Connections Corner

At ISANA we firmly believe in Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education and focusing on Socio-Emotional Learning. We work to explicitly connect school and home, so our students know that who they are and where they come from are important and valuable assets in their learning. In this way students increase their motivation, sense of self, and achievement.

In order to connect school and home, we have put together this Family Connections Corner page. This page provides resources to families in:

  • Monthly themes the school will cover during the year,
  • Books that families can read together at home about these themes,
  • Important figures families can talk about who exemplify these themes,
  • Careers that students can pursue related to these themes
  • Important dates and events that have happened throughout history that correspond to these themes,
  • Strategies for problem solving you can employ as a family around these themes, and
  • Connections to what is happening in various departments at school around these themes.

Keep coming back to this page each month for new things to do together at home!

As you do them take pictures and upload them to the “Submit News” tab (under News and Calendar) on our website to document your journey and share it with others!

Month: Character Trait: Color (of Character Trait and Peace Tree Leaves): Month Themes:
September Respect Yellow Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month
Focus Area #1: Peace Tree Skills Put up yellow Peace Tree leaves when students solve problems respectfully.

Include parent, staff, and student resources on respect.

Focus Area #2: Children’s Book – Elementary We Are Different, We are Friends: A Story About Diversity

My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada

Rainbow Fish

Focus Area #2: Children’s Book – Middle School Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States by Lori Marie Carlson

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Yes! We Are Latinos: Poems and Prose About the Latino Experience by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

Focus Area #3: Historical Figure and Quote
  • Sonia Sotomayor, US Surpreme Court Judge, “It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand.” “I do know one thing about me: I don’t measure myself by others’ expectations or let others define my worth.”
  • Gloria Anzaldua, Chicana scholar: “Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar.”
  • Gina Rodriguez, actress and activist “It’s like anybody turning to you and being ‘You ain’t human enough, you ain’t pretty enough, you ain’t tall enough, you ain’t big enough.’ What do you mean I’m not enough? No, I am enough. And you’re enough. And the girl that’s half and half is enough. And the girl that only speaks Spanish is enough.”
  • Confucius, Chinese philosopher, teacher, and political figure “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”
  • Benito Juarez, former president of Mexico: “Between individuals, as between nations, peace means respect for the rights of others.”
Focus Area #4: Career Corner Career Focus #1: Teacher

Career Focus #2: Judge

Focus Area #5: Student and Staff of the Month Highlight students and staff that exemplify Respect with the reasons why.

  • Include at least 1 certificated staff member and 1 classified staff member.
Focus Area #6: Curriculum Connection Performing Arts
Expanded Learning
Pupil Services – Socio-emotional focus
Dream Project
Grade Level Highlights or Subject Area Highlights

August Resources

Month: August
Theme Back to School and the Importance of Education – I AM ISANA!
Books to Read Together As a Family These books are good ones to read together to ease anxiety of returning to school.
Suggested Book for Younger Elementary Students (Grade TK-4) Title The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

available in Spanish: El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres   

Synopsis There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.
Suggested Book for Older Elementary and  Middle School Students (Grades 5-8) Title Save Me a Seat by Gita Varadarajan
Synopsis Save Me a Seat is part of the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common — but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.
Important Figures Talking About the Importance of Education Nelson Mandela, South African revolutionary, philanthropist, and first black President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
Malala Yousufzai, Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.
Maya Angelou American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist
Questions to Talk About as a Family:

  1. Read the above quotes. What do you think they mean?
  2. How do you want to change the world? What can you do and learn in school to do that?
  3. How are you amazing? How can you share this amazingness at school this year?
  4. Learn about Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousufzai, and Maya Angelou. What is one thing you can do to be like them?
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