August 15, 2016
Welcome to the new school year! I am very happy to welcome you to another journey in your child’s education. While our hallways and classrooms are currently quiet, it won’t be long before the sounds of fun and learning take over once again. I anticipate an exciting year as we collectively strive to foster a culture of learning. I feel extremely fortunate to be working with such an exceptional group of students, families, and staff members.
I hope you are enjoying the summer and we look forward to seeing your child on the first day of student attendance, Tuesday, September 6th. The exterior doors will be marked with the name of your child’s teacher. The door assignments remain the same as in previous years:
School begins at 8:33. Students may line up at 8:20. When the Kindergarten teachers bring their classes into the building, parents of those children will be invited into the building for a quick photo session an extra hug and a quick good-bye.
The first day of school is a one-session day, which means that all students will be dismissed at 12:33 with the exception of children enrolled in the After Care Program. After Care will be open on the first day of school. Please send your child to school with a healthy snack on the 6th. Peanuts and products that contain nuts are not allowed.
Classroom assignments will be posted on the Parent Portal in Genesis on Wednesday, August 24th at 3:00. If you need a reminder of your password you should contact the Guidance Office.
On the first day of school, our Home and School Association (H.S.A.) will have a Welcome Back Coffee in front of the building after the children are inside. Please plan to stay for this meet and greet!
In an effort to reduce our impact on the environment, many of our resources have been posted on our website. This includes the Parent and Student Handbooks, the Student Code of Conduct, announcements and articles of interest. The H.S.A. sends out a monthly newsletter via their website and weekly blasts to keep you apprised of the latest news and events at Byrd. Please take a moment to review the items and make note of the events on your calendars, including Back to School Night which is Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 in the gym.
A couple of other important dates for you to mark down are School Photos on Tuesday, September 13th and our first Home and School Association meeting on Thursday, September 22nd at 8:45 in the Learning Center. I look forward to having new members join us in these meetings!
Our enrollment continues to grow and we are approaching our enrollment capacity. We welcome the new families who have moved to Glen Rock, and look forward to your active participation in our school.
Whether you are a new Byrd family or a returning family, the year ahead will be a rewarding experience for your child. The teachers, staff and I are committed toward working with, understanding, and nurturing each child, which is one of the many reasons that Byrd Elementary School is such a wonderful place for children to learn and grow.
This school year marks my fifteenth year as principal of Byrd and I would like to share what an honor it is to be working with you, the children, and staff. A strong partnership between home and school is key in our mission to do what is in the best interest of all students.
I look forward to continuing our work together as we support the Byrd School community. I hope you enjoy the final days of summer!
Linda Weber, Ed. D.
||Left side of Main entrance
||Back entrance on picnic table side
||Back entrance on Marinus side
||Right side of Main entrance
||Front entrance on Marinus side
||Front entrance closest to picnic tables
Article on Cyber safety for Parents
Parent asks: How do you regulate screen time?
Cyber Safety Cop Thursday, June 30, 2016
I receive questions from parents from all over the United States asking how to keep their children safe online. When I get a good question that I think other parents can benefit from, I will share it with you.
This question comes from Maria in Long Beach, California. Maria asks:
“Do you have a policy on how much a child should be using their phone per day? If so, how do you regulate that? I realize I AM THE PARENT but my daughter just thinks "I am the ONLY mom that has a problem with her phone" I am about to present her with the Usage contract and wanted to create a few extra things of my own, especially the time she is on it. Any suggestions would be helpful.”
The average 8 to 10 year old (in 2013 study) may be in front of a screen up to eight hours a day, some teens up to 11 hours a day, with 75 percent of teens owning their own phones and nearly all teens texting. Parents should make a media use plan, including mealtime and bedtime curfews for media devices. “A healthy approach to children’s media use should both minimize potential health risks and foster appropriate and positive media use—in other words, it should promote a healthy ‘media diet’, “Parents, educators and pediatricians should participate in media education, which means teaching children and adolescents how to make good choices in their media consumption.” said Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ screen time policy recommendation.
I recommend parents start with The AAP’s guidelines of two hours of recreation screen time for teens, but with some built in flexibility. Additional screen time can be earned when the child completes chores or some other parent directed task. I’ve had parents tell me they give 30 minutes of screen time for every hour their child exercises outside, or after they clean their room. Additional screen time can be earned or lost based on the child’s performed duties or behavior. Whatever plan you decide to implement in your home, I would recommend that recreational screen only start once homework or other priority tasks are completed. I would also recommend that there be a buffer of an hour or more of no screen time before bed. Recent studies have shown that looking at a bright LCD screen before bed can prevent restful sleep. In case you haven’t taken my class or read my book, electronic devices should not be allowed to be in children’s bedrooms after lights out.
Making a screen time limit policy in your home is easy. Enforcing it is difficult. I recommend installing a screen time parental control on your child’s device. They are available on both mobile devices and desktop computers. I do not endorse a specific application but there are ample user reviews to help you choose the right one for you. When the application locks the device after the teen uses up their screen time, it takes the emotion out of it. They aren’t directly looking at you as the bad guy, the application turned off their access, not you.
American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for screen time include:
- Limit the amount of total entertainment screen time to <1 to 2 hours per day.
- Discourage screen media exposure for children <2 years of age.
- Keep the TV set and Internet-connected electronic devices out of the child’s bedroom.
- Monitor what media their children are using and accessing, including any Web sites they are visiting and social media sites they may be using.
- Co-view TV, movies, and videos with children and teenagers, and use this as a way of discussing important family values.
- Model active parenting by establishing a family home use plan for all media. As part of the plan, enforce a mealtime and bedtime “curfew” for media devices, including cell phones. Establish reasonable but firm rules about cell phones, texting, Internet, and social media use.
Parents these days need to monitor how much time is spent in front of a screen, what their children are watching, how they are interacting with each other on social media, and make sure that essentials such as meal times, bed times, school work and active play are included in their child’s daily life. The guidelines suggest that we, as parents, are going to have to work harder to make sure our kids get what they need in this electronic universe.
If you want more tips on how to keep your child safe online find a Cyber Safety Cop class near you, or read Parenting in a Digital World, A Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Safety.
Clayton Cranford, "Parenting in the Digital World: A Step-by-Step
My dear Byrd Students,
Who can believe that this school year is almost over??? Time seems to have flown by so fast! I hope you had a wonderful year and I will miss all of you during the summer months. You have all flourished during this school year, which has been delightful to watch. New friends were made, friendships were strengthened and we as the Byrd School community continued to thrive as a community of learners.
I wish you all a relaxing, fabulous, fun-filled summer and hope that you will include reading as part of your summer activities. Publishing the list of books that I read during the school year has become a tradition that I am continuing in this letter. Below is that list. Maybe there’s one or two books that you would like to read? If you do, I would love for you to E-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know what you thought about the book(s).
As you play, swim, bike, read and do lots of other fun things Mrs. Jones, Mr. Kishawn, Ms. Fiona and I will be here getting the school ready for your return in September.
** denotes some of my favorite books this year
**Bird Lake Moon Kevin Henkes
**Echo Pam Munoz Ryan
Schooled Gordon Korman
Gone Crazy in Alabama Rita Williams-Garcia
Hitler’s Last Days Bill O’Reilly
This is Sadie Sara O’Leary
**Catch You Later, Traitor Avi
**After Ever After Jordan Sonnenblick
The Day the Crayons Came Home Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
The Kind of Friends we Used to Be Frances O’Roark Dowell
**Half a Chance Cynthia Lord
**Auggie and Me R. J. Palacio
Every Living Thing Cynthia Ryland (short stories…my favorite is “Slower than the Rest”)
Goodbye Stranger Rebecca Stead
Escaping the Giant Wave Peg Kehret
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key Jack Gantos
**The Thing About Jellyfish Ali Benjamin
Aaron and Alexander Don Brown
Yard Sale Eve Bunting
**The War that Saved my Life Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Alexander Hamilton The Outsider Jean Fritz
Rules for Stealing Stars Corey Ann Haydu
The Duel (The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr) Judith St. George
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story Patrick McDonnell
The Skunk Mac Barnett
Finding Winnie Lindsay Mattick
Paper Wishes Lois Sepahban
Circus Mirandus Cassie Beasley
**Abduction! Peg Kehret
I Used to be Afraid Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Ida, Always Caron Levis and Charles Santoso
Before I Leave Jessixa Bagley
Two Kathryn Otoshi
You Are (Not) Small Anna Kang
Ballet Cat The Totally Secret Secret Bob Shea
Wolfie The Bunny Ame Dyckman
Stick and Stone Beth Ferry
*Gaston Kelly DiPucchio
*Chopsticks Amy Krouse Rosenthal
*This is a Moose Richard T. Morris
*Wild About Us Karen Beaumont
Red A Crayon’s Story Michael Hall
*@?#%! Little Bird’s Bad Word Jacob Grant
Pete & Pickles Berkeley Breathed
Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great Bob Shea
The North Star Peter H. Reynolds
Beautiful Oops Barney Saltzberg
Henry Hyena, Why Won’t You Laugh? Doug Jantzen
The OK Book Amy Krause Rosenthal
Oscar’s Spots Janet Robertson
And for parents, I highly recommend:
Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck
School Security Drills
NJ State Law requires schools to conduct school security drills of some variety once per month. This is in addition to the fire drills, we have been practicing each month for a number of years now. A school security drill is defined as an exercise to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or shelter situation. We will holding school security drills monthly throughout the school year. If you observe these drills taking place, please do not be alarmed. In the event of an actual emergency, we will notify you through our Honeywell, reverse 911 system.
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.
for an excellent article on "Strategies for Managing Your Child's Resistant Behavior" by John W. Maag.
Please take the time to read both documents.
Power Point presentations on Bullying
This folder contains strategies that you can help your child adopt when dealing with others who aren't nice to them.
Excellent article sent by the Community School in Paramus
Use these forms to report an alleged incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying
Information about the PARCC
A brief article from Allan L. Beane, Ph.D. that might be of interest to you.
Compulsive Texting Takes Toll on Teenagers- Read article by Roni Caryn Rabin
Parents and Teachers Need to Work Together- Please read this interesting article.
This is an excerpt from Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg’s website: fosteringresilience.com Dr. Ginsburg spoke to Glen Rock parents and faculty in late March and his message was well received.
Article on 5 Things to know about protecting children from inappropriate content online.
Strategies to help your child respond to bullies
Interesting articles regarding internet safety.
Information about the PARRC
This is a letter from Dr. Valenti on the effects on children of watching too much violence on TV.