First grade teacher offers ‘Handle with Care’ resource for Dodgeville Elementary families

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:18 PM CDT
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DODGEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - A first grade teacher at Dodgeville Elementary School is hoping to bridge the gap between home and school by increasing communication with parents.

Samantha Arnston and other teachers at DES have introduced a trend that encourages parents to let their teacher know when their child needs to be “handled with care.”

A note saying “Handle with Care” was sent home with parents during open house ahead of the start of the school year. The note said in part “If your family is experiencing difficulties at home, I would like to provide additional support at school.” The note goes on to say, “If your child is coming to school after a difficult night, morning or weekend, please text me ‘Handle with Care.’ Nothing else will be said or asked.”

First grade teachers at Dodgeville Elementary are offering the "Handle with Care" resource to...
First grade teachers at Dodgeville Elementary are offering the "Handle with Care" resource to families.(Mackenzie Davis)

Arnston said the difficulties could be anything from having a hard time sleeping the night before school to a serious incident.

“Their day doesn’t just start and stop at home or start and stop at school, it’s a continuous thing and so we have to make sure that we’re communicating with parents and that parents are able to communicate with us,” Arnston said.

Arnston said this is her third year sending home these “Handle with Care” letters. Although the idea was not originally hers, she hopes it continues year after year in her classroom and others in the district.

“That’s why we’re here as educators to best support our students and to best support our kids and the best way we can do that is to act as a team,” she said.

The resource is completely voluntary for parents and guardians. Dodgeville School District families can email their teacher, call their teacher’s extension or the school office, or they can send a ClassTag message.

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