Welcome!

September 17, 2017


Dear Families,


I enjoyed meeting many of you at our lower grade Back to School Night last week. I’m sure it is clear to all how prepared our teachers are not only for their presentations but for the year ahead.I have to say that the highlight of the night for me was towards the very end when a parent approached me to share his thoughts about the letters I’ve written and to thank me for emphasizing the importance of our community here at Murray. At the same time, he wondered if maybe we are too insular. Does our community recognize how fortunate we are to have everything we need. Two major hurricanes have destroyed homes, schools and lives in Texas and Florida.How can we at Murray help? How can we teach our children to not only give to our community but to also empathize with others who need help? I’ve spoken with our PTA executive board about this large issue and plan to discuss it with our staff members as well so that we can involve the children. As a start we’ve come up with an idea to survey all of the furniture, equipment and supplies in our basement storage rooms to see what we can donate. Our next step will be to raise funds towards paying for shipping to people in need. Stay tuned for more details.


As a staff we are continuing to focus on getting to know all children emotionally and socially while building thriving communities. Of course teachers have also begun work in the content areas through read alouds, independent reading, writer’s workshop, math games etc. Assessment work is beginning as well in order for us to better understand children’s strengths and areas to grow. Doing this work well requires much time, thoughtfulness and skill. While we want your partnership in supporting your child’s growth we ask you to give us the time needed to have a full picture of your child. Our goal is to have our beginning of the year assessment work complete in the next month or so. We will be in close touch to share how our assessment data, both qualitative and quantitative, drives our pedagogical practices (the way we teach) and the structures for learning that we are providing.
I am happy to report that we can begin celebrating birthdays (with food) at school. Please take your cues from your child’s teacher as far as what kinds of foods can be brought into the classroom. We do need to be mindful of the needs of our children who have food allergies.


It’s wonderful that many of our children are having playdates after school with new and old friends. It is very important that these plans are madebefore the start of the school day as our teachers don’t have time to check their emails for most of the day and our office staff is also quite busy. Emailing teachers the evening/morning before the start of school to alert them to any change in dismissal is much appreciated.


We look forward to seeing parents with children in grades 3-5 tomorrow evening, September 18, at Back to School Night:
6:00 - 3rd Grade
6:45 - 4th Grade
7:30 - 5th Grade


Please note that this is a short week at school as we are closed for Rosh Hashanah on Thursday 9/21 and Friday 9/22.


Have a wonderful week!
Best,
Alison


Murray Avenue School
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