As we end this year and prepare for the next, schedule and space planning is on my mind. Ellen and I are working hard to ensure we accommodate the new students and preserve the additional space we need for art, music, Spanish,dance and gym. Classes we consider special, but in no way optional. To provide the students with a full, enriching and engaging curriculum we begin instruction at 8:00 every day. We open our doors at 7:30 and serve breakfast to any and all.
At 8:00 we hold a very intentional and important meeting that is at the core of our socio-emotional curriculum. Because this time is not 'academic' some might think of the morning meeting as less important, or optional.
It is not. It sets the tone for the day, and allows the children to take ownership of their feelings in a safe and loving space. It prepares them for the academic challenges of the day, and helps them develop productive techniques for handling the inevitable stresses of school. (which is a lot like life)
Showing up late makes kids feel bad. Much as we adults feel when we are late for a meeting. Since we expect our teachers to arrive on time every day, it's also a sign of respect for their commitment when their students arrive on time. Our authorizer, SUNY, also monitors our absence and tardiness statistics in assessing whether we are a successful school, worthy of having our charter renewed.
The transition from Pre-k is harder for some than others. It is an earlier start. Some parents have opined that we are rather rigid about on time arrival. I'd rather think that we're really committed to seeing your children succeed. Emotionally and academically.
Ellen, Annie Harris-Kornblith and I, as well as your child's teachers are all available to discuss tactics for ensuring on-time arrival. Here are some tips an expert compiled for our Mayor, who has struggled with tardiness from time to time.
We know there will be days when the weather, traffic or transit conspire to confound your best laid plans. None of us are expecting perfection. But we'd like your commitment and best efforts. For the remainder of this year and into next.