Dear Hunnewell,

Here we are on the eve of the July 4th weekend and I have to admit a little flabbergasted at how quickly time seems to be passing this summer. The only noise in the hallways comes from Tom’s radio and Amy and I have settled into our summer routine of cleaning up bits and pieces from last year and organizing and planning for next year.

My planning for the year ahead is significantly tied to my reflection of the 2016-17 school year and while no year is challenge free, I think our successes were significant, especially around our commitment to using the Wednesday assembly block to promote social awareness and connections. We kicked off the year off with a whole school assembly featuring the musical sensation, Ball in the House, who literally brought the house down! We then continued with The Great Marshmallow Challenge, our second annual Day of Play, and new Project Adventure challenges. We celebrated the 50th Metco Anniversary, which allowed for each of us to see that we are a community built and strengthened by both our similarities and differences. We learned from illustrator E.B. Lewis on the importance of finding and following your passions and from storyteller’s Linda and Sumner McClain on how to celebrate the stories of our own lives. Teachers also took time to have their students connect with their “buddy” classrooms to read or play math games and build relationships across the school. While not specifically fitting into the Wednesday assembly block, our students also enjoyed opportunities with coding both during the Hour of Code in the fall and our coding residence this spring. Regardless of the activity, the positive energy generated from us taking the time to learn something new and connect with ourselves and each other was palpable. I know that we will continue to explore new opportunities that provide time for students to focus on their social/emotional health. It is good for ALL OF US and would not be possible without the commitment of many people.

First, I want to thank the School Council for establishing social/emotional learning as a priority with actionable items in our School Improvement Plan. Secondly, I thank the PTO who generously supports these items with the necessary funding and the hands-on support. Finally, I thank the teachers who support these efforts in real-time with mindful planning and follow through.

As I said in my last email, Hunnewell is a great place to grow up!

Please enjoy your 4th of July safely with family and friends. Stay tuned for more updates as the summer rolls on!

Sincerely,

Ellen

2016-17 Reflection
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