January 15, 2024 – Dolphin Digest TPES PTA Weekly Newsletter

TPES/PBES PTA Meeting This Thursday, January 18, 2024, 7-8pm via Zoom (link will be sent the day of the meeting)
Our meeting last week was postponed due to the potential of power and internet outages. Agenda includes: 1) Upcoming dates and announcements; 2) Update about Black History Month events; 3) Presentations by Dr. Gadsden (Principal of TPES) and Ms. Oberdorf (Principal of PBES) on protocol and processes for virtual school in the case of inclement weather; 4) Q&A

Next Food Forest and Gardening PTA Committee on Wednesday, January 24th 8-9PM
We have some great updates to share! Agenda includes planting in the spring, Spring Gardening Club update; and Green School recertification. Please email Erin Mohan mohan.erin.m@gmail.com for the Google Meet link.

Green School Recertifcation at TPES: Bring in dried-up markers and used-up glue sticks
There are 2 boxes in the Atrium, one for dried-up markers and one for used-up glue sticks. Please send your used items in with your child! We will send them to be recycled once the boxes are full! Let’s see how many pounds of plastics we can prevent from going into our landfills!

Seeking Book Donations and Read-a-thon Co-Chairs 
Like last year, we will kick off the 2024 Read-a-thon with a book giveaway! Each student will get to pick out a free book to jump-start their reading adventures. We are seeking donations of lightly-used books suitable for grades K-2. Because each child will receive a book, we need LOTS! If you have book donations, please reach out to Amanda Wagner (helloamandawagner@gmail.com). 

If you’d like to hear more about parent volunteer opportunities during the Read-a-thon or if you’d be interested in co-Chairing this event, please reach out about this as well!

Volunteers Needed to Coordinate TPES/PBES Soccer Spring Event
This spring the TPES and PBES PTAs hope to hold a soccer game event to bring together our school community and potentially raise money for the various programs that the PTA supports. In the pre-COVID era, this event was a basketball game, but there have been calls for a soccer game instead. If you are interested in helping to make this happen, please reach out to Kaitlin Caruso (president@tpespta.net) 
Obeying Traffic Laws
Cars and trucks CANNOT go down the bus loop,(entering from Holly Avenue). If you find yourself going downhill through the bus loop, past the school (on your left), you are driving unlawfully. Vehicles should only be going uphill (entering from Philadelphia Avenue) with the school on the right. It is unsafe for drivers and pedestrians when drivers drive unlawfully. Please keep in mind, the bus loop is only to be used by school buses from the hours of 9:05 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Proper Dress for the Weather
Please be sure your child is dressed properly for the weather. At this time of the year, children should have a coat or jacket when coming to school. If there is an emergency and the school is evacuated, your child may be uncomfortable standing outside for extended periods without a coat. A coat worn to school will be required for recess, emergency evacuations and dismissal. The adults on staff will make the determination if and when jackets can be removed. If your child needs a coat, please let us know.

Upcoming Emergency Drills
In the coming weeks, we will have both a Drop, Cover and Hold and a Severe Weather Drill. The Drop, Cover and Hold Drill is designed to prepare for earthquakes while the Severe Weather Drill will prepare students for tornadoes.
MCPS Winter Parent Academy Workshops Now Available
Take advantage of virtual Parent Academy sessions this winter to stay informed and empowered as a partner and advocate for your student’s education. Parent Academy TO GO  workshops provide families with useful information and resources to support their children’s academic and emotional well-being, as well as help them to be college and career ready.
Upcoming sessions and topics this month:
Managing Morning Mayhem and Bedtime Battles: Jan. 17, 6-7 p.m.
Online Safety Tips for Kids and Teens: Jan. 24, 6-7 p.m.
Visit the parent academy website for a full schedule and to register.
NEW Amharic TPES Parents WhatsApp Group
Thanks to our parent volunteer, Alfia Ali, we have an active Amharic-language WhatsApp group for TPES parents. Help us spread the word!
Advice on Lice
Each week, we’ll feature one of the many tips that Dr. Gadsden highlighted in her newsletter to help remind our community that we all need to be vigilant! 
TIP #3 Keep Hair in Tight Buns and Braids
Children with long hair are especially susceptible to getting head lice since head to head contact is the most common way lice is spread. Loose hair is more likely to come in contact with hair from another child or adult with an active case of head lice.
Keep in mind, 97% of head lice cases are spread through direct head to head contact. So the best way to prevent lice is to avoid close head contact with others, that includes selfies, sharing a pillow, whispering and hugging.
Upcoming TPES Events 
January 18: Rescheduled PTA Meeting
January 24: Food Forest and Gardening Committee Meeting, 8-9PM
January 26: End of Quarter 2
January 29: No School

Upcoming Community Events
January 26: Blair HS STEM Night for K-5
January 27: Kindness Day in honor of Tommy Raskins, kindness stations at Piney Branch ES, 10:30-1pm