February 15, 2013

Mid-February Update…

As I walked throughout our nearly empty school these last few days, I realized how much I miss the students and the staff.  It is amazing how institutional a building can feel without its occupants.  Your children are the lifeblood of this school.  Without getting too Jerry Maguire-ish, they complete us.  I, for one, am eagerly awaiting everyone’s return on Tuesday.

One thing that these past 5 snow days has given me is some perspective.  What a great, unexpected opportunity it was for me to spend some uninterrupted time with my 3 children (Taylor, Bella, and Aidan).  There wasn’t any school, dance, soccer, Lego leagues, play dates, parties, track meets, etc. to go to.  All of the distractions were eliminated.  For the first time in a long time, our family of five had no where to go.  I cannot say that I enjoyed shoveling the 3 feet of snow.  My back and shoulders continue to remind me of how badly I need to get in shape.  What I did enjoy was seeing my children and other neighborhood children playing outside.  We built a snow fort, we modified a small backyard hill into a black diamond ski ramp, we shoveled a path for our Golden Retriever, and we threw snowballs.  It was fun to see kids being kids.  Not to sound too old, but it was also nice to see them having fun without technology.

Another positive that we could get out of this storm was the sense of community.  A common theme that I saw throughout this last week was neighbors helping neighbors.  Whether you were loaning out gas, gallons of milk/water, shoveling a walkway, or searching in the 7 foot snow plow piles for your neighbor’s Sunday paper, no one was alone in this.  Hopefully this will be a valuable lesson that our children will take away from this.  When they are our age and talking about the Blizzard of ’13, I hope they tell the stories of kindness that we all witnessed and heard about in the news.

Now back to the education of your children.  We are just past the halfway point of our school year.  There is still a ton of learning to do.  We have new Common Core based units being implemented in our English classrooms.  Our Math teachers are in their second year of implementing their Common Core based curriculum.  On Friday, our 7th grade students will be taking their OLSAT tests.  Wallingford is having the students take these assessments entirely on-line for the first time.  This will be good practice for the upcoming Smarter Balanced assessments that our students will be taking.  In addition, an e-mail went home recently for our upcoming Connecticut Mastery Tests.  These will take place during the month of March.  Primary testing will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week.  Mondays and Fridays are being reserved for make-ups.  A good night’s rest, a good breakfast and great attendance are the keys to success for our students.  Please do the best that you can in supporting your children with this.

I hope everyone was able to enjoy this unexpected break.  Please remind your children that Moran misses them and we are looking forward to their return.  See you all on Tuesday.