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Message from the Principal: September 16, 2016

Message from the Principal: September 16, 2016
Posted on 09/16/2016

Dear Haggerty Families,

I hope this Haggerty Holler finds you well and at ease with your children’s transition back to school. We are so excited to have begun another school year! If you are a new or returning Haggerty family,

Welcome

That’s “welcome” in 27 languages, and I’m sure I’ve missed a few! If I did, or if I made some errors, please let us know. Our goal is to have everyone feel welcome here at Haggerty!

It’s been a great start to the school year. The custodial crew worked hard all summer getting the building ready! Joe and James worked incredibly hard to strip, scrub, dust, wash, and fix everything that needed it so that the teachers can focus on what’s most important. Thank you Joe and James for your support and attention to the building’s cleanliness, as well as its safety and security!

You’d think most teachers spend the summer “on vacation”, and although most take a week here and there to go to the beach or travel with family, every Haggerty teacher team spent countless hours planning. Teachers spent time working with each other on various curriculum units, and this helped them prepare for the day-to-day teaching that is done throughout the school year. Big THANKS to every grade level team for working together throughout the summer to plan social curriculum, reading, writing, science, math, and phonics! There’s always the need for time together to plan, and doing it over the summer with your colleagues is commendable! Big thanks to all of the teachers and specialists who worked to plan thoughtful and engaging curricula!

This year the staff are working hard to clearly teach help seeking, initiation and persistence. We began exploring the importance of these concepts last Spring. This year all teachers, including specialists, are taking the time to make sure students learn the strategies they need to persist! We find that most students don’t know or can’t access these strategies in times of stress or struggle. What we’ve seen is that most students rely on an adult for help. What we want is for all of our students to know what they can do to solve problems and work through things that feel challenging. In addition, they need to know when and how to ask for help. Believe it or not, students don’t always know. Unless each teachers and specialists take the time to teach and model these skills, your children won’t know what they need to become independent scholars!  

We are also learning that when students are not getting their work done, it’s often because they don’t know how to get started or they don’t know what the assignment was asking them to do, and they aren’t asking for help. Once they’ve got the tools and supports to begin their work, they’re completely independent. We’ll be talking more about these three themes as the year goes on, but I wanted to highlight some of the work the staff have committed to in order to GET SMARTER in how we work together to educate your children.

In order to teach and model these three key areas, as well as the social curriculum, and start the day with success and consistency, we are asking that parents who drop-off their children do so by 7:55AM. The school day begins at 7:55AM, so if you come in after that, please sign-in in the office. In every classroom, students are met with some form of “Morning Work.” This includes several tasks and routines for your children, designed to build their independence and their organizational and social skills. Classroom teachers need to start the day with Morning Meeting by 8AM. This is hard to do when there are family members in the classroom. If you want to bring your child in, please do, but know that we’ll be encouraging you to leave by 8AM It’s helpful if you allow your children to be independent in their routines in the morning. Ask them what the routines and expectations are, and have them show you how they are done. Your praise and support of their independence will reinforce it and support a smooth start to the school day. Having too many adults in a classroom makes it hard for our students to know who to answer to and it can be confusing for our youngest learners.   

As always, thank you for sharing your children with us! We look forward to a great year!

Warm regards,

Nancy