August 28, 2014

Happy To Be Back!

A joyous first day of school for these new third graders!
Hello and welcome to the 2014-15 school year.  This week saw the opening days of the elementary school, with the preschool starting soon - immediately after Labor Day.

Our buildings and grounds have been infused with the exciting energy of new beginnings. Families who have been a part of our community for years are thrilled to be back.  We have more new elementary families this year than ever before.  It was a privilege to see you all at our family picnic on Monday evening and to welcome you all at the front door on Tuesday.

Welcome to everyone!

Each week, I use this space to share stories and reflections from around our school. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing with you about our year-long focus on mindfulness. I will be writing about the improvements we made to our campus over the summer that enhance the safety and the convenience of our students, staff and families. I will also be introducing our new staff members and Teacher Candidates to you. And each week, I will share stories and highlights of the amazing things that happen at Friends’ every day.

For now, though, a few snippets of the first day of the elementary school.  At the end of the day, the teachers all gathered in Liz’s fourth grade classroom.  The room buzzed with the excitement of a group of eager professionals who are clearly following their bliss.

Teachers told stories of a new Kindergartner who took a wrong turn at snack time and the fourth grade boy who gently and kindly re-directed him back to where he needed to be. They talked about the soccer game at recess, and how the fifth graders played carefully right alongside five and six year olds.  They discussed plans of the grand loft that was built by parents, teachers, and students this week in Tyler’s third grade. And they told dozens of tales of happy vibrant classrooms and how fired up they are for the school year ahead.

My favorite story came from Kathy Sherwood.  Kathy has been Friends’ Physical Education teacher for 17 years.  Last year, she made the choice to reduce her hours. She will still be actively involved in the school as the Director of Student Activities and our Summer Program, but will no longer be teaching P.E.  Former Friends’ School teacher (and new Friends’ School parent) Lindsey Hilliard has returned to assume that mantle.  Approached in the hallway by a new Kindergarten boy who was taught P.E. by Kathy in our preschool last year, Kathy could only smile when she heard, “So….you lost the P.E. job!”

I look forward to seeing you all at our Back To School nights on September 4 (elementary) and September 11 (preschool).  For our new families, please mark your calendars to attend one of our two “How Friends’ Works” events on September 11 or 17.  As always, our school calendar has all the details.

Have a fabulous school year, everyone!

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