January 24, 2018

Dear Loring Families,

The second quarter of learning is coming to a close this week.  I hope the unexpected snowstorm and school closing wasn’t too bad of a hassle for you and your family.  I want to share some exciting updates about Loring!

Robot Coding – Thanks to the LCC and your fundraising, we were able to purchase 15 robots that students are using coding with in technology class.  We’ve started out using the technology with our 5thgraders and I have to say, the level of engagement and 21st century learning that students are experiencing is amazing.  As Ms. Mogilevsky continues to learn the software and program, we’ll be slowly introducing it to some of the other grade levels.  Younger students get a chance to experience them on Wednesday during our Exploratory Day!

Exploratory Day – As part of our talent development and advanced learning programming we  have Exploratory Day each year.  This is an opportunity for students to explore different hobbies, talents and programs that they may chose to go deeper with as they grow.  Some examples of programming are:  robot coding, jewelry, arts and crafts, football, karate, archery and Irish Dance.  Ask your children about what they learned tonight!

New Furniture – Students came back from winter break and they noticed some fun changes around Loring.  We upgraded much of our furniture throughout the building.  New chairs, tables and cabinets were brought in for many of our rooms.  Many younger classrooms received new rugs!  This is the start of an upgrade that Loring will be experiencing the next two years along with our construction!

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra – We will be going as a school to SPCO on Wednesday, February 21st from 9:00-11:00.  Please sign your child’s permission slip and return to school.  We are in need of chaperones!  If you are interested, please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher or Mr. Kendall our family liaison at Kendall.Ray@mpls.k12.mn.us.

Loring Recess Discipline Policy – At Loring we do not believe that recess should be eliminated for students based on their behavior during the school day.  We do however, use a system to hold students accountable for their behavior.  This is called a structured recess.  Some parents have heard that teachers are giving kids extra “laps” at recess.  I’d like to explain our system and hopefully clear up any misconceptions.

Research shows that walking, meditating and reflecting is a powerful tool to help shape and curb behavior.  Students who misbehave during the school day and who have exhausted all classroom management systems may be asked to do a walking reflection during a portion of their recess.  Students will be asked to walk either with an adult or by themselves for a period of time that is no more than 5 minutes for kindergarten students and 15 minutes for older students.  During this structured recess period students are asked to reflect on their behavior during the day and to report out a plan that will help them be more successful in class.  This system works for the majority of our scholars.  For some students, we do utilize alternative structures to help curb problem behaviors.  

Some parents brought up concerns regarding this practice and the connection between movement, exercise and discipline.  Since all children do one lap around the pool prior to recess as part of our wellness program this is an excellent point to be cognizant of.  We distinguish the running of a lap and walking reflection with our students.  We will change how we frame this structured recess to kids by letting them know that they will need to do some walking reflection instead of the “laps” terminology.

Parents also brought up a question around how kindergarteners and younger students often report at home about students who misbehave and how they see them as “bad kids.”  One thing that I have found to be true of young children is that they tend to view things as “up or down” there isn’t a lot of middle.  Therefore they see children as being “good” or “bad”.

This is a great opportunity to coach students on understanding another person’s perspective.  Children will begin to learn this concept at times when they make a mistake.  A great way to respond is to say, “Would you like people to think that you are bad because you made a mistake?”    Once again, seeing “the middle” is more abstract and therefore many children are not developmentally ready for that concept. I’ve also noticed that as children learn the rules they tend to “report” or “tattle” on others for the same things they are working on; this, too, is developmentally appropriate.  If you ever have questions, comments or concerns, please connect with your child’s teacher as they are the experts!  If you have further questions please feel free to call me at 612-668-2060 or by email me at Ryan.Gibbs@mpls.k12.mn.us.  Your feedback and engagement on these critical issues helps us continue to grow and excel as a school.


Thank you all for supporting our Loring Leopards!



Ryan Gibbs

Loring Community School

“We are ALL here, ALL the time, for ALL children!