Weekly Message: September 27, 2017

Weekly Message:

Greetings Marvista Families!

This is Andrew Ritsema, your school counselor, and this being my first newsletter of the school year I’d like to write about the importance of students feeling safe and accepted at school in order for their brains to physically be able to learn while here, as well as what we are doing to ensure this happens. A good week for this topic especially because Friday was Unity Day, where families and staff held signs and cheered students coming into the building in the morning, so that students knew they are loved here.

Some quick brain science. There is a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is the fear center that protects us in case it feels we are in danger. When we are in high alert and feel anxious, the amygdala highjacks all other functioning of the brain such as learning, problem solving or creative thinking by sending a stress hormone called cortisol to the brain stem. This helps us stay safe in emergency situations, but is damaging long term. This is a big reason we need to make efforts to keep our students feeling safe at school and like they belong to our community.

On Friday, September 29th, we will have a visiting musician named Dennis Warner, who has written a book entitled: “Beads on a String.” Students have been learning a song he wrote with the same name in music class, and will be able to sing along to the theme of being unique individually but also part of something larger, which we are all a part of. Dennis will have other music and books he has written available to be purchased after the show.

To a great year of unity while celebrating differences!

Warm Regards,

Andrew Ritsema