What’s new around our hive and Coronavirus update

Greetings Parents and Community Members!

So much has happened since we last spoke!  Our reading dog program led by Lindsay Lander, MC Media Specialist, and Mindy Little, MC Learning Lab teacher, has taken the school by storm! Everyone is trying to find a way to get some reading time with Finley! Our gifted teachers got to take our students to a day full of fun STEAM activities hosted by APS where students learned to code and participate in other activities that helped boost the science, technology and math skills and strategies. Our 5th grade students in Ms. Richards’ class are analyzing mentor text like the Phantom Tollbooth in order to incorporate those strategies into their own writing. 

Students in Ms. Estrada and Ms. Hallidays Kindergarten class read a book about Sra. Libertad (The Statue of Liberty) and wrote informational paragraphs about it. Simply amazing to see this work! Two of the biggest events over the past two weeks were the kickoff of Read Across America week where each day our school is highlighting different books by bestselling authors and dressing up in different fashion styles to celebrate.

Coach Wyman and Coach Patton also kicked off their Jump Rope for Heart campaign with their amazing obstacle courses in PE. They even resemble a heart with blood flow coming to the heart through veins and away from the heart through arteries. It’s tied directly to our new 4th grade Wit and Wisdom unit, A Great Heart! For those that don’t know, Coach Wyman has been involved with the Kids Heart Challenge (AKA Jump Rope for Heart) for 29 years! Once again we work to raise $15,000 in honor of our phenomenal Kindergarten teacher Ms.Therese Halligan who underwent open heart surgery one year ago. Donations can be made in the envelopes that were sent home or made HERE with the deadline being March 27. Furthermore, don’t forget to support our Jump Rope team at the Botanical Gardens on Monday, March 9th!I hosted my 3rd Principal Coffee Talk focused on the Sutton Middle School experience. It was a great meeting held at our MC media center and attended by nearly 30 parents. Principal Gail Johnson did a great job meeting our families, explaining how middle school works, and easing concerns that parents may have.  For those that were not able to make it, we recorded the session and posted it HERE. Lastly, I want to give a special student shoutout to two of our amazing scholars, sisters Whitney and Paige Laundon who were recognized by the AGAPE Way Project for serving breakfast for the homeless. AGAPE is an APS endorsed/sponsored after school program that services students after school needs. These girls embody everything that a Morris Brandon student should be; principled and caring global citizens. Great work girls!

I also want to address the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) that has obviously hit the news hard. I truly understand that there is a lot of concern around the virus and how it will affect not just our community, but our school and students as well. At Brandon, we make our students health, wellness and safety a priority in everything that we do which includes putting every effort possible into preventing the spread of infectious disease. We have ordered well over $1,000 dollars in cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer. We have stocked our nurses offices with supplies and are checking the bathrooms multiple times a day to ensure that soap is plentiful and being used properly. Our two full-time nurses have pushed into every homeroom to review proper handwashing techniques and have presented on good hygiene during the morning announcements at both campuses. Furthermore, I’ve posted an update on my Facebook page and emailed it to all of our families with important updates about the virus and its possible impact on Brandon which can be found HERE. Dr. Carstarphen, our district Superintendent, also posted an important blog post that can be found HERE and was on CNBC Wednesday night about the potential need for school cancellation and what that means for students working from home. You can see that video HERE.  If this unlikely event should ever occur, remember that online learning will take place through Google Classroom. In short, we are doing everything we can while ensuring we are following what APS has advised, and minimizing the chance for exposure to this virus for our students and teachers. Continue to remind your children of proper handwashing techniques and anyone that is showing signs of sickness should remain home, fever free, for a minimum of 24 hours. I also want to share THISresource with you all.  Published by the NY Times, it outlines ways that you can talk to your children about the virus. Together, we can get through this.

Until next time!

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