From the Principal

Welcome Back

I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable holiday break!  It is hard to believe that the midpoint of the year is fast approaching.  As always the coming months will be busy and will go by what seems to be all too fast.

As we move into the 2nd half of the year we must remember to stay vigilant in adhering to our established safety precautions and operating procedures.  Masks, physical distancing, washing hands and using sanitizer remain the best defense against the COVID-19 virus.  To date students and staff have done an outstanding job in observing and practicing these precautions in order to keep Dunn School safe.  I encourage all to continue to do so and thank everyone for their continued efforts.

Miss Lindsay’s Counseling Corner

I will be visiting all of Dunn’s classrooms later this month and the beginning of February to unpack our Great Kindness Challenge, which will be happening from February 7th – February 11th. Dunn’s Kindness week is my favorite whole-school initiative that we do here, and I am so excited for everyone to boost one another’s spirits during a challenging school year. You will receive more information on this in the coming weeks!

As we close out our 2nd year of managing life and parenting in a pandemic, I want to acknowledge that many families have gone through big life changes as a result. These changes can understandably add a lot of stress on families. I wanted to share 7 ways that parents and caregivers can help kids cope with big life changes, adapted from one of my favorite parenting resources, The Big Life Journal. For the full article, please click here:

  1. Give them time to prepare. With some changes, like the unexpected death of a loved one, preparation isn’t possible. But when preparation is an option, give your child plenty of warning that a major change is coming. This allows them time to process and begin to accept the change.
  1. Listen to their concerns.  While you’ll want to focus on the positives associated with the big life change, also take time to address your child’s questions and concerns. Help them work through the emotions that they’re feeling. Often, children simply want empathy, understanding, and validation of their feelings.
  1. Read books about big life changes. There are plenty of children’s books written to help kids cope with major life changes. For specific titles relating to divorce, moving, a new baby, please click on the above link to the full article.  These books help your child understand that they are not alone in experiencing this type of change. They also provide encouraging words, helpful advice, and the knowledge that everything will be okay in the end.
  1. Keep routines the same. When a major change happens, it’s important to give your child as much consistency and stability as possible. Bedtimes and mealtimes, in particular, should remain consistent. The structure feels safe for children, so provide as much of it as possible to restore a sense of safety.
  1. Provide connection and play. Another thing that should remain consistent is your child’s connection with you. You may be coping with the new changes and the extra stress that comes with it, but set aside even 10 minutes each day to give your child your undivided attention. Make eye contact, put the phone away, and be playful and affectionate.
  1. Give them choices and ask for help. During a big life change, children feel that they have no control over their lives. Give some sense of agency by allowing your child to make choices. The same goes for asking your child for help. Children like to contribute and feel valuable, responsible, and helpful.
  1. Talk about other changes. Discuss or even sketch your child’s life path so far. What changes have already happened? Talk about why these changes happened. What was good and not so good about each change? What did your child learn from each experience? How did they get through it, and what coping skills have they learned? Discuss the idea that every time your child experiences a big change, they’re stronger and more prepared for the next one.

As always, please reach out to me at any time if you have questions or concerns relating to your child’s social-emotional well-being  –  Lindsay Friberg, Dunn School Counselor  lfriberg@sad15.org

From the Community

Assistance is available to our community residents through our local food pantries.  For more information, please select the link for Gray or New Gloucester to reach your town’s webpage about this.

From the Office

Please let us know if your child will be late to school or absent.  You can email (jsouthard@sad15.org) or call (207-657-5050) at any time to leave a message.  Thank you.

We are getting quite a collection of gear in our Lost & Found.  If your child is missing any masks, gloves, hats, jackets, etc, please remind them to check the Lost & Found area in front of our library.

From the Lunch Room

Breakfast and lunch will be provided at no charge to all enrolled students for the 2021-22 school year.  All families are still encouraged to complete the free and reduced lunch application. An accurate free/reduced count can impact a number of Federal Programs and Grants.  If you have not already completed one for this year, please take a few minutes to do so.

Dates to Remember 

Jan 14 No school:  Records Day

Jan 17 No school:  Dr Martin Luther King Jr Day

Jan 19 Early release day:  no preK classes, grades 3 & 4 dismissed at 1:00 PM

Feb 16 Early release day:  no preK classes, grades 3 & 4 dismissed at 1:00 PM

Feb 21-25 No school:  Winter Break

Updated January 6, 2022