From Sheena Hall
Lower School Director
Dear Lower School Families,
I am looking forward to welcoming parents to Back-to-School Night tomorrow evening. We will start the evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Olson Theater, and then parents will have the opportunity to meet with their child’s teacher(s). To familiarize yourself with the curriculum prior to the evening, please read the information in the Lower School Program Guide that pertains to your child(ren). While teachers will be prepared to answer questions about the curriculum, the focus of the time will be:
- Building the partnership between home and school
- Communication, including how teachers will share your child’s growth and progress
- How to support your child at home so he/she is ready and available to learn
- Discussing the common emotional, social and cognitive characteristics for your child’s grade level
Parents will do an activity which will require them to log onto the Flint Hill website, so please bring your login information with you. Our hope is to continue the conversation we began at our Hopes and Dreams Conferences this fall.
This past week students in the Lower School were busily engaged in activities that called upon their current knowledge and skill level while encouraging them to expand their thinking, taking it to the next level. Reflection and the concept of symbols introduced last week were broadened this week. To help students gain meaning and understanding from the experiences they encountered, reflection was built into different parts of the day. Over the next couple of weeks, children in first – fourth grade will start bringing home their weekly reflections.
In an effort to build a solid foundation for the year, teachers introduced the skill of observation, which is essential to the development of other skills such as inferring, predicting, and classifying, and serves as the springboard for children to engage in work that is far broader in scope than simply looking at an object. I encourage you to spend some time watching for symbols with your child and questioning them about their powers of observation.
Inspiration and the Buddy Bench
On September 3, we enjoyed our first Inspiration together. Inspiration extends the Morning Meeting experience to include everyone in the Lower School. Students and teachers meet together once a rotation to build a strong sense of community, acknowledge traditions and holidays being celebrated within the community, share products from the many academic and specialist areas, and develop every student’s capacity for leadership. At last week’s Inspiration, during the Morning Message, students were asked to share one of their hopes and dreams for the year. We then introduced the concept of the Buddy Bench, which was a hope and dream for a second grader, Christian Bucks who attends a school in York, Pennsylvania. Here is the story of how Christian’s hope and dream was realized with the help of his principal, Matt Miller. We will be using our buddy bench as a place for children who are feeling alone or excluded to sit, with the expectation that Lower School students will reach out to them and either include them in a game or just be a friend who listens. In the Lower School our goal is for all children to feel and be safe, include others and use kind words. We are hoping that the buddy bench will be instrumental in helping us reach our goal.
Brown Bag Lunches
We need your help! We are currently looking for parents or community members to share their expertise and/or talents with our Lower School students during the brown bag lunch program. We have designated a block of time each week for divisional or cross-divisional activities that is called “Business Persons’ Lunch,” or “BPL.” Our brown bag lunches will take place during these time periods. Please read the attached letter from Danielle Donaldson, coordinator for this enrichment activity, and the community resources survey for more details. If you or someone you know is interested in helping out, or if you would just like to know more about the program, please contact Danielle Donaldson.
Ice Cream Socials
A highlight at the start of the school year for many of our students is the grade-level “Ice Cream Social,” hosted by Headmaster John Thomas. Our students will have the opportunity to get to know him, and vice versa, while enjoying a popsicle or Klondike bar in his beautiful garden. These “socials,” which have become a yearly tradition in the Lower School, started today.
Grades TK-8 Optional Lunch Program Reminder
As a reminder, the deadline for changes and deletions to your child’s lunch selections is Friday, September 19. Please contact Sharon Giuliani, Manager of the Lower and Middle School Lunch Program, with any changes and deletions.
New York Times Best-Selling Author Rachel Simmons to Visit Flint Hill
Well-known author Rachel Simmons is coming to Flint Hill to conduct workshops with students in grades 4-8 on October 6. We will also host a parent presentation in the Olson Theater on October 7 for parents of children in grades TK-8. The presentation, “Recipe for Resilience,” will begin at 8:15 a.m. This talk will focus on how to deal with failure and the ingredients to help build resilience in your child.
Grade 2, Ice Cream Social
Thursday, September 11, Headmaster’s House, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Lower School Back-to-School-Night
Thursday, September 11, East Campus, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Grades 1 Parent Discussion Series
Tuesday, September 16, LS Multi-Purpose Room, 8:15 – 9:45 a.m.
Have a super week and weekend!
Lower School Director