by Lucia Sullivan on 08/31/2016
Dear Canyon Families,
Welcome back! What a wonderful first day we had! I love back to school! It was such a thrill to see the students’ faces full of anticipation, excitement and wonder as they were reaquainted with teachers and friends. I was so proud to watch our returning students warmly greet the new students, introducing themselves and inviting them to play.
It is important to note that K12 will have their back to school night tomorrow (this Thursday) at 6 PM because Judy will need to be at a family funeral next week. Back to school night for 345 and 678 will be next Thursday, September 8th at 7 PM.
We have had a busy end of summer getting ready for all of you! The teachers and staff had a professional learning workshop to support the implementation of our new Social Emotional Learning Curriculum, The Caring School Community from the Center for the Collaborative Classroom. https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org/caring-school-community
They also had professional learning about the Standards for Mathematical Practices. http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Practice/ We are all eager to share our new learning with the students and continue to to enrich and improve their learning experience.
We have been working on the building too! David Lascurettes (Misty’s husband) has refinished the hardwood floors in the multipurpose room. He even stained a four square court on the floor to make the space more useful for indoor activity on rainy days. The floors look beautiful; make sure to wipe your feet! Brian Coyle, our school board member, resurfaced the bathrooms floors in an effort to improve both their appearance and their functionality. We are grateful to both of them! There are always other projects to do, but these were both important and we are so glad they were able to be completed before the start of school.
Another exciting change is that we will be moving recess to before lunch. There is quite a bit of research to suggest that kids are better served nutritionally, academically and socially by making this switch. https://peacefulplaygrounds.com/recess-before-lunch/ We recognize that there may be bumps in the road as we change some longstanding routines (like moving morning recess 15 minutes earlier), but we are confident that in the long run children will have a better, more positive and effective school day for making the switch.
Recently there has been a lot of research about the usefulness of homework in the elementary grades. Much of the research suggests that homework in the elementary grades does not contribute to academic achievement and may in fact extinguish the love of learning and enthusiasm for school that most young children naturally exhibit. As a result, Canyon school will be emphasizing reading as a valuable nightly activity, along with quality time with caring adults (playing a game, having a lively discussion or doing something active together) and some projects that are intended to be fun and exciting for children to work on at home. We will also continue to offer optional activities like IXL (and may occasionally ask children to complete work not finished in school that is important for their academic progress).
If you are interested in reading more about reducing/eliminating homework:
I am excited for a wonderful year of learning with you and your children. I look forward to seeing you at back to school night either this Thursday (for K12) or next Thursday (345 and 678).