Mon, Jan 8 3:35pm
Redwood Heights Elementary



Upcoming Events:

SAT, January 13th---Dad's Club Breakfast (see Konstella calendar for details)

MON, January 15th --MLK Jr. Day -School Closed

TUE, January 16th---School Site Council Meeting @ 5:15pm - 6:30pm

THU, January 18th---PTA General Meeting/ Parent Ed Night: How to Help Your Child w/Reading 

WED, January 24th --Art Maker-Night: Making Puppets with Mara ( Bring a snack to share).


 Happy New Year RHS Family!!! Welcome to 2018!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and was able to enjoy quality time with family and friends. I am happy to be back at school and look forward to a great new year filled with love, kindness and successful learning experiences for all of our awesome, unique, talented young geniuses.

Please take time to scroll down and read below about the RHS Kindness Campaign, preparing our students for an upcoming lockdown drill, and an Art-Making Family Night w/Mara

In the meantime remember that safety is our number one priority. Thank you, adults, for continuing to check-in/sign-in at the front desk with our warm and welcoming staff: Ms. K and Ms. Margaret. Please remind students to follow school rules: Take care of ourselves. Take care of others. Take care of our school.

In addition, please have students at the school on time, be safe and use our drop off lane. Please do not double park and/or drop students off on the street. Thank you for all you do.

My door is always open. Please drop me an email with concerns, questions or just to say, "Hi":) at cynthia.bagby@ousd.org or call me and leave a message with Ms. K at school at 510-301-5351. Please remember that my school days are spent in the building and in the classrooms with our students and teachers, so allow me time respond.
Best and in partnership,


The RHS KINDNESS PROJECT: Be a Giver of Kindness.

January’s Kindness Concepts: Caring - Feeling & showing concern for othersCompassion - Being aware when others are sick, sad or hurt & wanting help

At the December monthly school assembly, we announced our RHS kindness campaign.

We also joined  Random Acts of Kindness or RAK. It’s a foundation dedicated to building a kinder world. We'll use some of their classroom lessons for our kindness curriculum. Each month we will focus on a kindness concept.  We hope to encourage our students to be givers of kindness - to be a caring, loving, helpful, inspirational, influence in our world.

 In future editions of RHS Spotlight on Learning, we will feature our student-initiated programs, RHS Ambassadors and The Helping Club.

Enjoy the two Washington Post articles about raising children to be caring and empathetic:

Teaching empathy: What kind of parent are you? Weissbourd runs the Making Caring Common Project, which aims to make “caring and responsibility for others … priorities in child-raising.” Weissbourd states, “We need to get parents to tone down some of that focus on whether their kids are happy and make the higher priority being responsible for others,” he says. “I hear parents noting kids’ moods all the time.” (Are you happy? How did that make you feel? Is this okay with you?) As an unintended result, he argues, children think about their own feelings constantly and don’t wonder if the new kid in their class is lonely, ask why their mom looks so frazzled or notice when they hurt their little sister’s feelings.

Are you raising nice kids? A Harvard psychologist gives 5 ways to raise them to be kind. This article states, “Children are not born simply good or bad and we should never give up on them. They need adults who will help them become caring, respectful, and responsible for their communities at every stage of their childhood,” The psychologist recommends Five strategies to raise moral, caring, children.


Have a Conversation About the Upcoming School-Wide Lockdown Drill

We are preparing our students for an upcoming lockdown drill on Friday, January 19th, 2018. Our goal: To nurture emotional safety and resilience if we experience an unfortunate crisis.  Your partnership in helping us prepare the students for the drills is paramount. How we address a crisis is often how the child will ultimately remember it, whether it will be recalled as a trauma or a time of courage and resilience to help students feel safe, to have autocue. Below are excerpts from articles Talking to Kids About a Lockdown and earlier version of the article written by Judith Simon Prager, PHD, an expert on training first responders and author The Worst is Over: What To Say When Every Moment Counts (deemed “The ‘bible’ for crisis communication” by The International Journal of Emergency Mental Health) and Verbal First Aid—Help Your Kids Heal From Fear and Pain and Come out Strong.

A helpful article: Preparing Yourself for a Hard Conversation with your Child – by Michelle Chalfant . She states, “As parents, it is our responsibility to talk with our children to help them understand and process the world around them, but most parents are not sure how to handle these conversations. In fact, most adults have never been taught how to have tough conversations with children, spouses, friends, bosses, etc...I teach people a model called, the Adult Chair that helps them deal with life’s challenges from a centered and proactive place…”

Below are excerpts from articles Talking to Kids About a Lockdown and earlier version of the article. Judith Simon Prager, PHD offers these three general strategies to teach children:

  • Strategy 1: Listen to an authority figure for safety.

You might say to a child, “Remember when you were younger and you’d run ahead of your mother or father to the corner. And they’d be slower to get there, so when you got there without them they’d shout ‘Stop!’ or ‘Freeze!’ and you’d have to wait for them, there at the corner, before going into the street. And you knew why. Because there were cars that you might not see, drivers who might not see you. And your parents wanted to keep you safe.

Well, sometimes there still might be dangers that you can’t see that the grown-ups know about and so they tell you to ‘stop!’ and even hide, sometimes, and wait for them to say ‘All Clear, you can come out now.’ And it’s good to practice that. “

Strategy 2: Practice means being prepared. Just as we sometimes practice fire drills so that we’ll know what to do in case there is a fire, we are now going to practice being safe when there’s trouble around...Practice helps make doing the most useful, safest thing automatic. It creates a program in your mind that then runs itself in a time when thinking could be frozen by fear...The bad thing may never happen, but when we’re practiced in protecting ourselves, then we don’t have to worry that we won’t know what to do.

Strategy 3: A just-in-case plan

In another way, it’s like wearing a helmet when we ride our bikes. We wear helmets and knee pads when we skateboard. We don’t expect to fall, but if we do, we’ll be protected. Then we don’t have to worry. We can just ride our bikes and boards and not even think about falling because we have the situation covered. Being prepared is a “just in case” measure that helps you to feel at a deeper level that you’re safe.

If the children are mature enough, you can let them know that there are bad people in the world who sometimes are so angry or confused they want to hurt other people. And at the time when they’re acting out, it’s good to know the best ways to stay safe. So that’s what we’re practicing now.

Here are the steps of what we do during a lockdown: The acronym is PAL.

P is for PAUSE: First, pause and take a deep breath. Breathing helps your mind work.

A is for ADULT: Wherever you are on campus, find a trusted adult. If you are in the classroom, stay there and find your teacher or another adult in the room. If you are outside, look for the teacher or another adult closest to you to tell you what to do and where to go.

L is for LISTEN: Listen to the adult’s instructions. The adult will know what to do and will tell you. This is trickier than a fire drill because depending on where you are, you won’t always go to the same place each time. You will know what to do if you listen. Also during this time, the teachers will lock the doors to their classrooms. When everything is safe, the adult will tell you that everything is all clear and we can go back to our regular school day.

We are all here to keep you safe. Practice means we are prepared and can feel confident that we all know what to do just in case. Having a plan like this and practicing what to do in a shelter drill means that we don’t have to worry about these concerns and instead we can focus on having fun and learning at school.

Let us hope that we can change the world for the better so that someday we do not have to practice hiding from those who would harm us. And in the meantime, let us find ways to help keep as many innocents as possible safe in body and spirit.


Art-Maker Family Night

We are excited to announce a family art and maker night with our artist in residence, Mara Gerson!  Please bring the whole family to what is sure to be an exciting evening of making a family puppet.  Bring a snack to share.

When:  6pm-8pm, Wednesday, January 24th

Where:   The RHS Auditorium

Who:  Your whole family!

 Academic Focus:

This month, your students will be working on Informational Texts.  In the Common Core standards, learning how to read and understanding Informational Texts is an essential skill.  To deepen their knowledge, we also tie in a writing project on Informational Texts at this time.  Be sure to ask your child about what s/he is reading and writing.  By the way, Informational Text is the “new” work for non-fiction.  (Smilie face).

Kid’s Corner:

In the future, this section will include opinion thoughts and humorous quotes from our students.

All Things Budget: