Lower School’s Top Ten
Over the Thanksgiving break, I was provided with much needed time and space to press pause on all that was happening in my life and in our world.
I was given a chance to reflect on the many blessings in my life and to celebrate the divine goodness that exists in the people in my life and in the world around us.
I realized the amount of gratitude I have for the Ravenscroft community, and I was reminded again and again why I will be giving to this special community on #GivingTuesday.
Here are the top ten reasons I am grateful for the Lower School at Ravenscroft:
- New Makerspace and a Commitment to STEM+
The addition of the new Makerspace, located behind the Kindergarten building, has provided a place for students and teachers to actively engage in the design thinking process. Robotics and engineering kits, Legos, arts and crafts supplies, and lots of other materials in the space provide learners with access to a variety of resources as they ask questions, brainstorm solutions, create prototypes, and experiment with their designs. The space is in its early phases of development, yet classes have already started using it for their STEM+ design challenges. The squeals of excitement when students enter the space and the energy around this type of learning make me grateful for our Makerspace and our commitment to STEM+.
- Positive Partnership with Parents
I am grateful to work in a community where the parents go above and beyond to be involved in this partnership. When the relationship between home and school is a positive one, our children are better positioned for joy and success. The Parents’ Association, Grade Level Representatives, Room Parents, Lunch Saints, Recess Saints, Reading Saints, Big Center Volunteers, Helping Hands, and every parent who has made an investment by giving their time, treasure, or talent to our community and trusted us with their children each day, we thank you!
- Tree Talks and Community Gatherings
The opportunity to gather as an entire Lower School through a Tree Talk or community gathering like Veterans Day or Grandparents and Special Friends Day is truly a gift. It is during these moments when I can see and feel the collective spirit and passion that exists in our Lower School. We are learning and growing together as citizen leaders during these gatherings, and the singing and dancing that is involved ensures there is laughter and fun too!
- Fifth Grade Student Leaders
The fifth graders have taken to heart the leadership challenge we shared with them at the beginning of the year. We challenged them to make a positive difference in our Lower School with their actions and words. We invited them to share their ideas for making our community better so we can work together on this journey. Fifth graders asked to share important messages with everyone at our Lower School gatherings; they wrote letters suggesting new ideas for working with younger students; they signed up to be Safety Assistants; they serve as front office runners; and they greet us each day on the morning announcements. Our future is filled with hope thanks to these fifth grade leaders.
- UTOTES Collaboration
Ravenscroft is collaborating with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science in the program UTOTES, Using the Outdoors to Teach Experiential Science (or Subjects). This year long professional development experience will help increase our awareness and appreciation for our beautiful campus and the learning opportunities that exist all around us. I am grateful for the time to actively learn alongside my colleagues and then watch them transfer their learning directly into their classrooms with their own students.
- Extracurricular Offerings
The amount of extracurricular options offered to our children at Ravenscroft is truly amazing. I started to make a list and I am not even sure I have begun to capture all of them: Girls on the Run, Science Olympiad, Battle of the Books, Spirit Team, after-school clubs sponsored by teachers that range from cooking to kickball, Fine Arts Ensembles that include Drama Troupe, Band, Choir, Ravin Ravens, and Orchestra, Auxiliary Programs that include Chess, Little Laxers, Learn to Ride a Bike, Ravens Swim, and Power On & Power Up, and SO MUCH MORE!
- Diversity and Inclusion Committee
The Lower School Diversity and Inclusion Committee is a group of passionate, forward-thinking educators who are committed to ensuring our community is a place where everyone feels known, respected, appreciated, and celebrated. The team has been planning special events and holiday celebrations, researching resources to share with others, and designing parent outreach opportunities. Some highlights from this year include Hispanic Heritage Month, Diwali, Mix It Up Lunch, and the upcoming Community Conversation on December 7th.
- Workshop Model for Instruction
When I walk into classrooms and see our reading, writing, and math workshops in action, I am continually impressed with the engagement of all the learners (students and teachers). This method of instruction allows for a differentiated model that is able to meet the needs of the diverse students in our classrooms and nurture their individual potential. Through a combination of whole group direct instruction, small group work with and without a teacher, partner work, and independent exploration, we are able to provide our students with a rich and authentic learning experience.
- Dedicated Faculty and Staff
We have the best faculty and staff, and I am grateful for the way they embody what it means to be citizen leaders each and every day. They are highly communicative and collaborative within and across grade levels to ensure they are learning and growing with each other. They are continually researching, designing, and implementing curriculum and instruction to best meet the needs of our 21st century learners. Most importantly, they take the time to truly get to know their students; they care deeply for them; and they position them to thrive in and out of the classroom.
Our Lead From Here initiative serves as the guiding framework for our learning and growth each day as citizen leaders. This unique and comprehensive approach is making a positive difference in our community, and it is truly preparing our students to thrive in our complex and interdependent world. I am beyond grateful to be part of a community that invests in developing the whole child and is committed to the professional and personal growth of its faculty and staff.
These are just ten reasons I am grateful for our learning community here at Ravenscroft, my list could go on….
What would you include?
(Please share in the comments)