Friday’s bright sunshine only illuminates the stark white of record snow we’ve lived with since January. We all know the grass is down there, somewhere beneath, 100 or so inches of snow, but it would be nice to see. Believe it or not spring is just three weeks away and Fiske students will play outside on a blanket of green with warm sunshine sometime soon. (Have I convinced you winter’s almost over, as I try to convince myself?)
Today as part of our once-a-month Friday morning meeting, I read the book, The Invisible Boy
. The story is one that we all can relate to about feeling alone and excluded from the group. The main character, Brian, is drawn in gray as we see him not chosen for games and even go unseen by his teacher. Not until Brian reaches out to a new student and the favor is returned does Brian start to feel and become included in the group.
It’s a beautiful, simply told story of how Brian is seen (or not seen) by his classmates and how he comes to life through his new friend. Illustrated by Patrice Barton, Brian’s new outlook is portrayed through adding color to his likeness when he’s included in a group of peers.
Before I read this book aloud to all 347 students and staff, we talked about our Fiske Fundamentals (fair, inclusive, safe, kind and inclusive) and then afterwards, I retold a story of an act of kindness someone bestowed on me while I was a homesick, freshman at college. I also told the students that no act of kindness goes unnoticed, as here I was retelling something that happened to me almost 30 years ago, and I could recall the time, place and how I felt. Finally I asked everyone to close their eyes and think about an act of kindness that had occurred in their life and/or an act of kindness they may want to give to someone else today. If you’d like to continue this discussion at home you may want to access the Random Acts of Kindness
web page that has many ideas and resources on acting kindly.
Speaking of kindness thanks to parents who answered my School Messenger email asking for volunteer support for the Fiske Multicultural Festival. The rapid response by the Fiske community ensured that all components of the festival will be presented on Wednesday, March 4 at Wellesley Middle School from 5:30-7:45 – food, fun and performances. I hope you can join me at this worthwhile and well-attended school/community event.
Finally, as a result of our record snowfall, driving in and around Fiske has been slow, as reduced visibility around snow banks has required. In addition, drop off and pick up has moved at a much slower rate. I appreciate the vast majority of our drivers taking a cautious approach to driving and thank all for their patience, as it has taken a bit longer receiving and sending students home in carline.
While I do receive feedback on how to improve carline and may implement a few minor changes, I do want to re-emphasize some basic safety rules for all drivers. I would appreciate parents and guardians passing on this important information to their friends, relatives or nannies who may participate in carline on a limited basis. Those drivers who are unfamiliar with our procedures around carline can cause greater delays and safety concerns then those who participate on a more regular basis. The biggest disruptions in carline usually occur on Wednesdays when more students are doubling up with friends or unfamiliar drivers are picking students up.
- Drivers are to pull up their cars all the way to the end of our driveway or as far as the vehicle can go. We usually see occasional drivers stop where children are standing in line at the midway point of our driveway and this slows the carline down.
- Drivers are to stay in their cars and children are required to enter vehicles in the rear passenger side of cars. I know several drivers who want to assist children entering their vehicles, but with some Fiske staff assistance (there are three adults on carline duty) even our youngest students can receive support getting into cars and the carline can move in the most efficient and safe manner.
- Driving through the Fiske driveway and on Hastings Street in a slow and safe way. While this is a given, I do notice drivers driving quickly when it’s close to the start or end of school. I can assure you that we keep all students safe at Fiske and arriving a few minutes late on either end of the school day is preferable to anyone getting hurt. Please be mindful of your speed entering school and Hastings Street.
- Finally, when a Fiske staff member, including me, does speak with a carline driver they do so with the intent of reminding adults of these safety rules. In the past, there have been rare occasions when staff has been met with responses that don’t match our School District Core Value of Cooperative and Caring Relationships and as written earlier the Fiske Fundamental of Kindness.
If you have suggestions about carline, as I received today, or feedback, please feel free to contact me at school.
Have a great weekend!