welcome back!

Updated December 1, 2022