Welcome to 2016-17!

Our first day with students was a great one and paves the way for an equally greBodeat year!  We gathered as a school community to honor and welcome our seniors with cheers and a sign made by MS student leaders.  Our opening ceremony continued with a flag raising, in which Mrs. Kelly shared comments about #GoodIsHere.  Student Leadership Council co-Presidents Caitlyn Hankins and Bode Ringenbach were two of several student leaders in each division charged with passing the colors to our maintenance staff, who raised the flag. This ceremony always evokes pride in our school and country, as we all come together to begin our year.

Students are beginning  to find their way around.  Classes were visited, lockers and bins now hold supplies, and friendships were rekindled or sparked. Students demonstrated motivation as they searched for classrooms, were adaptive to changes, and inclusive to peers. Above all, smiles were present everywhere.

As  Middle School faculty prepared for our opening, we engaged in tasks such as setting up rooms and meeting with co-teachers.  Most importantly, however, has been our professional development work With Rosetta Lee and Laura Tierney.

Rosetta Lee is a nationally recognized speaker on diversity and cultural competency.  Her general presentation to all faculty and staff helped us see how the path for this work has progressed from diversity to cultural competency and what that means for our kids and us.  Powerful is the word that comes to mind, as Rosetta shared her life experiences as a middle school teacher and outreach specialist at the Seattle Girls School.  Each division was fortunate to spend time with Rosetta on developmentally appropriate topics.  For middle school, the focus was on moving from the why to the how with strategies and application that embrace all kids.  Middle School faculty is excited to continue on our journey of helping our students embrace this aspect of our Citizen Leader Framework, as we explore cultural inclusivity, empathy, and ethics.

IMG_2362Laura Tierney from The Social institute, presented to all faculty on the role of social media in the lives of our children with an emphasis on positive use.  Her message is strong, timely, and needed in a culture in which our kids spend an average of nine hours a day engaged in social media. Middle School faculty then participated in a “Bootcamp” on “Winning the Game of Social Media.”Laura created relevant and exciting lessons in which our kids will participate.  We look forward to our partnership as Laura works with our students and faculty this fall and throughout the year.

Words that come to mind as take-aways from our first day and these two awesome speakers include imperative, proactive, and relevant.  What we know about kids is this….when you create learning experiences that are meaningful to them, experiences in which they see relevancy to their real life, they engage. How awesome it is that we are benefitting from the work of these two experts in doing just that!

Denise

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