Emma C. Smith Elementary School

  • Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

    For many, Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of the summer season, filled with festivities like picnics and barbecues, hot dogs or family get-aways. Memorial Day is also a time when we remember and give thanks to all those who have served in our armed forces, both past and present, and fought to protect the freedom and democracy we cherish so dearly. Let us honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and democratic way of life. Let us take time to express our gratitude for the thousands of American service men and women currently deployed, as well as their families, and hope for their safe return. Have a safe and celebratory weekend!

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Headlines & Features



    May is Better Speech and Hearing Month

    Speech and Language Disorders Are Experienced by Many Children—But Are Treatable

    Smith Elementary parents encouraged to learn the signs of trouble for Better Hearing & Speech Month

    (May 1, 2019) With speech and language disorders ranking among the most common disabilities in children, parents and caregivers are encouraged to learn the signs—and seek an evaluation—if they have concerns about their child’s ability to communicate. Smith Elementary Speech-Language Pathologist Rachelle Carwin offers timely guidance for families because May is recognized nationally as Better Hearing & Speech Month.

    “Development of strong communication skills is extremely important—and parents anxiously await their child’s first words,” according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. “Yet common misconceptions remain. One is that children generally ‘grow out’ of speech or language difficulties. Unfortunately, this mistaken impression too often delays treatment. Of course, some children are indeed ‘late bloomers,’ yet treatment is frequently necessary, too. Good communication skills are critical, helping with behavior, learning, reading, social skills, and friendships. It is much easier, more effective, and less costly to treat speech and language disorders early—and May is a great time to educate parents on this important point.”

    Speech and language disorders are evaluated and treated by speech-language pathologists. Speech is the ability to produce speech sounds using the mouth, lips, and tongue. A child may say sounds the wrong way, repeat sounds and words, or be otherwise difficult to understand. Language is the ability to use and put words together—and to understand others’ words. A child may have trouble understanding questions, following directions, or naming objects. Early speech and language treatment sets a child up for future school and social success.

    Mrs. Carwin shares some of the following warning signs for parents to watch for in young children:

    • Does not babble (4–7 months)
    • Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7–12 months)
    • Does not understand what others say (7 months–2 years)
    • Says only a few words (12–18 months)
    • Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (1–2 years)
    • Words are not easily understood (18 months–2 years)
    • Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5–3 years)
    • Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (2–3 years)
    • Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2–3 years)
    • Repeating the first sounds of words, like “b-b-b-ball” for “ball” (any age)
    • Stretching sounds out, like “fffffarm” for “farm” (any age)

    For school-age children, warning signs may include the following:

    • Has trouble following directions
    • Has problems reading and writing
    • Does not always understand what others say
    • Is not understood by others
    • Has trouble talking about thoughts or feelings

    Mrs. Carwin also offers parents these tips to encourage a child’s communication development:

    For young children:

    • Talk, read, and play with your child.
    • Listen and respond to what your child says.
    • Talk with your child in the language that you are most comfortable using.
    • Teach your child to speak another language, if you speak one.
    • Talk about what you do and what your child does during the day.
    • Use a lot of different words with your child.
    • Use longer sentences as your child gets older.
    • Have your child play with other children.

    For elementary-age children:

    • Have your child retell stories and talk about their day.
    • Talk with your child about what you do during the day. Give them directions to follow.
    • Talk about how things are the same and how things are different.
    • Give your child chances to write.
    • Read every day. Find books or magazines that interest your child.

    Although treatment ideally begins early—in the toddler years—it is never too late to get treatment. The large majority of parents report significant improvement after treatment. Families can learn more and find help at http://IdentifytheSigns.org and www.asha.org/public.


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  • From the Desk of Nurse Laura:

    We have been seeing an increase in the number of absences due to illness recently.  Our nurse is monitoring student absence rates and has been in contact with the Alameda County Public Health Department. Additional cleaning of surfaces in classrooms will be taking place.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends some ways you and your family may keep from getting sick at school and at home:

    Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.

    Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands. 

    Keep your child home if  your child is sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).   Stay home for 24 hours after vomiting or diarrhea.  Keeping sick students at home means that they keep their viruses to themselves rather than sharing them with others.

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Our Initiatives

  • LVJUSD Framework for Success

    The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District uses a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) - a comprehensive framework that aligns academic, behavioral, and social emotional learning - to meet the needs of all students in our district. Under the umbrella of the LVJUSD framework, the three components that address students’ needs are Academics, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), and Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

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  • Choose Love

    All students in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District are participating in the Choose Love social emotional learning curriculum during the 2018-19 school year. Students learn the Choose Love Formula: Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion in Action = Choosing Love Formula.

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  • All Kids Are Our Kids

    The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District affirms its unwavering commitment to support all students. The District mission, "Each student will graduate with the skills needed to contribute and thrive in a changing world," is a promise to each student in our District.

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