Wow! The beginning of school has been wonderful! The first day of school, August 27nd, which seems so long ago, got us started off on the right foot. Staff, students and families were energized for the new school year. Staff members, adorned in their brightly covered vests, greeted students as they arrived to school. The butterflies must have been fluttering as students proceeded to the playground to line-up. From there, the teachers escorted the students up to their rooms to begin a new school year. By now, students and teachers are settling into classroom routines and expectations, and it is very reassuring to see students supporting each other, offering praise to each other, and overall there is a viable sense of community in each classroom. We continue to work with students wherever they are in the building with respect to their behavior and ability to make wise choices, a commitment that endures the entire school year. You as parents and family members should be very proud of your Brent students and their ability to function at a very high level within their classrooms.
Curriculum wise, students can now describe to you how they choose “just right” books and why that is essential to their reading development this year. The teachers utilize the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop model of language arts instruction, which requires students to be reading books at their instructional level. If you have specific questions regarding your student and their reading level, please ask their homeroom teacher. Students are also engaged in very meaningful activities around Word Study, an approach to learning about and understanding word patterns, as well as other, rich, language arts based activities.
Our friends in Early Childhood are busy engaging in meaningful gross-motor and fine-motor activities. It is amazing to see our skillful teachers at work with these learners, from guiding them through an art activity, to challenging the students while squeezing water from a sponge and graphing their results. Keep in mind that something as simple as walking in the hallway is a skill that our youngest learners are working on, and doing quite well. Our students are truly in great hands and I am so appreciative of the teachers and their aides.
The month of September has brought some notable changes as well. Our 4th and 5th graders are now part part of a departmentalized sysem whereby they have three different teachers for math, reading, and social studies/writing. They have settled quite nicely into the routines and are learning at very high levels. Students will all work from the Investigations curriculum and will cover the same standards during each seven-week learning period. The Achievement Network, an organization that determines our paced-interim assessments and who also supports the teachers in examining and analyzing student data, determines the learning standards. Each math and reading unit is roughly seven weeks long.
Finally, thanks to all the staff, parents, and students for a wonderful beginning to our school year! As always, should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at school, 202-698-3363, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.