Head's Corner, September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013

Greetings CMS Families,

I hope that you had a great weekend! We completed our first full week of school and are already in a rhythm. We ended the week with a CMS tradition, the Popsicle Party.  Despite torrential rain that fell exactly at the time the party was scheduled to begin, we managed to persevere and remain in the park until the sun shone brightly on everyone that attended.  

It's always nice to see the excitement amongst new and returning families. There is a reason why it is imperative to preserve those things we treasure and welcome new things that we will also treasure.

The Popsicle Party is like the highly anticipated first dance in high school. The freshmen are eager to attend and immerse themselves in the culture while the upperclassmen, the ones who aren't too cool for school, attend as an informal rite of passage.  They happily assume the role of taking the “newbies” under their wings and preparing them for new heights at CMS.   We had a great turnout and are fortunate to have so many families, both new and returning, who are excited about CMS.

Every school year evokes excitement and angst.  We are all excited about a new beginning and also anxious about change. The funny thing is that as we worry about all things new, the children embrace it!  They are so much more adaptable than we adults.  One of our new initiatives that was introduced to us by our Director of Curriculum, Charles Terranova, is Learning Walk-Throughs.  At CMS we have committed to employ a system of observation. Essentially, these are opportunities for the administrators and me to use as a tool to “drive a cycle of continuous improvement by focusing on the effects
 of instruction.” They are also being used by administrators to become more familiar with the school’s curriculum and teachers’ instructional practices. They can also be used to gauge the climate of a school and for students to see that both administrators and teachers value instruction and learning. They give me a regular and sustained appreciation of what happens in all areas of our interactions with students. It is so wonderful observing our children in action. They are learning, interacting, and assisting each other in lessons.  What a treat!

In addition to observing classrooms, I have the pleasure of greeting the students in the Elementary Building, many of who were in the Primary Program last year.  They have had to adjust to new faces, new friends, new rules of engagement, and most importantly a new way of navigating the space that they occupy. It is so rewarding seeing children strut confidently through the building as if they owned it -- and they do!  Students in all three programs have successfully transitioned into their new turf.  There are a few exceptions and that is to be expected.  Whether it is a toddler getting used to separating from his or her parents, or a returning third year who is confident, smart, and witty but wants to make sure her mom says goodbye to her in the morning before her day begins, the children are adjusting and they know that in spite of changes, one thing remains constant: they are in a great place where they are loved!

As we forge ahead, we will continue our walk-throughs and our dancing.  Some days we will walk, stroll, tango, cha-cha, waltz, or maybe even the “dougie”.  No matter the walk or the dance, everyone is invited to participate in the rhythm; one step and one beat at a time!  Have a phenomenal week!

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