March is Reading Month Kickoff – House Style!

William Ford kicked off March is Reading Month (and science, social studies, math, etc.) this morning with a House Assembly.  Again, what an event!  A big part of today’s celebration was celebrating different cultures.  Many teachers and many students were dressed in cultural clothing.

Our official Culture Night at William Ford is scheduled for March 25th from 3:45-5:15…don’t miss it!

 

 

March Events at William Ford

See below some of the special events this month at William Ford!  For more information, check out the school newsletter or contact the office!

Wednesday, March 6:  House Assembly – Wear you “House” colors!      Kickoff for an Exciting March!

Wednesday, March 13:  Late Start

Wednesday, March 13:  Science Night, 4:30-6:00

Wednesday, March 20:  Falcon Friends are in the House! Wear your  “House” colors!

Wednesday, March 20:  Parent Workshop, 2:45-3:30.  Learn about how to use Technology safely with your children!

Thursday, March 21:  Bingo for Books, 5:00-6:30.  EVERYONE Wins!

Culture Night at William Ford, 3:45-5:30.  Don’t Miss this Night!

Wednesday, March 20:  Parent Workshop, 8:45-9:30.  Learn about how to use Technology safely with your children!

SAVE THE DATE:  Clean-up Parade!  May 22nd @ 1:30

 

Social Media Challenges

Dear Parents,

Technology, the internet, and social media have become a big part of all of our lives. From the moment we wake in the morning to the time we go to sleep, we can be overwhelmed with technology.  That’s why I wanted to take a moment to share with you information about a social media trend that regrettably seems to be reaching elementary age children.

Over the past several years, a common trend on social media or through text messaging is to pose a “challenge” to the viewer of the video or reader of the text message.  Perhaps you may recall the “ice bucket” challenge that was popular a few years back and helped to raise funds for ALS or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Most of the time, these “challenges” are done with the best intentions.

Unfortunately, there are those who choose to create and post “challenges” that can be dangerous and physically harmful.  There have been news stories about the dangerous “challenges” that ask the viewer to consume certain products such as large amounts of cinnamon or even as outrageous as washing machine detergent. I have recently been told there is another one of these “challenge” videos going around that ask the viewer to perform acts of violence to others or to themselves. This is very distressing, especially to know that children as young as elementary age are being exposed to this type of disturbing behavior.

I’m sharing this information with you today not to alarm, panic, or spread of any rumors.  Rather, I share this with you to communicate information that may be helpful to you as parents. I would also like to pass along a few simple tips that all parents can use when helping children safely navigate the internet and social media.

Basic guidelines for parental supervision:

  • Spend time online together to teach your kids appropriate online behavior.

  • Keep the computer in a common area where you can watch and monitor its use, not in individual bedrooms. Monitor any time spent on smartphones or tablets.

  • Bookmark kids’ favorite sites for easy access.

  • Check your credit card and phone bills for unfamiliar account charges.

  • Find out what, if any, online protection is offered by your child’s school, after-school center,  friends’ homes, or any place where kids could use a computer without your supervision.

  • Take your child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange

We know our students are safe at home and we pride ourselves on creating a safe environment for your children when they are here at school.  By working together we can ensure that our school will always be a safe place for learning.

Sincerely,

David Higgins, Principal, William Ford  Elementary School

Reminders for this week at William Ford

Due to the Ice Day last Wednesday, the PTA Sponsored Book Fair will be open for students to make a purchase on Monday, February 11th.

Wednesday, February 13th – Falcon Friends are in the House!  Wear your house shirt or house colors!

Thursday, February 14th (Valentine’s Day) is a 1/2 Day…11:45 Dismissal.

Mid-Winter Break is Friday, February 15th-Monday, February 18th…Schools are closed.

Update on the Water Damage at William Ford

As you all are aware, there was a water pipe that burst early Thursday morning, January 31st at William Ford Elementary that caused water damage to several classrooms in the new addition.  District plumbers have repaired the plumbing, a restoration company has removed water and damaged materials, disinfected and thoroughly dried the area, and will lead the repairs of any damaged walls.  Our engineer and custodians have thoroughly cleaned all furniture and areas of the affected classrooms. The District Director of Operations and the District Director of Safety are assisting and consulting with our engineer with the clean-up and rebuild process.  The Superintendent and Executive Director for Fordson Feeder Schools are also debriefed daily. Teachers have been inventorying damaged supplies, books and curriculum materials so that replacement orders can be submitted. Members of our PTA Board also toured the rooms with water damage.  Once all repairs are complete, an air quality analysis will be conducted to ensure a clean environment for students and staff. All of these efforts will allow William Ford to be fully back to normal as soon as possible.

Again, this only affected the new addition to William Ford.  William Ford is a large building with 31 classrooms, large gathering areas, and many break-out rooms and offices.  Therefore, since the day after the water pipe break, students whose rooms were affected, have been temporarily relocated to other areas (media center, special area classrooms, support staff offices, etc.).  It will be necessary for two fourth grade classrooms and one kindergarten classroom to continue with this temporary relocation for a few more days. Our teachers have prepared and planned for this and will conduct regular lessons, albeit in another location.  In fact, several teachers met at William Ford on Saturday to plan for next week. Additionally, two roving substitutes will work with the Kindergarten and Fourth Grade Teachers on Monday and Tuesday while teachers finalize replacement orders.

As you can see, our staff and district has come together to make sure our students instructional days are minimally disturbed.  We appreciate the support and understanding from parents and students due to this weather-related issue. Thank you all for your understanding.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Best regards,

David Higgins

Principal, William Ford Elementary

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