Thursday, August 28, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!

And here we go!  What a positive, energy-filled, exciting two days we have had back at school!  Students have been so fun, respectful, kind, and ready to learn.  Teachers have started the school year with the mindset of engaging students in learning, supporting the whole child, having fun, and making connections with students.  The only negative thing about this week has been the heat... (insert quote from Elaine/Seinfeld here)!  Certainly it would have been a bit easier to ease into the school year if we had two solid days of rain, but the students (and teachers!) have persevered despite the hot classrooms.

As you may or may not know, a team of teachers have worked hard to develop a new set of core values for the year ahead.  These values were built over the summer after asking for feedback/input from staff, students, and parents (thank you!).  Over the next four weeks, students will be participating in activities and a project in order to truly internalize, and thereby live by (ideally), our new Coolidge Community Core Values.  We are so excited about them, and expect that they will lay a strong foundation for our expectations of each other and for ourselves.  Another important improvement in the values is their title, which involves not just "Coolidge Core Values", but "Coolidge Community Core Values".  

What is a community?  As defined in the dictionary, it is "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals."  Our attitudes/interests/goals here at Coolidge are shared through our care for our school (namely children!) and our Core Values.  And while you can't teach "feeling" per se, you can build feeling through the teaching of values, and through the rewards one receives by upholding and living by values, and maintaining consistency.  And so a community is built.

Our Coolidge parents are such an important part of our Coolidge community.  Staff and parents share responsibility for the well being of our students.  To that end, I hope that you feel a partnership with us when learning, living by, and modeling these values in matters relating to our students and Coolidge.  We hope that these can act as our "common ground" in the future.  The hope is that we hold ourselves, our students, and each other accountable.

And here they are!

ALL community members are “PART” of our values!

·              Always do your personal best
·              Stay committed to your goals
·              Practice consistently
·              Rebound and recover
·              Use various problem solving strategies
·              Take chances; go beyond your comfort zone
·              Advocate for yourself

·              Be honest in your work
·              Think before you act to make good choices
·              Take ownership of your actions
·              Be reflective
·              Honor your commitments
·              Strive to be organized

·              Be honest with yourself and others
·              Appreciate what you have to offer
·              Be kind, caring and courteous
·              Understand and accept differences
·              Use good manners

·              Present your most positive self
·              Be reliable
·              Be a good listener
·              Be inclusive
·              Stand up for others even when it’s uncomfortable
·              Solve problems collaboratively and peacefully

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Super Cool Events

We have had two events this week that I am so very proud of on behalf of Coolidge:


The first was Difference Day, which happened on Tuesday.  It was a day run by students who are part of our A World of Difference program.  This event was student run, student initiated, student scheduled, with teacher support.  It was a real success, and it was student leadership at its best!  This was the first year that we did this at Coolidge, and I am so proud of all of the students who took on leadership roles, as well as all of the student participants, who were wonderfully supportive.  Special thanks to Mr. Bernard, who leads this year's World of Difference group.  Photos from the event can be found at:


Today, we had Field Day, organized by Mr. Huizenga and Mrs. Schiavo.  The kids had a BLAST, were SO well behaved, and will remember this day forever!  Photos (All 200 of them!  Yikes!) can be seen here:

I am so proud in these moments, when our school comes together and does something special, as it only reinforces the wonderful students and staff we have here.  The care teachers have for students is clear, and the investment students have in Coolidge is also evident as well.  As the year comes to an end, I am so grateful for our community of learners, teachers, and support.  As Coolidge is truly a special place!

Saturday, May 31, 2014


My apologies to those of you who are so good at following my weekly blog!  I accidentally missed two weeks as the blog update fell lower on the priority list.  I was advised that this would be a busy year as an administrator, and lo and behold, this has turned out to be true!  While we all look forward to the start of summer (in more ways than one!  Where's the sun today?), there seems to be much to do between now and June 25!

What has been keeping us so busy here, you ask?  First of all, we have been having lots of fun!  On the list of fun includes:

  • Evening Open House (which was just a blast!  Thanks to all families who were able to attend!)
  • Team Polaris trip to NYC (returning late last night)
  • Team Polaris local fun for those who did not go to NYC
  • 6th grade Greek Day
  • Memorial Day Tribute
In addition, we have also been preparing for our fun end of year events, including:

  • Band Concert
  • Chorus Concert
  • Kite Day
  • Marionettes
  • 7th grade Spanish field trip 
  • Move-up Day (June 9)
  • Field Day
  • 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony and Dance

    On more of the work end of things, I have been helping to:
    • Complete the End of Year PARCC Math Assessment (two 8th grade groups), which has and will help to inform our students, school, district, and the state about this assessment.  We will also be sharing our feedback with the district and state.
    • Interview candidates for positions for next year
    • Create new 7th grade teams in preparation for move-up day
    • Compile math data from 6th grade end of year assessments
    • And the list goes on!

    I think that come June 25, this building is going to seem strangely quiet and empty, which is not its natural or happy state.  I will continue to enjoy, support, and celebrate all of the energy it currently has, as the staff and students truly bring it to life!

    Memorial Day Tribute:

    Greek Day Fun:

    Sunday, May 11, 2014

    Fun Videos!

    Cool videos from the week!

    Special Olympics Return/Celebration #1:


    Special Olympics Return/Celebration #2:

    Make Way for Ducklings: