It’s been a great first two weeks, and we appreciate your support as parents in the learning process. We love having your children with us again, and hope they are enjoying being back in school as much as we are.
COVID Testing at ERMS
The Utah Department of Health sets up testing sites throughout the state, and we’ve been hosting one for the past few months in our parking lot at their request. Due to increased demand, they are now offering COVID testing M-F from 4 – 7 pm. You can register for an appointment at coronavirus.utah.gov, and they will also allow drive-up testing without an appointment when wait times allow for it to be done reasonably. See this flyer for more information.
If you have other COVID questions (exposure, quarantine, etc.), this new one-page flyer from the Salt Lake County Health Department does a great job of outlining the most common topics. Full and regularly-updated information for the state can be found at coronavirus.utah.gov/education.
Wally Time – A Small Space for Life Skills
Each day of the week except Fridays, students have half a half hour set aside for Wally Time (our school mascot is Wally the Wapiti). Most days, this time is used for students to read a book, which has proven benefits in many academic areas and has a history at Elk Ridge (we used to call it DEAR – Drop Everything and Read). This also allows teachers to work with students individually if they are struggling with a concept being covered in class. The teacher they go to during this time changes each day so that they can get help in all classes if they need it.
But kids have a lot going on, and we often don’t have a space to talk about life skills they need to thrive in school. To give students a space to learn these skills, we take that time each Wednesday to cover a topic we’re seeing as an area our students in our school need some support. To give you an idea what this looks like, our topic this past week was Emotional Regulation. Students got a chance to discuss what emotions they are feeling (stressed being at a new school, overwhelmed, tired, etc.) and were given a few basic strategies for regulating their emotions: self care like exercising and getting enough sleep, breathing exercises, etc.
This next Wednesday, we’re talking about how to speak to adults. We can’t read minds – not that we’d want to in middle school, mind you – and if a student doesn’t understand a concept, has an issue seeing the board, is feeling overwhelmed, etc., we want them to speak up. We’ll give a few scenarios and have them actually practice how to bring it up with an adult. If you can support this at home by talking with them about things they can speak up about, we’d love the support and reinforcement.
We’ll work to include each week’s Wednesday topic in our Monday email so that you know what’s coming and can work with your students at home or ask questions if you have them. Some weeks will be more focused on college and career readiness, some on building community, and others on academic strategies. You are always welcome at any time to talk with us or your students about what we’re learning that week.
School Community Council Elections & First Meeting
If you want to have a say in what happens at the school, we’d love to have you join our school community council! Fill out an election application here, or just attend our first meeting. We will meet at 6 pm on September 21st in the Media Center. We will also have a Zoom option for those wishing to attend virtually. That link will be posted on the Community Council page of the school website on the date of the meeting. We would love to have you, so mark your calendar!