Director's Note, September 25th: Coffee Chat, New Strings Ensemble, Makerspace, Mindfulness, and so much more!

Silent Auction
Our Silent Auction is a fun adults-only night out where you can mingle with other Bridges parents, bid on some amazing silent auction prizes, win raffle prizes including experiences for your children with Bridges teachers and staff! It's a night that is not to be missed on Saturday, November 3rd.

You will begin seeing messages from your child's room parent about donating for the auction baskets or participating in the art projects. Please give if you can! Our Silent Auction is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, and our PAC hopes to raise at least $20k for our wonderful school!

First Director's Coffee Chat for 2018-2019 on Tuesday, October 2nd 8:30-9:30am
Coffee chats are held monthly throughout the school year, and Dr. Kelly and Ms. Cindy will be hosting the first coffee chat for parents on Tuesday, October 2nd from 8:30-9:30am. Coffee chats are an informal time to learn more about what is happening at Bridges and to discuss your questions, ideas, and concerns!

Parent Teacher Conferences -- Next Week
School will be released early next week for all grades in order to accommodate parent teacher conferences. Conference sign ups for most classes are available on parent square. Middle school will host two weeks of conferences and will release at 12:20 during the weeks of Oct 1-5 and Oct 8-12. Please be aware that there can be NO PARKING in the pickup lane during the window of 12-12:45 during these two weeks of early release for conferences.

Introducing Bridges String Ensemble
Our middle school music teacher, Mr. Ralph, is starting a string ensemble for students in grades 4-8. The class will meet on Thursdays after school from 2:45-3:45 beginning on October 18th, running through December 13th, and culminating in a performance. The cost is $50 per student, and students must rent or buy their own instrument and a book. For more details, reach out to Ralph at ignazio@bridgescharter.org. Sign up forms are available in the front office.

Still 4 Openings in our Lego Robotics Class
You. still have 1 day to register your child for our new after school Lego Robotics class taught by our STEM teacher, Ms. Erin. The class is for 4th-8th graders and meets after school on Wednesdays from 2:45-3:45. Forms are available in the front office!

Toolbox -- School Wide Social Emotional Learning
By this point in the year, all 1st-8th grade students at Bridges have been introduced to at least the first three tools in our toolboxes! The Breathing Tool, The Quiet Safe Place Tool, and the Listening Tool. You can learn more about Toolbox here: https://vimeo.com/112600969

International Peace Day
Our student council representatives planned and organized our international peace day celebrations last Friday. Each class discussed or hosted a circle around the topic of peace, and engaged in chalk art on our playground where they shared representations of peace. Thank you to our student council representatives for coordinating this event and encouraging this critical discourse across our school.

Speaking of Peace -- Are you Noticing an Increase in Gun Play?
Our teachers and yard duty supervisors have started noticing an increase in imaginative play around guns, specifically with boys on the playground. Teachers who are noticing the increase in this kind of imaginative play have hosted some circles about guns with their students; however, we also encourage you to have conversations at home. There are a lot of resources on the web about ways to talk to your kids about guns. This link has some tangible ideas  for starting the conversation and considering types of limits you could appropriately set: http://www.pbs.org/parents/raisingboys/aggression05.html

Makerspace is Back!
We will be launching our Makerspace program again in the library during select recesses starting in October. Teachers will be reminding students of the Makerspaces during class time so that they can elect to go to Makerspace during their recesses if they desire.

Mindfulness for Students
Mindfulness will be launching in October and offered one time per week. It will be open for students to come and go when they would like to recharge in a calm, pleasant environment. Marcy Crawford, certified mindfulness teacher and a Bridges parent, will have simple age-appropriate activities available that will engage (and over time, improve!) the students' attentional skills. Our hope is that students will self-select to drop in on Mondays when they feel overstimulated, lonely, or simply would prefer a quiet activity to being outdoors at recess.

We hope you have a great week!

Dr. Kelly and Ms. Cindy

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