October 19, 2016
Thoughts from Tuesday Night
Dear Loma Families:
Strengthening Our Preparedness on Loma Prieta
The 27th anniversary of the Loma Prieta quake passed quietly on Monday. This is a great time to refresh our conversations about earthquake safety at school and at home. We do practice fire drills and teach the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” skills at our schools. I would like to invite you to explore a couple of earthquake preparedness websites since we do live with the San Andreas Fault complex. The Earthquake Country Alliance has straightforward guidance for preparation, survival, and recovery. You can find that info here: http://www.earthquakecountry.org/sevensteps/
From a district perspective, our buildings have been designed with earthquakes in mind. We also know the Department of the State Architect (DSA) goes to great lengths to ensure that buildings are fully secured before occupancy by students. Our communication systems are redundant – primary, secondary and tertiary. I won’t bore you with the details, but it is good to know that our facilities team practices regularly for many potential problems. Over the years, I admit I have sometimes been frustrated with the “by the book” approach to facilities work, inspections, and certifications. At times like this, however, it is good to recognize and appreciate the caution and experience that is built into these governmental systems.
At home, I admit, my plans and earthquake supplies are not routinely updated. I am going to make a commitment to you – and to my family – to review these topics this weekend. There are obvious things which are done such as securing the water heater with metal straps, but the website above also has great suggestions on how to secure smaller items, reviewing where large or heavy objects are housed/stored, and reviewing the exit routes. There is also a household disaster supplies list that is valuable in earthquakes, but also for other periods of natural inconvenience. PG & E has done a better job with tree trimming in recent years, but we have gone a week without power. The novelty wears off. I do have supplies, but they need to be rotated. The dog food in particular needs a refresh. It has been good to not need the supplies, and for me it is time to use the nice weekend as a grace period to begin a refresh before the next big storm. Here’s the link to the home preparedness info: http://www.earthquakecountry.org/step3/index.html.
Additionally, there is a special reminder about kids’ stress during an earthquake. This is true for earthquakes as well as fires, big storms, power outages, and other surprises. What we know is that preparation builds routines and confidence. The students of “Loma Prieta” probably get more practice with natural events than most in our region. We want our kids to feel confident in their resilience, their capacity to act when necessary, and their pride in being mountain kids. Our kids generally do get more real life exposure to critters that may sting or bite, the very real consequences of wind and water, what to do when the lights go out, and so much more. We see the evidence of our students’ comfort with nature as they respond to the unexpected. And, we all try to keep in mind that they are still kids, they are still learning, and they look to the adults around them to model responsive and effective coping skills when things don’t go according to plan. It’s worth talking with your family, refreshing your plans and supplies, and maybe even printing out the plans and other emergency resources since the Internet is likely to be unavailable. The Red Cross has a solid check list here: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240216_Earthquake.pdf
We all value the sense of community that comes together in difficult times. A ready community will be stronger and recover more quickly. Please consider taking some time to help your family have a plan, know the plan, and be ready for whatever comes our way. In case you get really inspired, here some additional overall readiness links:
Prepare NorCal from ABC7 http://abc7news.com/family/prepare-norcal-emergency-resources/27010/
Be Prepared California http://www.bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov/Pages/Home.aspx
Landslides and Debris Flow https://www.ready.gov/landslides-debris-flow
Home Fires https://www.ready.gov/home-fires
Theater in the Mountains Announcement:
Registration for the CTE play, Wonderland High, is open, so visit the Theatre in the Mountains website (www.theatreinthemountains.org) and sign up today. The play features a modern and humorous take on characters inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and will be directed by Arindam Krishna Das, who also directed The Lion King for TIM last year. Sign up by October 23, and avoid the late registration fee.
New Adventure Guides Group Forming
In partnership with the YMCA, of Project Cornerstone fame locally, a dad new to Loma is working to expand Adventure Guides to K-4 families. The “Adventure Guides” program brings together dads, or sponsoring adult, and their school age boys for bonding time, building friendships, and fostering self-esteem. Shawn Mortenson is inviting all dads/guardians of boys grades K-4 to reach out and see if this opportunity might be right for your family. Please see the attached flyer from the Y which outlines the program. If you are interested, please contact Shawn at either email@example.com or (408) 402-2780.
Love Your School Library!
The best way to show your love for our libraries is to volunteer some time for the upcoming Book Fair. This annual event benefits BOTH Loma and CT libraries so please consider helping out between 11/4-11/14. You can help with set up, tear down, in class, in the fair, or behind the scenes. You can check out the attached flyer or sign up at https://volunteer.scholastic.com/#/signup/5rMnVEGAB. For any questions, please contact Nicole Fichthorn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming events to remember
Yankee Candle fundraiser ends 10/26, make sure and turn in your forms. Candles make a great holiday gift. Book Fair 11/7-11/4; volunteers are still needed. Boo Bash and Flu Clinic, great event for the whole family and at the same time, get ready for the winter with the flu shot.
Upcoming Events for October/November
10/20 2nd grade field trip to Natural Bridges
10/21 SoW 8:30a
10/28 SoW and Spirit Day – Sports Jersey Day
10/29 Boo Bash and Flu Clinic 12-4p
10/31 Halloween Parade 8:45a / Minimum Day, dismissal at 12:30
11/1 Staff Development Day – NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
11/4 Parent/Teacher Conference / Minimum Day, dismissal at 12:30
11/6 Daylight Savings time – fall back one hour
11/7-11/10 Parent/Teacher Conferences / Minimum Day, dismissal at 12:30
11/7-11/14 Book Fair
11/14 Academic Awards Assembly 8:30a
11/18 SoW 8:30a
11/21-11/25 Thanksgiving Holiday