ISLA News - December 9, 2016

February 8, 2017

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Dress for the Weather…

It is time to wear warm jackets, hats, mittens, boots and snow pants.Unless a student has orders from a doctor, they will go outside every day for recess unless it is raining or the outside air temperature is less than 0º or the wind chill is below 0º.  Exercise and physical activity helps children release their muscle tension after several hours in school and contributes to overall wellness, including cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance.  Recess also provides an opportunity for students to play and relax outdoors and to socialize.

Sibling Enrollment

Make sure that your child receives the sibling enrollment priority they are entitled to at ISLA.  Submit an online student application for the sibling of a currently enrolled student by the sibling enrollment deadline of February 14,, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.  Any student applications for a sibling received after the deadline will follow regular enrollment processes.

End of Day Changes

The end of day is very busy at ISLA.  Getting over 300 students where they need to be can be a daunting task.  You can help us with this by calling in any end of day changes by 2:45 pm.  This will help us be able to accommodate your request. 

Extra-Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities will be ending soon.  Here is a break-down of when each activity will end:

Wednesday, December 14—Young Rembrandts and Soccer
Thursday, December 15—Handcrafts, Chess and Minecraft (Grade 6)
Monday, December 19—Minecraft (Grades 4-5) and Zumba
Tuesday, December 20—Google CS

 Registration for winter extra-curricular activities will come out next week.  They will start January 9th.

cold kid
A child dressed in a blue winter jacket

January Lunch Ordering!

Lunch ordering for January will open Monday, December 12th and close on Tuesday, December 20th.  This will allow families to order before the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  Reminders will be sent out as usual and orders will not be honored after December 20th.

Thank you, Jen Jouppi, ISLA Bookkeeper

Library Notices

Late book notices are going to be sent home soon.  We would appreciate it if everyone could look for missing books and return them promptly to ISLA.  If you are unable to find them, please pay the book fine via cash or check made out to ISLA.

If you have any questions, please contact Sra. Melendez at rmelendez@isla-academy.org

Tips for Holiday Happiness & Family Fun

The holidays can be a highly stressful time for many families. Whether you are hosting a holiday party at your home, organizing travel with children, and/or trying to balance your everyday routine with additional holiday activities; it’s helpful to prioritize your time, commitments, and family activities to help contribute to stress reduction.

Some simple stress-reducing strategies can make a difference to help ensure quality family time this holiday season:

  • Visualize a heart-filled holiday.  You can do this one at the dinner table. Have everyone in the family close their eyes, focus on their heart, and imagine what kind of holiday will bring joy into their heart. Then share your ideas around the table. This helps kids feel listened to, cared for, and included.
  • Give the gift of calmness.  Ancient wisdom and modern research point to the calming effects and health benefits of slow, deep breathing. Make a regular practice of taking 1 to 5 minutes each day of doing relaxing “balloon breathing.”  Breathe in to a count of 3, imagining there is a balloon filling up with air, and then slowly blow out to the same count. It’ll center and rebalance every family member to face the joys as well as the inevitable disappointments of the holiday season.
  • Offer distress a voice.  If this is your child’s first holiday without a loved one—grandpa passed away, or big sister is away serving in the military—younger family members may feel a deep sense of loss. Give her paper and markers, and ask her to draw whatever is making her sad or mad. Then ask her what the picture wants to say out loud. Often, letting the emotion “speak” makes the child feel better—and gives the parent a way to understand what’s going on.
  • Sweat is sweet.  Kids (and adults!) can get all pent up during the holiday time. Surprise little ones by clearing the furniture out of the center of the room, turning on some fun music, and dancing vigorously for 10 minutes. Or bundle up the family and take a wintery walk while playing “I Spy.” Exercise releases feel-good chemicals and is one of the fastest ways to chase away holiday blahs and instill a sense of togetherness.
  • Blow out negativity, light up hope.  Create a family ritual of hope. Have two candles for each family member; one lit, one not. Have each imagine what they’d like to let go of—what no longer serves them. For example, say, “I’m going to toss this out (anger, worry, perfection, meanness to my sister) when I blow this candle out.” Then light a new candle and share, “I hope to bring in (kindness, faith, keeping my room clean) as I light this candle. Let go of the old and bring in the new.
  • Be grateful for those you live with.  Avoid some of the little and big jealousies that crop up from comparing who has a bigger present or counting how many gifts each one has. You can start early in the holiday season with little gifts or small tokens of appreciation for each family member. Take the whole month of December (or start at Thanksgiving) and every day have each person share something they appreciate about another. Make a running list and post it on the fridge or in the family room to remind each other when the stresses build that you really do care about and love each other.
  • Spread the joy around. The time-honored tradition of helping others can shift priorities. If kids or teens are moping around or showing signs of stress, take them to the local soup kitchen to serve meals. Visit a nursing home with hand-made cards. Helping others give kids a feeling of more control and a sense of being both useful and appreciated. 
  • Choose activities that you can do together as a family AND are fun. Perhaps baking cookies with your children doesn’t end up to be the fun activity you thought it would be. It’s okay to purchase cookies rather than cause your family more stress. If certain activities don’t go well, try something different next year. Don’t repeat it just because you hope it will be fun.
  • Set aside time for yourself.  One of the biggest things you can do for your family is to take care of yourself. Whether it is exercising, meditating, reading a book, enjoying coffee with a friend, or simply going to bed at a reasonable time, it’s important to de-stress yourself during the holidays.
  • Keep things in perspective.  On the whole, the holiday season is short. We can ask ourselves, what’s the worst thing that could happen this holiday? Our greatest fears may not happen and, if they do, we can tap our strengths and the help of others to manage them. There will be more time after the holidays to follow up or do things that we didn’t have time for during the holidays. Maybe save some of those fun activities for later in the season when winter seems to never end!

Learning to manage and prioritize your time, commitments, and family activities can reduce stress, allowing you to enjoy your holidays and focus your energies on the things that matter most to you and your family.

Knit Hat