It has been a good few weeks since school started and I have been so impressed with the character of the students attending our school. I am grateful for your efforts to instill good values in your children. Keep it up! I can see the fruits of your labors here at school even if at times you may not. In this letter, I wish to give you some information regarding what we do to help keep your children safe while attending school. I will be addressing gatherings at school, field trips, and what the expectations will be for these events. There will be a few miscellaneous items talked about at the end of my letter, so please keep reading to the end. As a side note and hopefully a help to keep you informed, all letters from me will also be posted on our website under the Principal’s Corner Link. Thank you for the support you give to me and all of our school staff. It is a pleasure to be able to be involved in preparing your children for their future. As always, feel free to reach out to me with any concerns, ideas, or other things you would like to discuss.
Crisis Plan – At Timpanogos Academy we have a plans in case there is an unforeseen emergency that requires us to either lock down or evacuate the premises. We had a lockdown drill a couple of weeks ago to help all of us be better prepared in case of emergency. For our building to be completely locked down it took about 5 seconds. In speaking with Lindon City Police Department, they have reported to me that there is no one better at locking down completely and safely. Ask your children to tell you about the lockdown drill. What it looks like and how it felt. It can be scary but being scared is not always a bad thing and it is important to be prepared.
As I am sure you are aware, we also practice fire drills. I am sure you can all remember evacuating the building when you were growing up and the fire alarms sounded. This alarms are annoying for good reason. It helps remind us to get out of the building. The alarm warns us of danger and safeguards our lives. If you happen to be here volunteering and the alarms sound, you will also be expected to exit the building just like the students. As I explained to them, a fire does not care if you are tall or short, adult or child, and will eat you up regardless unless warnings are heeded.
At our school, I try very hard to address bullying issues when they occur and have had pretty good success in curbing this behavior. For me to say it does not exist would be naïve to say the least but I do take all reports very seriously and strive to make our school bully free. The largest obstacle to achieving this goal is when children do not report the behavior until much time has passed. Please tell your children they can get help when they are being treated unkindly or made to feel small. They can report to their teacher, or any other staff member including myself and help is on the way. You can also reach out to me directly and I will respond. My email is email@example.com. I wear many hats and have many responsibilities but my first responsibility is to the children attending our school. I want them to feel and be as safe as possible.
I wish to also thank everyone for helping make our drop-off and pick up go as smoothly as possible. I cannot remember a time that things were any better. Thank You for pulling forward and following the directions given from those directing the traffic. As a reminder, when you are later than 8:15 dropping your child off at school, please remember to sign them in at the front desk. Also, as an extra precaution, do not tell your children to run across traffic for convenience sake. It is better to take a few extra minutes even if you are late than to put a child in harm’s way or even killed.
Gatherings at School
As the school year progresses, I keep the goal of remaining in school without needing to put any additional protocols into place to be safe. As you know, I made the decision to postpone our carnival to a later date. Hopefully, there will be a time later this year when gathering together with students, staff, parents, former students, and the community at large may pose less of a risk for COVID-19 spread. I will continue to exercise caution when deciding how and when to hold various events. I am happy to report that as of today, I am not aware of any students who are currently diagnosed with COVID-19 or the Delta Variant. When coming to school for any reason, if you need to be in the building, please scan your forehead at the entry of either building for a temperature and do not enter if you have a fever. If you come to volunteer and have any cold or flu symptoms, we invite you to volunteer another day so we can minimize any sickness in our school.
We are starting to schedule field trips as grade levels. In order to be able to visit places, we are required to abide by any protocols put in place by the venue we will be visiting as well as the busing company that will transport the children. This may include masks, temperature scans, or anything else that may be asked of us.
In ending this communication home, I thought it might be nice to let you know how I deal with discipline issues that are referred to me. When a child is either sent or brought to me for behavior that needs adjusting, I hope to make it a teaching time where values, expectations, and appropriate responses are learned. At the end of each visit, I make it a point to shake the hand of the offender(s) and we each promise to try to be better. At times, we all make choices that are not the best. These may be in the heat of the moment or planned out and intentional. Regardless of how or why it happened, it is important to treat everyone with respect and honor. After my visit is completed, I try to make a phone call home about our visit. My hope is that by working together, we can help instill a desire in your children to make a conscience effort to do the right thing. I have been to each class this year talking about my rule. Are you ready? Here it is: Be where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there, doing what you are supposed to be doing, even when nobody is looking. I repeat this often because I believe it will help us all to be the best we can be at choosing our behavior.
Thank You Parents for all you do for us. I tell people I have the best job in the world. I have the privileged of working with children every day. It is a joy for me to be here.