First Full Week of School
We had a great first week with kids! It’s amazing how much can happen in just four and a half days! Eclipse viewing was interesting—especially dismissing right during the peak of it! Our new playground is awesome! All of the kids (and even the teachers) have enjoyed playing on the great new equipment. We are still learning what we can and cannot do to make good choices for having fun and yet being safe. There is still more work to be done on our playground. The shade structure and full size basketball court are yet to be finished and we are waiting on the mechanism which will allow our the super cool zip line to work. Classroom night was a success with a very high participation rate. Lots of positive energy could be found in the building as teachers excitedly shared with families the coming year and everyone got a chance to meet our new staff. Thursday we had our first assembly of year. Our Middle School students were wonderful leaders as they escorted classrooms down to the gym and showed students where to sit for our new assembly seating. They also had a role in leading activities that taught students about our culture and our Thriving Tree theme for the year. Friday our middle school students got to go on a hike in the Hogbacks led by former CES librarian, Monica McGowan and learned about trailblazing–connecting it to their own work as CES Trailblazers. Throughout the week all of our students were busy familiarizing themselves with their new teachers, new routines, school culture and expectations, and all about each other.
This Next Week
This week brings an important event on Thursday, August 31: Culture Night. You will learn how best to support your child to become their best selves while participating in 3-30 minute rotations of school culture, project-based learning, and “The Overindulged Child”. We believe this is an important event which leads to success for your child by providing you the tools and understanding of how best to support him/her.
This year we have a new component for our returning and middle school families. We are excited to provide a “refresher” for those who have been a part of CES before this year. Some of you attended Culture Night for the first time when your students were kindergarteners and now they are “big kids”. Choice Theory and Project Based Learning look a bit different for kids as they grow and change. For those families who may have only been here for a year or two, we will also share how students who have come through our program have benefited from what they learned during their years at CES. The refresher portion of our evening will begin with a wonderful presentation by Adam Hartman, our director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, on the “Resilient Child”. Followed by a panel discussion that includes our founder, Molly Merry, former CES principal, Beth Gaffney, and some parents of those children who have benefited from our model over the years.
Child care will be provided from 5:30-7:00.
School Beautification Projects
When our Trailblazer sign was installed for our Middle School, it made it all the more obvious that there are some other things we really need to do to beautify the front of our building so that it more clearly illustrates to the community just how wonderful our school is and also to foster more pride from our families and students. This year we hope to add another sign like the Trailblazers sign that says “Explorers” on the elementary portion of the building. Additionally, we would like to install a sign over the front entrance with our school name. Have you ever noticed that we don’t have one? Among other things, we hope to add some planters to the front entrance, murals around and in the school, refresh/update the marquee, install benches and tables in our front “courtyard” area, and add some landscaping to the parking lot area. Our PTO will work on fundraising but we welcome sponsors and/or donations to help us achieve our dream of creating a more beautiful and inviting school setting and community gathering place.
As you know, Conceptual Units are an integral part of the learning experience here at CES. Our teachers develop units with an overarching theme through which they teach most of the content and standards required by our state. Every year, our elementary students participate in 4 units—one per quarter. Here are the conceptual units for first quarter:
- Kindergarten=Me, Families, and Community
- 1st/2nd= Insects
- 3rd/4th=Geography and Landforms
Conceptual Units look different in our middle school, but one of the yearlong projects they are working on is Community Gardening and developing our little garden (on the back side of our building) into one that is used by our neighbors.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!!