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Jan 7 - Supporting Students to Understand January 6 Washington DC Events

Dear JLS Families, 

Like you, the JLS staff and I are saddened by yesterday’s events in Washington DC. Our Democracy is being tested. Our nation is facing some harsh realities that have been building for a long time.  Despite the disruption and distraction, the JLS staff team remains resolute in providing safe and engaging spaces for our students so that we all can begin the second semester of Distance Learning as smoothly as possible while helping everyone digest, reflect and understand the events which took place yesterday on Capitol Hill.  

I wanted you to know that our teachers, especially our History and Social Studies teachers, met yesterday afternoon to coordinate ways of supporting our students’ understanding of this historical moment.  

Today, our sixth and seventh grade teachers acknowledged the events that took place yesterday and may have had a discussion based on the questions that surfaced from students, and our eighth grade teachers (teaching US History) led classes through some of the facts of yesterday’s events and have clarified some of the vocabulary terms.  At this point, our eighth grade teachers plan to dive deeper into the sequence of events of yesterday, as well as other events that follow, linking them to our eighth grade History and Social Studies standards.  

Through all of our class meetings, JLS teachers aim to maintain a calm, steady and non-biased demeanor.  We are committed to providing a safe space for students to communicate what they have seen, heard, and are feeling.  We also acknowledge that students may not be interested or aware of these events, and that is okay too.   

If you are looking for resources to learn more about how to support your child’s processing of our country’s current events, please see the Denver Post article, How To Talk To Your Kids About the Violence at the US Capitol, as well as the links below.  I hope you find them helpful.

Also, here are some recommendations to consider when talking with your child(ren) from our School Psychologist, Megan Warter: 

  • If it comes up, ask your child to share what they know about the situation.
  • Let your child ask questions and share their feelings, concerns, and worries.
  • Listen with care and acknowledge how your child feels.
  • Answer questions with honesty and with content that is developmentally age-appropriate.
  • If needed, provide your child with reassurance.
  • Limit exposure to media.

Keeping life as routine as possible is important for children during times like these.  Please know that if you need help, or if you notice that your child could benefit from talking to someone, you are invited to reach out to any member of our team.  Our grade level Counselor and Administrator contact information is below.  

Take care, 

Chris Grierson, JLS Principal (cgrierson@pausd.org)

 

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