September 28

Where has the month gone? It seems like just yesterday that we were greeting familiar and unfamiliar faces as students found their way to their new classrooms and teachers. Excitement filled the air, and the anticipation of the new year was so thick that you could almost taste it. We have now been in school for almost six weeks, and we have settled into our routines. And yet for some students, the settling is still underway. I remember well one experienced educator talking of her own son, who took nearly two months to hit his stride each and every year. After pushing and prodding, she finally accepted the fact that the transition to the new year, new routine, and new expectations simply took longer for her child than for others. This proved to be sage advice for me as I have watched that same thing with many students. Some can hit the ground running from Day One. Others simply need more time to hit their stride and find their confidence level as they face new challenges. Although students will often put unnecessary pressure on themselves to get perfect scores, I feel that it is important that we provide an environment that is safe for a student to take risks intellectually. To stretch to understand hard concepts, even if early attempts do not meet with success, is an important trait to learn as a student. Our job is to provide the safety net below our children that can give them the reassurance that progress is being made, and remind them that learning is a process.

With that being said, we will be issuing interim progress reports next week. This is not a report card; rather it is a way to gain a benchmark on progress to date as the new year gets underway. Interim progress reports offer the opportunity for parents and teachers to help students set new goals for the weeks ahead in the trimester. It also is a time to reassure those who have not yet hit their stride that, inch by inch, they can achieve their goals. Open communication between parents and teachers can assure that the safety net is large and strong both at school and at home. Together we can support each student in reaching his or her own level of success. Perseverance and determination are those all-important qualities we want our students to develop. Those qualities, along with a squad of cheerleaders along the side, will help to ensure that our students reach the level of success that is uniquely theirs. I, for one, am ready with my pom-poms to cheer each level of success.

Margaret Moore

Head of School