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Superintendent Newsletter for December
Superintendent Newsletter for December
Dave Mahon

Holiday Greetings to all from Bowman County School District!  Can you believe it, we are half way done with another highly successful school year.  Time certainly has raced by.  We have been blessed with remarkably warm weather for this region, and the best kids in the state!  We all must be grateful for the daily incredible efforts by our highly dedicated certified and ancillary staff at both the Rhame campus and the Bowman campus.  Our teachers are teaching, our students are learning, our support staff is supporting all that we do, and the Superintendent is impressed with all of the effort and results we have each day at Bowman County School District.  Before I ramble on any further, I want all of you to know that all associated with Bowman County Schools wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season!

As for news from our school district we are currently transitioning into our winter activities seasons.  Wrestling, Boys and Girls Basketball are underway and we are right on the cusp of the start of our new Speech season.  With all of these activities being indoors at Solberg Gymnasium, we consistently run into the same issue each year, younger children not being supervised while attending these events. Several of our staff who are either attending the extra-curricular event or are working either as a ticket taker or working in our concession stand have brought this problem to my attention. What happens, as I am most certainly sure all of us are aware of is that a parent or parents come to the game with their younger, elementary age students. Parents are hopeful that these younger students will sit and watch these contests. I am sure that the parents are having the best intentions when they come to our games with their children and tell their children to sit down and watch the game, probably several times. One must remember that the attention span of younger children is relatively short, and the distraction of being able to get up and run around with their friends at the game will more often than not cause these kids to become a problem that grows each week. In every school district that I have worked at, this same problem occurs, but that does not make it acceptable. I am asking for parent/guardian assistance in the supervision of your children at these home events. When you decide to bring your child to these events, you, not the school employees, are also taking on the responsibility of supervising them at these events. There have been many ideas proposed to me on how to deal with this growing problem. I am hopeful that with some simple communication between the school and the parents/guardians of Bowman County students, we can increase the awareness level of this problem, point out the school’s expectations in regards to the supervision of a parent’s children at all home events and monitor and see if this situation improves. The bottom line is two-fold, unsupervised children at our home events is a huge safety problem.  Unsupervised children typically make poor decisions and are a high risk for potential injury, property damage or worse.  Bowman County Schools will not be put in this situation and does not want anything harmful to happen to any of our students at any time, but especially while at the school. An initial common sense fix is adequate consistent parental/guardian supervision of their children when attending school events.  Let’s work together to make our student’s home events as safe and as enjoyable as possible. 

With the major holidays approaching, parents face two challenges: first, how to find the perfect presents for their children—the gifts that will be loved for years, not just hours—and perhaps more importantly, how to make sure their children are kind and grateful recipients, no matter what they get. Here are some ideas to try. Teach them what they’re thanking people for. What your children need to learn is that the thanks they give isn’t necessarily for what is in the box—it’s for the effort and caring that went into it. Their thanks needs to show that they recognize that someone cared enough to select a present just for them, pay for it, wrap it, and bring it to them.  Understand that disappointment is part of life. It is a guarantee that at some point your child is going to receive something he or she does not like or want. Explain this to your child ahead of time. Laugh about some gifts you have gotten that were unusual.  When to write thanks, when to say thanks. Let your children know that if a relative is in the room when they open their present, that a sincere face-to-face thank you (and a hug) is great. For everyone else, a thankyou note is an absolute must. Appeal to their desire for “more.” Sometimes children need to think of things from their own, slightly selfish, perspectives. Tell them that people may be less inclined to give them a nice gift if they don’t seem grateful for the gifts they’ve received in the past.  When they are the “giver.” One of the best ways to help children realize the significance of giving is to make sure they spend time finding and wrapping the gifts they give to others. Give them odd jobs to help them earn the money to buy gifts. Help them get excited about choosing just the right gift for each person.  Give to others. Help your children help those less fortunate. Save money for charity bell-ringers, adopt a less-fortunate child through anonymous giving programs, or work in a food kitchen. Show your children that giving is more rewarding than receiving. Give gifts that expand their interests. Among the best gifts for children are things that introduce them to new activities: origami, tie dying, model planes or cars, scrapbooking, photography, cooking, or basic woodworking.  Look for presents that help them stay active. Any kind of sports equipment helps kids have fun and get exercise. Either give the child something you know he or she wants and needs (a new glove), or introduce him or her to a brand new sport (tennis racket and balls). Practical gifts can be fun, too. A sleeping bag for overnights, or a small overnight bag or suitcase can be wonderful presents. Look for designs that will appeal to the child for years to come. 

Spin the wheel, roll the dice, and deal the cards. Card and board games are classics for a reason—they have been fun to play for decades. Look for games that children can play with just one or two others, as well as those that are for family-sized groups.  Open up to books. When you give a child a book, you are giving both of you a present. Younger children will enjoy the time they get to spend reading it with you. Older kids will be quietly building their reading skills and vocabulary, as well as their imaginations.   If you are really stumped about gift giving, talk to friends or relatives who have children slightly older than yours. Ask what gifts their children really played with—gifts that lasted in appeal long after the “newness” wore off. This is a very exciting time of year for our children.  It is also a very emotional time of year for all of us to.  Along with the excitement and happiness also comes disappointment and feelings of depression.  We all need to be there for each other and make it known that we are there for each other and give the never-ending gift of support and love.  Many times, we get psychologically conditioned to what the various sources of media think that these holidays are supposed to be about.  We all have differing reasons for the season, whether it is faith based, family based, or an individual’s own personal spirituality; the bottom line is that we all have a lot to be thankful for.  Life races by so very fast and each day is a gift.  My Dad used to put it this way, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift.  We all must do better appreciating all that we may be taking for granted, I am as guilty as anybody is.  It is nothing more than a personal learning opportunity and an area for growth.  Recognition is the first step to significant change and the second is taking action to address this area for growth.  I guess that is where “New Year’s resolutions,” originated, people in general recognizing areas for growth and then taking action to address these areas.  I will leave that topic, (New Year’s resolutions), until after the holidays!  As I end this monthly newsletter, I want to remind all stakeholders of our fine school district that if you have any issues with anything that happens at our school district, I encourage you to address your issue with the staff at the lowest supervisory level. If at this point your still not satisfied with how it is handled at this level, please work your way up through the chain of command until a viable solution is worked out.  This is the best practice for all involved.  *”Wishing all Bowman County Bulldogs a very Merry Christmas and an awesome 2018!”