March 2012

posted Mar 23, 2012, 6:23 PM by Anna Saunders   [ updated Mar 23, 2012, 6:23 PM by PFC Webmaster ]

Hello Walnut Acres Parents,


One of the annual events of the season is the district approval of our annually updated safety plan. This year we have three safety plan goals. The first two are valuable and potentially life-saving strategies and the third is a fun, life-enhancing support to our learning community.  


1st Safety Goal - Increase empowerment of students to protect them from adult predators and reduce bullying.

We learned from our focus on student safety that began in January 2012, that making students aware of simple safety precautions is crucial. To this end, we decided to research the possibility of bringing in a team of experts to guide Walnut Acres staff, parents and students in preventing child violence.  After some research, the Child Assault Prevention Training Center (CAPTC) emerged as the highly-recommended group that could provide the specific, age-appropriate support we are seeking. Two of our Safety Committee team members observed the CAP trainers working in another district and returned with praise for the program's curriculum and implementation practices. The CAPTC will provide Child Assault Prevention (CAP) workshops for each class at Walnut Acres. The workshops are designed as non-threatening curriculum experiences with topics that include bullying behavior, child abduction, and sexual assault. The CAP program is not a lecture series, but an interactive workshop that involves children in role-playing and practice. CAP trainers will visit each of our classrooms for a 2 hour workshop between April 17th and May 3rd.  (Kindergarten and first grade workshop sessions are divided into 2 1-hour sessions.)  Both parents and staff will have the opportunity to receive training prior to the student workshops. Our parent orientation to the CAP program will be held on Tuesday, April 3rd from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the MUR. At the presentation, the CAP leaders will share an overview of their developmentally-appropriate lessons and discuss the follow-up that parents may use at home to reinforce student learning. Forms will be sent home prior to the classroom workshops so that individual parents may opt out of the sessions if they choose.

If you would like to research the CAP Training Center and their activities, please visit their website at


2nd Safety Goal - Establish knowledge and procedures for AED use within our community.

An AED is a machine with a computer in it that can shock the heart and help it work properly again. Thanks to the diligent efforts of Julie Stokol, one of our parent volunteers, we received a free AED that is now registered and housed in the nurse's office. This AED could save a life if someone doesn't respond to CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and isn't breathing or is only gasping. While some of us have been trained to use the AED, the machine is easy to use in an emergency. The on/off button needs to be pressed to open the lid, then the on button inside the machine is pressed. After that, the AED tells you and shows you everything you need to do (including whether or not to use the AED on the victim)!


3rd safety goal - Enhance playground.

Our third goal is to enhance our playground through the purchase of new equipment, the refurbishing of our supply storage units, and the repainting of our asphalt with new games and repainted games. Funding for this effort will come from our Fund-A-Need at our annual upcoming auction.


Speaking of the Auction, I am very cognizant that the results of that event will help to define the support PFC can provide to students next year. So at this time I want to I thank you in advance for the contributions you make to this important fundraiser.


And since I am closing with my appreciation, I want to thank each of you for the service you provide to all our children! There are so many wonderful volunteers filling so many functions that I am awed by your consistent efforts, your collaborative spirit, and your accomplishments on behalf of our students. It does take a village to raise a child, and Walnut Acres is a wonderful village - not a perfect one, but a growing and loving community.


Barbara Carson was right when she wrote that, "Students learn what they care about, from people they care about and who, they know, care about them . . ."  Thanks for your caring!



Colleen Dowd, Principal