Principal's January 2017 Newsletter
MAIN STREET SCHOOL
40 Main Street
Exeter, New Hampshire 03833
ph: (603) 775-8900
Steve Adler Beth Cadorette Renee Bennett
Principal Assistant Principal Special Education
January 6, 2017
Dear MSS Families,
Celebrating Diversity- The start of any New Year can be a great time for reflection, so this New Year’s I’ve been thinking quite a bit about a question raised by a parent just before our holiday break, “ How does MSS celebrate differences in people?”
Because our mission statement emphasizes respect for individual strengths and needs, the question about recognizing and celebrating differences in children is a fair one to ask. We want all of our students and their families to feel welcomed and valued at MSS.
The Open Circle program is at the core of the work we do to support the development of students’ social and emotional learning. Each year Open Circle involves lesson activities that strengthen the classroom community by having students learn about things that they have in common and by recognizing and supporting differences. One extended activity in Kindergarten plays on the analogy of people being like presents. Each child has his or her own special “wrapping” on the outside, but the only way to see a child’s precious inside is to spend time getting to know them.
In addition to the Open Circle program we have a number of other curriculum components that invite and help children celebrate differences nationally and globally. In first grade all of our students learn about countries around the world by participating in Cruising the Continents. Students visit each first grade classroom where they learn about the culture and geography of one country and continent. In second grade there is a unit that teaches about celebrations around the world. There is variation on how each teacher approaches this topic, but all the classes emphasize that different cultures around the world have holiday celebrations that are unique to the people of that culture.
School assemblies can be a wonderful way to celebrate diversity. Beth Cadorette and I read the book Whoever You Are by Mem Fox at our holiday assembly in December. Fox writes, “Little one, whoever you are, where ever you are, there are little ones just like you all over the world.” She then talks about differences and similarities. The children were able to articulate the main idea that, “People in different places are different in some ways and the same in other ways, and that is okay.”
At this month’s assembly we will be honoring Martin Luther King Jr. for the work he did to create a nation where children are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Our goal at MSS is to support students making connections across the different learning experiences we provide and celebrate the differences in all people.
Kindergarten Orientation and Registration for the 2017-2018 School Year- On Wednesday, February 22nd, we will be having an information and registration night for the parents of children who will be turning five by September 30th and entering Kindergarten in 2017-2018. Starting at 6:00 pm parents will have a chance to visit kindergarten classrooms and then there will be a presentation in the gym that starts at 6:30 pm. In the event of inclement weather we will have this orientation and registration evening on Thursday, February 23rd. Registration packets may be picked up beginning in February or picked up on the evening of February 22nd. We look forward to greeting the parents of next year’s Kindergarten class. Children will have their first chance to visit the school in June, when we have Kindergarten screening.
Snow Gear: The arrival of snow has increased our recess options. When the conditions permit we use both the blacktop area and the lower playing field for recess. Students who bring proper snow gear that includes snow pants, boots, a jacket, a hat, and gloves are allowed to play on the snowy field and build snow structures or snow people. Students who don’t have snow gear or prefer not to play in the snow have a variety of activities they can select to play on the black top area. Some of the options children enjoy include tag, jump roping, wall ball, using the foot print path, or playing in the sandbox with the trucks. Please know that we expect that students will come to school dressed warmly and be prepared to play on the playground during recess on days that are eighteen degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.
To provide a positive, safe learning environment that fosters a life-long love of learning for all with respect for individual strengths and needs.