Congrats to all of our April Worthy Wildcats! Congrats to fifth grader Gianni, fourth grader Mia, third grader Olivia, second grader Ella, first grader Johnny and kindergartener, Charlie on being selected by their Windsor peers. The students were selected by always following the Character Counts Traits, sharing umbrellas, being a good sport, helping to resolve a conflict, helping a peer read and setting a good example. Just a reminder, we have many weeks left of school and sometimes when it is so nice out, our children forget our school rules and expectations. We want students to be kind, respectful, thoughtful and caring to everyone here at school. Please remind them that they need to keep their hands/feet to themselves and to use appropriate language. We really appreciate your partnership as we head into the final 7 weeks of school.
Did you know that in addition to all of the extracurricular activities that the PTA sponsors, we have quite a few staff involved in leading student clubs? Many students come in early to attend KIDZnews to write newsworthy articles about Windsor School and other things that interest our students. We have 5th graders involved in both Chorus/Orff and a Dance club. In 4th grade, each Thursday, 4th grade students stay after school to learn more about the connection between Science and Math doing hands on experiments. Our students have also given up recesses exploring the possibility of getting a new playground, participating in Community Builders, dialoguing about books in a book club, making blankets for Project Linus and participating in Student Council.
But wait, there are more! Students also have the opportunity to be part of the technology club to ensure that our tech tools are clean and they are also our "go to" students when we have tech issues arise in class! Each morning students are on WindsorTV as news reporters for our students/staff. Like any good news organization they share the weather, important news of the day and human interest items. Of course, each fall/early winter we have students who are interested in geography, join the Geography Club to participate in the Geography Bee. Finally, students have been working hard to create beautiful projects like picture frames and bookends in Art Club.
As you can tell, we have a very busy staff and student population. We believe extra-curricular experiences benefit our students on many levels. They can become experts in something new for them, they develop relationships with teachers which contributes to a positive Windsor learning community and they form new friendships. Each year, our teacher/staff run clubs grow more and more. We are delighted and proud about the work our teachers and students do outside of the school day.
On April 1st, Windsor staff kicked off Autism Awareness Month with a "Light it Up Blue" breakfast featuring lots of blue-themed goodies. Staff also wore "Give a Hoot" Autism Awareness shirts and Blue Autism Speaks bracelets. April 2nd was Autism Awareness Day and the PTA encouraged all staff and students to wear blue to help build awareness, and also decorated the front of Windsor in blue ribbons. Windsor staff and students are invited to wear blue every Tuesday throughout April as well.
Why do we celebrate this month? Autism is currently the fastest growing developmental disorder and affects 1 in 68 children, including 1 in every 42 boys born in the U.S. There is currently no cure, and no clear understanding of the cause of this disorder.
Windsor is lucky to have many students who have ASD throughout our general education and instructional classrooms. These students are all vastly different and are important parts of our classrooms, reminding us that every person is unique, has a different perspective, and makes an important contribution to our community.
Please talk with your children about Autism and help them feel comfortable approaching other kids who might appear different. Our kids can make a big difference in the lives of their peers. Check out this moving story of how one girl made a big difference in a boy's life with a simple act.
Here are some tips to discuss with your children. If you have someone in your family, or a friend who has autism, you can help by:
Being caring when they are having problems understanding
Asking them to play with you, or asking if you can join in on whatever activity they are doing
Explaining to others that your friend is autistic if others get upset by their behavior
Accepting that they might like doing different things than you
Not getting upset if they don’t want to do something with you or your friends
Staying calm and explaining to them when their behavior is inappropriate
Not teasing them or allowing others to tease them
Praising them when they do something well
Calling them by the same name or a nickname that they like
Keeping your promises to them
Not teasing or being sarcastic - they may not understand that you are kidding
Being early or on time if you are meeting your friend somewhere
Being very clear about making arrangements to meet--say exactly where and when