Last week my older brother, Taren, and his wife packed up a U-Haul and drove west to Ohio. Twenty years ago when Taren graduated from URI, he hadn't realized that he wanted to be a teacher and so, his degree in Journalism & Communications took him in other directions while he became a Dad, husband, and part-time coach to his daughter's teams. As his dream to become a teacher wrapped around his heart, he was inspired to take classes on nights and weekends. Recently, he earned his Master's Degree in Education. Heading towards middle age, it was hard for him to switch professions and get a job in a NY school, in spite of his best hopes; after many interviews he was offered a job as an Athletic Director and PE teacher in a High School outside Cleveland, Ohio. This will be a big adjustment; change always brings hope and excitement but also some fear and apprehension while learning to navigate a new environment.
I've been thinking about my brother a lot lately as everyone here at Robertson and Captain Hunt works to get the schools ready for September. There is the excitement of everyone returning, and also the apprehension about starting school for the very first time (moms and dads this includes you too, leaving your little ones off for a new adventure) or about having a new teacher in a new classroom, perhaps in a new building. Together, we can make the transition as smooth as possible.
My brother's enthusiasm for his new profession and position has inspired me to think about our school differently. How can we, as families, faculty and staff take advantage of every precious minute this year to help our young learners thrive? How can we, together, work diligently to provide an environment that celebrates all children as unique? The teachers and I believe that we can do that within positive relationships; relationships between family and school (parents as involved partners,) improved attendance and a continued determined focus on our literacy goals. This year, we are excited to make certain to communicate directly with you about your child's specific learning progress at least once every month. Reviewing our data from last year, we made great progress towards our goals; by strengthening the bond, as outlined above, we can do even better!
This is our plan! J
- We are eager to work together with you to help our children fall in love with school and learning by providing a warm and welcoming environment. We hope to show it not only in our classrooms, but also with consistent opportunities for parents to be part of our schools. We hope that this year you will consider participating in our school community through Parent Coffee Meetings, Parenting Workshops and also provide us with your BCI check and then, volunteer, volunteer, volunteer in our schools! J (Please contact Miss Esperanza/i3 Parent Collaborator at Robertson School or Mr. Edgar/i3 Parent Collaborator at Captain Hunt School in order to sign up for the initial mini training in order to volunteer in our schools.)
- Improve attendance. We know that in order for children to be as successful as possible, we need children and families to participate in our early learning program. And so, please send your child to school each and every day, unless your child is ill. If your child is absent from school due to illness, please call the school to let us know. (Captain Hunt 727-7720/Robertson 727-7733) If your child is ill or tardy on a particular day without calling, please know that our automated system will call your home and leave a message the next day encouraging you to send your child to school.
- Help all of our four-year-olds (PreK students) at Captain Hunt to know and feel comfortable within the rituals and routines of school, and also reach Level 5 in Literacy. This is characterized by children knowing almost all letters and sounds. The goal for the Kindergarten students at Robertson is to know and feel comfortable with the rituals and routines of school, and also to know 50-100 sight words and be reading fluently by the end of the year.
Last night, I heard from my Mom that my brother's new school has asked him to also coach soccer this Fall. Too bad that he wasn't closer to CF because, certainly, there would be quite a few of our families who could help the former "american" football player be the best football (soccer) coach ever. In the meanwhile, I am inspired by his passion to be an educator, to embrace new challenges as an Athletic Director and PE Teacher in a new place and Dream Big, Dream Fierce for all of his students. I promise to hold Taren's joy on my heart this year as together with your family, the teachers, and staff, we journey into the new school year.
Beth Tanner, MS Ed