End of year reminders

The end of the school year is fast approaching. Here are some general reminders. Most forms that are required through the health office can be downloaded from the Arlington Public Schools website.

Incoming K- a student’s health file is considered complete when a physical exam (within the last year) and proper immunization documentation is received. If your child has a health concern or life threatening allergy please call to set up an appointment with me before next school year begins so we can complete an Individual Health Care Plan for your child.

Incoming 4th grade students are required to have an updated physical exam on file. Please mail or fax that to my office 781-316-3738

Students currently on medication at school- Please pick up your child’s medication from my office prior to the last day of school. All meds get discarded from one school year to the next. Medication orders must be new every school year. If your child has an inhaler, emergency medication or daily med; a new order for 2013/14, signed by Dr and parent must be received before administration.

Grade 5-All health records will go to the Ottoson Middle School unless I hear differently. If you know your child will be attending a school other than Ottoson, please let me know so I can pull the chart and mail it to the proper school.

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Asthma & Allergy Support Group

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Happy March!

We have seen a couple of cases of head lice in the first grade and kindergarten. Notices have gone home with your students today. These children have been treated and cleared by me. A few pointers when inspecting your child’s head; start at the nape of the neck and near ears. You are looking for the eggs-they are easier to spot than the actual nit. They are pearly white on dark hair and often look darker on light hair. They are oval-shaped and attached to the hair, you will not be able to flick it off. If you can, it is more likely dry skin and not an egg. Don’t panic if you find head lice on your child, there are many resources to help you. There are several good websites, in particular National Pediculosis Association or Headlice.org. Please contact me for any further resources ie companies that will treat your child or recommended shampoos.

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Fit Girls Registration Info

What: The Fit Girls Fitness Program is a running and reading program for girls in 4th and 5th grade that builds self-esteem and confidence, and helps girls connect with and give back to their community.

The bulk of the program consists of non-competitive workouts designed to gradually and safely build endurance to run or walk the 5k (3.1 mile) race distance. Each workout also includes a “great book of the day” discussion that features strong female protagonists. At the end of the 6- week training season, girls participate in a local 5k race as they celebrate both fitness and community.

When: The Peirce Fit Girls will meet every Wednesday and Friday from 2:15-3:15 beginning on March 20 and ending on May 10. No meetings on 3/29, 4/17, 4/19

At the end of our 6 weeks of training we will participate in the Mystic River Watershed Association’s Herring Run on Sunday May 19, 2013

Yes! I would love to sign up my daughter for Fit Girls!

Please return registration and waiver found on the back of this form along with payment of $80.00 (made out to Peirce PTO) by March 1st . If financial aid needed please make an inquiry with Tami Harrah.

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Allergy & Asthma Programs

Monday, Feb. 11, 2013

“Common Food Allergy and Asthma Symptoms and What to Do about Them”Speaker: allergist David Gruenberg, MD, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MAAre you or your children bothered by chronic hives, a stuffy nose, breathing or digestive problems, or other symptoms that may or may not be related to allergies? Are your symptoms chronic (always there) or do they come and go? How do you know when an allergic reaction or asthma flare-up is serious and what steps to take? Bring your questions and concerns.

March 11, 2013

“The ABCs of Food Allergies” Allergist Lisa Bartnikas, MD, Children’s Hospital, BostonGet an introduction or review of the “basics” PLUS answers to your current questions about food allergy triggers, when and how to test for allergies and interpret the results, new approaches to treating food allergies, and more! Metro-Northwest Asthma & Allergy Educational Support GroupMeets at 6:45 – 8:45 p.m. atBeth Israel & Children’s Hospital Medical Care Center, 482 Bedford St., Lexington, MA

Save these dates for spring meetings: April 8 and May 13 (Topics and speakers TBA) FREE; pre-registration not required.

Sharon SchumackDirector of Education & ProgramsAsthma and Allergy Foundation of America – New England Chapter109 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02494Tel: 781-444-7778E-mail: Sharons@aafane.org

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New girls fitness program coming to Peirce School this spring

What is FitGirls?

FitGirls is a non-competitive fitness initiative that inspires active lifestyles, female friendships, personal growth, and the confidence that comes from working toward and achieving goals. Teams of 4th and 5th grade girls meet twice a week right after school for fun and energizing sessions that prepare the girls to participate in a 5K road race as a culminating event of the season. FitGirls is guided by a curriculum being used all over the country (www.fitgirls.org), with two programs operating so far in Arlington — Bishop and Dallin Elementary Schools. Stratton, Brackett, and Pierce are all hoping to run programs in the Spring of 2013.

How does it work?

Each week, FitGirl coaches introduce a theme intended to motivate, energize, and encourage the girls to be their best selves. Books that reflect the theme are shared with the group, along with quotations and poems to encourage discussion and reflection. Examples of themes are:
• PACE (Positive Attitude Changes Everything)
• “Be the change you want to see in the world”
• Dream big!
• “Girl, you’re amazing…”

After warming up through cooperative games, team-building activities, and stretching, the FitGirls run, jog, or walk for progressively longer times each week. They start with just 10-15 minutes of movement, and work up to 30 minutes, recording their distance each time. The coaches track individual and group progress to share and celebrate successes along the way.

Through the program, FitGirls…
• Learn about themselves and the power within them
• Develop a supportive, encouraging community of runners
• Experience the joy that comes from setting and reaching significant personal goals
• Establish a foundation for being active after the program, on their own and with others

How has FitGirls worked in Arlington?

FitGirls has been offered for grades 4 and 5 at Bishop for the past three years, run by parent volunteers through KidZone (Arlington Community Education). Dallin ran its first team (4th and 5th grades together) last spring, coached by a dynamic team of school social workers, and also run through KidZone. Both schools will be offering Fit Girls again in 2013, and we hope to see the program grow to other schools as well.

While each team operates independently – setting their own schedule, weekly themes, and activities – we find a significant benefit to coordinating efforts. For example…
• FitGirl coaches met together to share books, quotes, and activity ideas and to trouble-shoot challenges.
• All teams include a few common themes and activities so when the girls come together as Arlington FitGirls, they have a language/understanding about the program (i.e., all know the FitGirls Roar)
• We order the t-shirts together to take advantage of volume/price breaks, and so the FitGirls share an identity.
• We invite all teams to participate in a trial 5k that is set up just for them; and
• FitGirls from all teams entered the same charity 5K road race/fun run, so they participated as a group and benefitted from a discount on the registration fee.

The FitGirls season runs between mid-March and mid-May, just before the start of spring sports and before the weather gets too hot. For the past two years, we’ve entered the Mystic River Watershed Association’s Herring Run as the culminating event of the season, and have been invited back for 2013. The race director is more than willing to come to the program to talk about the Mystic River Watershed Association and the environmental impacts, adding a nice science and service component right in our backyards.

Are you interested in learning more?

• Please go to survey monkey to take a short survey about your interest level, prefered days/times etc http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PTHVRVM
• Call or email Tami Harrah, 781-316-3738, tharrah@arlington.k12.ma.us to learn about FitGirls in Arlington.
• Check out the national FitGirls website: http://www.fitgirls.org to learn more about the founder, the program, and licensing.

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Upcoming events

Today (12/12/12) SMILE dental clinic will be serving some of our students here at Peirce.

After the 1st of the year, 3rd grade will begin a program called Pennies for Patients. They will be collecting spare change to support Leukemia and Lymphoma research and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Within our community we have a child affected by this disease and we thought this would be a way for the third grade to show support to the family.

Ongoing is the Anti Tobacco Poster Contest for students in grades 1-5. This is being done in conjunction with the student’s Great Body Shop drug unit that I am teaching. Each student will be given an entry form with all instructions and they are to create their poster on the back of the entry form. This is strictly voluntary and is due by February 1st. Remember to read all the instructions because each grade has a specific theme related to tobacco. (I know from past experience that the judges love posters with bright colors)

On January 24th the entire school will be having hearing screening. The Northeastern Speech-Language and Hearing Center clinicians perform the screenings here at school.

Fitgirls, which is non-competitive fitness program for girls in 4th and 5th grade will begin at the Peirce School in March. More info on this program to come…

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Postural Screening

5th grade parents please be aware that after Thanksgiving break I will begin postural screening. The purpose of this screening is to find early signs of possible spinal problems in children in grades 5-9. It is not a diagnostic service but a program to identify young people who should have further medical evaluation. You will be notified if I notice any unusual findings.

Important- girls are asked to wear or keep a two peice bathing suit top or sports bra in their backpack so they can change into this prior to the screening. This allows for a more accurate observation of their back. Boys will be asked to remove their shirts. Boys and girls are separated or done on different days. I usually do several children at a time in my office, however students can opt not to go with the group. The entire screening takes less than 1 minute and no touching is involved. I will review the process and demonstrate the screening with them in the upcoming days to alleviate possible anxiety. This is a screening that is required for all students up until 9th grade.

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Vision Screening has begun

Vision screening has begun at school. I will start with the lower grades then move up to 5th grade. I hope to get the entire school done by the end of Oct. You will only get results if your child needs further testing. (Minimal passing for vision is 20/30). This will be sent via snail mail. The teacher is also made aware of any results that are outside the norm.
In late October, early November I will begin Great Body Shop lessons. These lessons will focus on germs and infection control.
In mid to late November 5th grade will participate in postural screening. More news will come to parents of 5th graders about this process.

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September info from the health office

Wow, It’s been a busy beginning to our school year. I have seen tummy aches, cold and allergy symptoms and head lice. The head lice is contained to one family and is well under control. Just a note on policy/procedure for head lice. It is no longer typical to send home notices or check entire classrooms due to one case of head lice in a classroom. If I begin to see a trend or more than one case in a classroom I will determine how to proceed. In all likelihood a notice would go home. Please remember research has shown that head lice is spread outside of school, mostly from social events (i.e. sleepovers, camp).

Attached is some info on mosquito borne illness.

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