Hello 2017-18!!! “Sailing out into a universe of possibility…” (Roz and Ben Zander)

Hello everyone!
This morning, as I sat in a local coffee shop thinking about all of you and the year ahead, I overheard a child exclaim, “I can’t believe that school is starting next week!” My thoughts exactly! It’s finally here!
Right about now, I figure that each of us falls into one of four camps:
1. Summer was WAY too short!
2. Summer was WAY too long!
3. Summer was just about right; or
4. Summer?!? When did that happen??

Wherever you land on the summer spectrum, school starts in just two short days (Monday 8/14) and we are so excited for your return!

Welcome!

Welcome to all of our new families! We are so excited you’re here and we can’t wait to get to know you! We know you will have lots of questions. Don’t hold back. Ask away! We become better by reflecting on and answering them! We also want you to jump right in! Whatever your strengths and passions, everyone has something to contribute in our community and we love that!

Welcome back returning families! We can’t wait to hear about your summer adventures and to see what the year ahead holds for you and your children! We ask that you welcome and guide our new families as they learn more about our school, community, and philosophy. You’re the experts and you have so much to share!

Over the summer, I shared the news of several new faculty members joining us along with their personal hello’s. We’re very happy to welcome Sonia (Kinder), Jessica (4/5), Karey (6/7), Lauren (School Psychologist), Jane (Sonia’s IA), Ann (Sue’s IA), David (Music), and Josh (along w/Laura for PE) to our community!

Schoolwide Theme:
Our theme for 2017-18 is Wellness. The OED defines wellness as “The state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.” When I searched Google, I found there were “about 171,000,000 results”.  It’s exciting that the faculty chose such a diverse and varied topic and it will be interesting to hear how each class and grade level broaches the subject.

To each of you, I wish you good health. As we travel together in the year ahead, I hope you find new ways of improving your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. I encourage you to broaden the traditional view of wellness to include our community, your neighborhood, our country, and the world around us.

With your help and energy, this year promises to be our best ever. Let’s work together to provide amazing learning experiences for our children. Together, the possibilities are endless!

Opportunities to Help:
We are working on renovating our classroom gardens. 2nd and 3rd grade are looking for help with designing and (re)building raised beds and the garden framework as well.

My personal pet project focuses on our playground revitalization. I love the way our kids play and use our current structures. Over the last several years, I’ve noticed that they are becoming increasingly worn. This is exactly what we want – heavily used by kids for play.

The structures are so well used in fact, that we will need to replace elements of the playground in the next few years. In light of this, I am wondering what we should replace it with and I need help.

Specifically, I’d like help identifying what options are out there that would best align with our philosophy and our students’ needs. One example I LOVE is the Adventure Playground in Berkeley. I hope to include this in the mix of possibilities for our school. In doing so, we will need to identify what elements would or would not work in a public school setting. Whatever ideas we come up with, we’ll need to share with our students, and ultimately, I’d like the students to have an equal voice with our parents and faculty in the decision making process.

If these opportunities to contribute don’t tickle your fancy o problem! Christine and Jodie, our PFG president and president emeritus respectively, along with other PFG board members will be sharing more opportunities with you shortly!

Endless Possibilities:
Finally, I leave you with this poem by Emily Dickinson and encourage everyone, as we embark on this new year, to live in the house of Possibilities!*

 

I dwell in Possibility —
A fairer House than Prose —
More numerous of Windows —
Superior — for Doors —

Of Chambers as the Cedars —
Impregnable of Eye —
And for an Everlasting Roof —
The Gambrels of the Sky —

Of Visitors — the fairest —
For Occupation — This —
The spreading wide my narrow Hands —
To gather Paradise —

 

— Emily Dickinson

Here’s to a new year of adventure and learning for all of us!

Aloha,

Rick

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