Dear Sprague Community, We are looking forward to seeing parents at our Open House on Friday, March 18th. Parents can come any time between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. Teachers and students will be in classrooms and your children will be your guides as you see some of their work and marvel at the progress they have made so far this year.  At 9:00, we will gather in the gym for a short video presentation.  There won’t be a student choral performance at that time as our concerts have shifted to different dates. There will be a concert featuring grades K and 2 on April 29th. Please remember that parking will be at a premium.  The WPD has told us that they will allow parking on the far side of the street (the side with houses) on School St.  Please do not park on Oak St. in front of the school. Parent Conference time is fast approaching so be sure to sign up for a time with your child’s teacher. This is the time when your child’s teacher will share insights about your child’s individual progress. Parent conferences are scheduled for March 23, 30, April 5, and 6. All of the days are Wednesdays except for April 5, which is a Tuesday, but will be a 12:00 dismissal day. Please mark your calendars. I’d like to remind you about the PTO sponsored evening on March 22 featuring author and child expert, Jessica Minahan.  The title of her talk is, “Effective Strategies for Students with Anxiety-Related Behavior,” but she will also talk about strategies that can be used with children in situations where this is conflict, a need for self-regulation, and problem solving. We hope you will join us on Tuesday, March 22 at 7 PM at Sprague to hear her talk and ask questions. Please see the brief description and bio below. Jessica Minahan, M.Ed, BCBA “The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four thirteen-eighteen year olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.  Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school. Understanding the role anxiety plays in a student’s behavior is crucial and using preventive strategies are key to successful intervention. Effective behavior plans for these students must avoid the reward and punishment-based consequences from traditional behavior plans and focus instead on the use of preventive strategies and on explicitly teaching coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses. Easy to implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring will be discussed.” Bio: Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a board certified behavior analyst and special educator and a consultant to schools nationwide ( Jessica has over seventeen years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in urban public school systems.  She is a blogger on The Huffington Post, as well as the author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, with Nancy Rappaport (Harvard Education Press, 2012) and author of The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (Harvard Education Press, 2014). I am also attaching a short piece on fostering creativity at home. Although there isn’t earth-shattering news in the piece, it is a good reminder of how parents can pay attention to opportunities for creativity at home. When I looked at it initially, I was reminded of our work in also fostering a growth mindset in our children. These two things seem to go hand in hand. Creativity-report to parents.pdf  Opportunity for students at Olin College A group of students who previously offered and Engineering Club after school at Sprague have designed a new website and are offering student run groups for children at Olin College. They have asked us to pass along the link in case any Sprague families are interested in learning more about the offering. The official website is . The classes are still free and the content is the same as before. Parents may sign up their children when visiting the website. Dates to remember: March 17: Kindergarten Parent Information Night March 17: Grade 5 Parent Night at WMS March 18: Open House—8-9 am plus a video at 9 in the gym March 22: Jessica Minahan parent talk at 7 PM at Sprague—sponsored by Sprague PTO March 25: No school—Good Friday April 5: 12:00 dismissal (Tuesday) April 7: Gr 5 Basketball Game April 13: Multicultural Night—rescheduled from March 15   Parent Conferences will take place on: March 23, March 30, April 5, and April 6.  

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Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–March 15, 2016
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