Each week I write a letter to the parents that is posted in our school newsletter, The Dragon Dispatch. I use it similarly to the blog with more of focus on updating parents on school events, helping them with parenting suggestions, and focusing on student achievement. Below is my first Dragon Dispatch of the year, which is published every Friday. I lead with the video of our Upper School’s opening ceremony.
Dear Upper School Parents,
We had a successful start to the school year! We implemented a new timetable this year and it went relatively smoothly. It is always a challenge to assess the needs of the new students, adjust to unexpected enrolment changes, and then fit the schedule to best meet the needs of the students.
Parents should mark their calendars for Tuesday September 4th from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM for our Upper School Open House. Parents are invited to come and meet all of the teachers. The teachers will be explaining their program and answering questions you may have regarding homework, technology, etc. It is a very valuable evening for helping parents supports their children in learning. More details will be forthcoming.
The other event you should be aware of is the student retreat. Grades 6-12 will be going on different (per grade level) bonding trips from Thursday September 6 – Saturday September 8. The High School trips will be one night stay and returning on Friday evening, and the Middle School trips will be two nights and returning on Saturday. The purpose of the retreats is to the students to form closer relationships with each other and their teachers.
Adolescence is many times the most turbulent stage of the human life cycle. Adjusting to new classmates, a new grade, schedule, etc. can be emotional for teenagers. They may be venting a bit at home as they work through finding their place in their social group and figuring out the different teaching styles and subject areas. The best thing a parent can do early in the school year is to listen. It is tempting to try to problem solve, but it is best to wait for a while and see how the situations play out. Of course, if it is a serious issue a student is experiencing, we are always happy to help you and the student.
Finally, below is a short video of our opening ceremony from Monday. The students planted a White Ash (Fraxinus Americana) tree while the student body watched in our new beautiful amphitheatre. The message to the community was that the learning students do in the upper school will help them blossom and grow into productive, happy, citizens who will try to make the world a better place for humanity.