Monday, September 5, 2011

Principal's Newsletter -- September 5, 2011

Having experienced the "night-before-the-first-day-of-a-school-year jitters/excitement" every single year of my life (my folks were both teachers too) it has transformed in me into a comforting, calming feeling.

The school is ready -- floors gleaming, supplies organized and sorted. The teachers are ready -- far too many of them were in this weekend to add those critical finishing touches. The kids are ready -- or so they graciously tell me. And, I'm pretty sure you are ready.

So let's have a tremendous year!

I will touch on these rather broad themes in more detail in the weeks to come, but I want to outline some of the thoughts percolating in our heads as we launch the school year.

School Culture and Character Education will continue to be an area of focus. We started this effort last year and we have even more work to do this year. The Leadership elective is a really strong element of this effort. Teams of teachers at each level have been engaged in dialogue about how we can do a better job of reaching out to children, noticing them, and supporting their personal efforts.

Innovation is a word bandied about quite a bit lately, but its relevance for our kids has never been more clear to me after hearing Dr. Yong Zhao speak to faculty and community last week. Apropos, then, that this Fall sees the advent of Destination Imagination and Lego Robotics teams.

Curriculum is another key ingredient. Adoption of new standards for English language arts and math over the course of these next several years -- beginning in earnest this year -- and our configuration changes toward multi-age grouping, are catalysts for a full review of our curricular offering.

We'll be gathering under the covered play area tomorrow morning to greet the children. Posters are up marking their gathering points. we really enjoyed walking into the building together last year on the first day of school, and will be repeating that experience on the first morning this year.