Wednesday, December 06, 2006

When should a child stay home from school?

From Mrs. Hamilton, our school nurse:

Children are most successful in school when they are present for as many school days as possible. However, children who are sick need to stay home if they will not be able to concentrate sufficiently for learning or if they may cause others to become sick.

To help reduce the spread of illness to students and staff, please keep your children home from school for the following reasons:
1. Fever--Your child should be fever free (without being medicated) for 24 hours before returning to school.
2. Rash--Check with your child's doctor before sending your child to school with a rash.
3. Vomiting--Your child may return to school after s/he has not thrown up for 24 hours and is back on a regular diet.
4. Diarrhea--If your child has had more than one loose stool in 24 hours, s/he needs to stay home to make sure they get enough fluids. S/He may return to school after being diarrhea free for 24 hours.
5. Colds--If your child's cough is frequent or severe and his/her nose is runny, it is likely that they do not feel very well and will not be able to concentrate sufficiently for learning. S/He also would benefit from more rest and fluids at home.
6. Doctor recommendation--If you have needed to consult a doctor concerning an injury or illness of your child, check with the doctor as to when your child should return to school. If you child has been prescribed an antibiotic, check to see if they to be on the antibiotic for 24 hours before returning to school.

When your child does stay home from school, please call the school office and let us know that s/he will be out and the reason for the absence. For some contagious illnesses, we send letters home to the appropriate classroom(s) and others we are required to report to the Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD).

The AAPS follows WCHD guidelines for when students should stay home related to communicable diseases. The Communicable Disease Fact Sheets are available at:

Our entire staff works to provide a safe, healthy, and enriching environment for our children. Thank you for helping.

If you have any health-related questions, feel free to contact Mrs. Hamilton.

Disability Awareness Workshop Coming

On Monday, February 12th, all King fourth grade students will participate in the Disability Awareness Workshop. This program is a hands-on, activity-based workshop whose main purpose is to help students understand how difficult and complex daily living can be for individuals with disabilities. The program includes activities centered on an empathetic understanding of physical, speech, hearing, vision and learning impairments. The students participate in a wheelchair obstacle course, wear glasses that give them momentary vision impairments, experience speaking with an electric larynx and experience several reading disabilities. The goal is for the students to learn through this hands-on experience that people should be respected no matter how they may look, act, walk or talk.

Please consider volunteering on this day. We need 20 parent volunteers to help in the morning from 8:45 am until 12:15 pm, when the students have their lunch break. You are welcome to remain for the rest of the program (1 pm to dismissal). This should be a fun and meaningful experience.

You may have noted that the Ann Arbor Public Schools will be observing Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID*) on this same date. Although the two events are unrelated, this coincidence enables parents to participate in either or both enriching programs in a single visit to King School.

Thank you for contributing to the success of the workshop. Please contact us with any questions.

Amy Meltzer, 994-0393,
Kathy Grijalva, 332-3396,
King Parents coordinating the Disability Awareness Workshop

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Parents--Thank You!

Just a quick note to say "thank you" for sharing your children with us. They are truly amazing!

We are all fortunate to live, learn, and work in such a wonderful community.

Student Safety Information

A few things to share or review around student safety:
  1. If an emergency situation arose and students needed to be evacuated from King, then teachers and staff would walk students to Glacier Hills Retirement Community off of Earhardt Rd. In that situation, students would only be released (as always) to their parent, guardian, or someone who is listed on the student's emergency card. In other words, if someone is not authorized to pick a student up, the student would not be released to them.
  2. Please make sure you sign in at the school office when you come to school. All parents and other visitors are required to wear a visitor's pass at school.
  3. I have once again noticed that pick up and drop off times at school are congested. This requires very careful behavior on the part of anyone picking up or dropping off. The most dangerous situation I've witnessed recently involved two students being picked up from the left hand lane of the front drive. Yes, that is what I said--someone actually picked up two students from the left hand lane. They stopped their car and motioned for their children to cross where cars are parking and pulling out--and then they stayed there until the children got in the car. Here are some of the possibilities of what could have happened:
    • students could have been hit while crossing front drive;
    • a collision could have occurred between two cars in the front drive while students entered the car;
    • a parked car could have pulled forward when the students entered the front drive striking the students.
We have more to think of around student safety than ever before. Please do your part to help.

Noon Time Volunteers Needed

FACT: We’ve already had more rainy lunch hours during the 2006-07 school year than we had the entire 2005-06 school year.

On rainy days (or very cold days) students do not go outside for lunchtime recess. Instead we stay inside to eat and have indoor recess. In the past indoor lunch recess has meant going to the gym, music room or library with a supervisor for games, an appropriate video, or time to socialize.

After noticing how many indoor noon hours we’ve had this year, I was recently approached by four parents, who were interested in supporting indoor lunch recess by being “on call” to come to school and assist with recess activities when it is raining or very cold (< 0 ºF actual temperature or wind chill). Having these “extra” volunteer supervisors has meant we’ve been able to offer a wider variety of interactive activities for students. It has been very, very nice!

At this point, these parents have successfully helped during three indoor lunch days, but we need more help. We would like to identify a cadre of parents who are willing to help on any given day from 11:40 – 1:05.

Would you like to be an on-call volunteer during lunch on rainy/very cold days (< 0 ºF actual temperature or wind chill)?

If you can help, please call Mr. Karr at 994-1940 or stop by the school office. Thank you.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Report Cards Today

Report cards will go home this afternoon with each child, reflecting their achievement at this point in the school year. It is my hope that report cards will be very helpful to parents in understanding their child's achievement at this moment (like a snapshot in time). I am also hopeful that the reports will help teachers and parents in understanding where a child needs to go next and where they need extra support. In other words, the report cards are also a tool that indicates next steps.

We realize questions may arise about the report cards and how to interpret them. I certainly encourage communication around this between parents and teachers. If you have questions, please feel free to call as always.