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Conferences and Meet Emmy

Dear SRMS Community,

 

It is hard to believe that Quarter 1 is almost over! Please remember to sign-up for Parent-Teacher conferences beginning on November 1st. Please know that conferences are intended to provide an overview of performance from both the team perspective as well as from subject area teachers. Conference dates are November 9th (5pm-8pm), November 10th (12pm-3pm), November 17th (5pm-8pm) and November 18th (12pm-3pm).  We look forward to hosting you!

 

We are extremely excited to introduce one of the newest members of the SRMS staff…”Emmy” our comfort dog! Emmy will be roaming the halls and offices of SRMS most days to provide comfort to the entire community.  Empirical evidence has shown that therapy dogs can enhance children’s psychological development, improve social skills, and increase self-esteem among other benefits. Dogs can also teach responsibility, compassion, and respect for other living things. Dogs in the classroom can be used to calm fears, relieve anxiety, and teach skills. Here is a summary of potential benefits (Data adapted from the Australian Companion Animal Council and Charlotte’s Litter):

 

  • Physical – interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses 
  • Social – a visit with a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, promotes greater self-esteem and well-being, and focused interaction with others
  • Cognitive – companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem solving and game playing 
  • Emotional – an adorable four-legged visitor improves self-esteem, acceptance from others, and lifts mood often provoking laughter
  • Environmental – a dog in a facility decreases the feeling of a sterile environment, lifts mood and this continues after visit.

 

Research has demonstrated that therapy dogs properly managed in the school setting can not only make a measurable difference in terms of gaining various skills such as reading enhancement, but also in contributing critically to emotional and relational development. School counselors are finding that the presence of a therapy dog can decrease anxiety and enable students to work through issues such as anger management, bullying tendencies and others psycho/social problems. The introduction of a non-threatening therapy dog can serve as a catalytic vehicle for forming adaptive and satisfactory social interactions. Guided activities and group discussions help teach students how to handle interpersonal conflicts and develop constructive responses. And thus far Emmy and furry friend “Grady” have received rave reviews from students and staff!

 

As always, please reach out should you need to for any reason.  Thank you!

 

Tim Salem