Sunday, November 8, 2020

 November ~ A Time for Gratitude

Dear JES Family and Friends,


To show our appreciation for our Custodians and Cafeteria staff we are asking each student to EARN $1 to help provide a gift! Our Custodians and Cafeteria staff work hard each day to keep our school clean and provide healthy meals for JES Dragons. The holidays are a perfect time to show them how grateful we are. Face to Face students can turn their money into their teacher. DVA students may place their dollar in a box marked Project: GRATITUDE in the atrium at JES during regular school hours. Our collection deadline is December 4th. Thank you for your GENEROSITY.

Emotional Health and Wellbeing of JES Students

My focus at JES each day is the emotional wellbeing of our students. Most of our students express great happiness at being back at school and appreciate being with their classmates and teachers whether in person or virtually. A few outwardly express worry about the virus especially when someone they know is sick. Then they express sadness. Children need to feel they know what is going on to a reasonable extent that is age-appropriate. I want to share this story with you as a resource. I think it is a good book to explain how viruses work. The Yucky Bug by Julia Cook


Below are some great ideas to help us look at things around us in a different way.  We see things differently when we practice gratitude in our lives. If there is any way that I can help you, please feel free to contact me.

Kindest regards,

Ziba Johnston
JES Counselor
817 949 4500

Thursday, October 1, 2020

 Dear JES Family and friends,

OCTOBER's Character Trait ~ INTEGRITY

October as always is shaping up to be a busy month! Our Character value for the month is INTEGRITY defined as choosing to be truthful in whatever you say and do. Please check out the Family Ezine that was sent home by your child's classroom teacher to spark discussions reinforcing INTEGRITY.

CogAT and ITBS Testing Coming Up

On October 6th all fourth graders will be taking the CogAT test. The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) measures students' learned reasoning abilities in the three areas most linked to academic success in school: Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal. On October 20th and 21st, the fourth graders will be taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills or ITBS. Although the CogAT's primary goal is to assess students' reasoning ability, it can also provide predicted achievement scores when administered with the Iowa Tests. There are no special preparation you need to do at home for these tests. What you can do to help your student is make sure they are rested and present at school on time on testing days. Check your calendar and make sure that you have not scheduled doctor appointments during these days. Testing will take place during the morning when the students are fresh.

A parent letter was sent home last week about the upcoming tests that should address any questions you might have about the actual test and its purpose. Of course, if you have any questions, please contact me.

RED RIBBON WEEK will be celebrated the last week of October. This is a district wide drug awareness celebration. We will kick off the week with a special message on our video announcements about Dragon Diamonds and Red Ribbon Week. Each day of the week we will emphasize the benefits of leading a drug free lifestyle by making good choices.

If I can assist you in any way, please contact me.

Kind regards,

Ziba Johnston

Thursday, August 27, 2020


Dear Johnson family and friends,

Whether you are returning to JES face to face or are attending through the Dragon Virtual Academy, welcome back to school. We are so excited to see you! This is definitely an unusual start, but we are going to make this a great year!!!

I want to give a special welcome to those who are new - whether a Kindergartener or have recently moved to the Southlake area.  If there is any way that I can help with your family's transition, please let me know. 
September's character trait is FRIENDSHIP. 
This month we will focus on the importance of friends and how to be a friend. Using your words and actions to show others you care. Did you know that research shows the number one characteristic that people value in a friend is listening. The ability to listen is an important life skill.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if I can assist you in any way!
Kindest regards,
Elizabeth Johnston
Jack D. Johnson Elementary
817 949 4500


Sunday, May 3, 2020

Hello From Home
Dear JES family,
After a month and a half of distance learning and quarantining at home, it feels as if we are in a time warp! I hope that you are being kind to yourself, as you fill the many roles of parent, teacher, breadwinner, spouse, etc. You are doing a great job keeping everything going. We should not expect perfection of ourselves or our children as we live our lives giving our attention to the basic needs of our families and their general safety. It is natural that we focus our attention on the basics of healthy food, exercise and getting plenty of sleep.

Remember what you learned in Psychology 101 about the human condition and the Hierarchy of Needs:

We are working from the bottom two levels.
However, I have to say when walking through the neighborhoods, it is nice to see siblings playing basketball, families biking together, and parents spending time with their children. It is as if the PAUSE button has been pushed. I see families cooking together, picnicing outside and enjoying the weather. Much gratitude for the lovely weather. Our pets are going to have a major adjustment when we all return to work and school!

Life will be back to normal (maybe a new normal) before too long. I hope we remember the positives of what we learned through this pause. Maybe the positive is that you find that family is of ultimate importance, that our health is vital, and/or that we don't need all of those outside activities to be content.
May's Character Trait - DETERMINATION
How appropriate that our character trait this month is DETERMINATION!?!  DETERMINATION is defined as deciding it's worth it to finish what you started. My hope is you have decided to help your child finish the school year strong. Look for the Core Essential Value with information about determination coming this week from your child's teacher.

There are lots of resources with stories, songs and information about the value of DETERMINATION. There is a great story about a 9 year old boy named Ezra French who has overcome obstacles of a birth defect at Ezra French . There is a great summer read aloud Jabari Jumps at .

CISD Mental Health and Wellness

Newsletter ~ Resiliency and Determination

Check out the Dragon's Breath for K-6th grade 


Remember... I am here and would be glad to talk with you or your child about any concerns or questions you might have. You can reach me at: or call 817 949 4504. Hang in there. We will get through this together.

Kindest regards,
Ziba Johnston

Saturday, April 4, 2020

April's Character Trait ~ Humility

Dear JES family and friends,

First of all, I want to tell you all how much I miss each of you. I especially miss your smiling faces and hugs at the Friendship Bench each morning. We have wrapped up week 2 of long distance learning. The teachers report that you are working hard - both parents and students! The teachers are working very hard, as well. Seeing you during your class meetings gives me great joy! I plan on attending each class as often as possible. Look for me!

Our Core Essential character trait this month is Humility defined as putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve. A link to the lessons and videos has been sent through your teacher to your home email. Please share the videos with your students. There are coloring sheets and extra activities related to Humility. The video "Say It" which explains what Humility means is popular with the students. A book that goes along with the character trait is The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.

The Hedgehog is the animal representing Humility. Hedgehogs are shy and gentle which makes them a favorite animal among people. You are most likely to find these animals in the gardens in the United Kingdom. They eat slugs so they are Nature's pest control! Hedgehogs hibernate in the winter and may even stop breathing for two hours. There is more interesting information about hedgehogs...take a look in the Core Essentials materials.

Please visit April's Mental Health and Wellness Newsletter Dragon's Breath 
from the K-6th Grade Counselors at .You will find resources to support your students. The CISD Website has the most current school information and Counseling Resources to keep you updated. 

Looking for additional things to do for you and your kids? I am forwarding portions of a document distributed by Big Brother Big Sisters for your consideration. Please preview for age appropriateness for your child:
• Read at least 30 minutes a day! (All ages)
• Online Learning Platforms
o Kahn Academy - non-profit providing online learning
o Desmos - free math learning
o Scholastic Learn at Home
o PBS Kids learning games, videos, and at-home projects
o Check out these stories and audiobooks available online (K-6th)
o English Children’s Stories: (elementary age)
o Spanish Children’s Stories: (elementary age)

Drawing Activities
• Making Drawing Fun!
• Online Education Resources (Google Sheet of resources - constantly being updated and mostly free!)

Exploring Math & Science:
• 30 Day Lego Challenge
• Math Card Games (English)
• Math Card Games (Spanish)
• Gifted & Talented Enrichment Materials (lots of home projects & learning labs)
• Engineering activities to try at home
• Fun science experiments to do at home:

• Engineering education specific ideas
• Easy Science Experiments using common household supplies
• Free on line calculator from Texas Instruments:

Courtesy of the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys:
• NFL PLAY 60 Virtual Field Trip – To check out previous episodes visit
o The NFL PLAY 60 Virtual Field Trip is an all access pass to behind the scenes of Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Huddle Up and Get Moving with NFL players, cheerleaders, American Heart Association volunteers and students.
• NFL PLAY 60 App – Available in the App Store or on Google Play
o With the NFL PLAY 60 App take real steps to move in the game, explore your surroundings and collect characters to build your ultimate team for competition. See your rank on the leaderboard as you run, jump, dance, catch and see your players do the same.
• Family Activities – simple ways to encourage daily physical activity to keep everyone healthy.
• Football Development Model 60 Ways to Play Guide: This guide is an interactive resource that uses basic exercises and programs to develop physical literacy. The exercises and games teach fundamental movement sills in an engaging manner, creating fun experience for participants.

Traveling the World, Virtually:
• 33 Virtual National Park Tours
• Google Maps street view will allow you to visit almost any destination around the world. Check out this view from Pompei.
• Visit the Great Wall of China
• Virtually discover Yellowstone National Park
• Tour England through this 360 video.
• Go on a virtual field trip to Ellis Island.

Exploring Arts & History:
• Check out
• The Metropolitan Opera Will Stream Operas for Free
• Find a historical series or documentary on Netflix.

Tour these famous art museums online:
• Louvre Museum, Paris
• National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
• Metropolitan Museum of Art
• Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
• Uffizi Gallery, Florence Italy
• 12 Famous Museums that offer virtual tours!

Virtual Field Trips to Zoos and Aquariums:
The Cincinnati Zoo is hosting Home Safari Facebook Live each weekday at 2:00pm

• These zoos & aquariums have live cameras or virtual tours:
• San Diego Zoo
• Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam
• Smithsonian’s National Zoo
• Reid Park Zoo Lion Cam in Tuscon, AZ
• Ouwehand Park Polar Bear Cubs Rhenen, Netherland
• Monterey Bay Aquarium
• Georgia Aquarium
• National Aquarium Virtual Tour
• Virtual Tour of the Seattle Aquarium
• Outdoor Activities:
• Create and compete in a backyard scavenger hunt with your siblings or neighbors.
• Smash wildflowers to create wall art, bookmarks, or greeting cards.
• Start a container garden for flowers or vegetables or make a fairy garden.
• Bark Owl Craft:

Kindergarten New Student Online Enrollment April 6-17 at

If I can help in any way, please email me at I am here for you and your children.

Kindest regards and be well,

Ziba Johnston
JES Counselor

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Dear JES family and friends,

Did you EVER dream you would have an extended Spring Break? What an unexpected surprise for students, teachers, parents ... really everyone! Some of us enjoy surprises, but some of us do NOT.  So it is a bit upsetting when we don't really know when we are going back to school. As of today, the return to school date is set for April 6th.

Until we are back at school, let's use technology to keep us together while we learn. We can do this!!! We are strong, we are smart, we are JES!!!

This week we want to focus on taking care of ourselves. We want to avoid contact with people who are sick or might be exposed to the coronavirus. We are staying at home away from others. 

Here are some other ideas for your family:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds (which seems like a long time)
  • Cover your mouth with your sleeve when you cough
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Got lots of exercise (take your dog for a walk or go on a bike ride)
  • Read a book
  • Do some writing - write a note to someone you can't see right now
  • Be creative - enjoy art activities or have a dance party
Your parents need you to do your part ~ especially during this unusual time. 

This month's lesson on Forgiveness will be sent to you through the Core Essentials link from your teacher. Look for the lessons and videos sent home.

If you would like to schedule a phone call or a counseling session during this time, please email me at .

Kindest regards and a long distance hug to your student,

Mrs. Johnston
@JES Counselor

Wednesday, March 4, 2020


This month our focus is on FORGIVENESS defined 
as deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn't have to pay! We will be discussing how you would feel if      others quickly forgave you when you made a mistake.