Monday Notes, November 30 2020

Welcome Back,
I hope the week off was a good one and that you’re feeling rested and healthy! We’ve got a 3 week stretch ahead of us between now and Winter Break, hoping it goes very smoothly!

I did not get to be with my daughter Arielle and her new baby over the holiday, but they are great about sending daily photos and videos. Here’s one of my absolute favorites from over the break–it has kept me going!

A few notes to get you back in action:
1) For now we will not have a Staff Meeting on Wednesday. Keep the meeting the meeting for next week on your calendar, we will definitely be meeting.

2) Silly Video clips needed! As we discussed at our last staff meeting we will be putting together a fun video to share with the community–you can show a special talent, tell a joke, or just do something absurd or silly. Please get me your video clip (via text, email, or google link) by the end of the week. I’ll assemble the video and get it out to the community first thing next week.

3) Inspired by an article they read in Scholastic News titled “A Color for Everyone” ( Grade 5 has been involved in a special project about inclusivity. Their involvement earned them an invitation to participate in a very special ceremony hosted by the Anti-Defamation League this coming Sunday. Several videos created by Grade 5 students will be shown during the ceremony! If you are interested in watching you need to register ahead of time: Find the “Reserve a Ticket” button on the top right of the screen (it’s free, but you have to register). Here’s a little bio about Belen, the student who is being honored: Bellen Woodard is a nine year old from Virginia who wondered why the “skin colored” crayon had to mean “peach” and disinclude so many like her. Her More Than Peach Project shares specially-packed arrays of skin-toned crayons—and perception-changing conversations—with schools all across the world.

4) Just a reminder that at our last staff meeting y’all spoke of wanting to try and connect your classes through shared activities–guest readers, writing small books for youngers, common art projects, etc. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know!

5) Another Invitations? Yes! I’m tentatively scheduling the next Invitation for Thursday, December 17–right before break. Unless I hear any objections I’ll confirm this with parents next week and I’ll send out another google doc to capture your offerings. I’ll include the Invitation you offered this last time in case you want to do the same one.

6) Packet Pick-up before Winter Break? If you think you will need a pick-up before the break I am tentatively setting Thursday, December 10 as our day. We’ll do the usual 1-3pm. Let me know if you want to participate.

7) Another retirement–two in one year! Jim, our beloved custodian, recently informed me and Patti that he will be retiring effective December 8, with one last day in late December. Patti and I will work on some type of good bye celebration and we are open to any and all ideas. This may be another one we have to delay, but we can at least do a little something now. When we return to Amity in January, we’ll have a new lead custodian.

8) Speaking of returning to Amity in January, I will be setting up a visit of Amity on Wednesday, December 16 to see the progress. I’m booking the visit for 2pm and I hope you can make it!

December 9: Staff Meeting, 2pm
December 16: Visit to Amity, 2pm
December 17: Invitations! 11-11:30am
December 21-January 1: Winter Break, NO SCHOOL!

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Monday Notes, November 16 2020

It was a wonderfully stormy Saturday and a beautiful Sunday! Hoping you might have been as fortunate as I was to get up to the snow on Sunday. I got to go sledding with the grand kiddos, and then XC skiing with my gal and the dogs! Feels so good knowing winter has arrived–with all the change going on, this is a welcomed one!

A big thanks to all of you for our 1 to 1 meetings last week. It was great to have a little time to catch up and talk about how things are going. I greatly appreciate your time!

I saw this image over the weekend and had to share it with you. This is the first image I have seen in a long time that really captures my view of the work we do with children, and it really captures so much of the the things we talk about being important at Amity! Those of you who know me know I am not fond of “cutesy” educational anything, but I really like this.

A few notes to get this week before vacation (yes, vacation!) rolling:
1) You may be wondering what the implications of the governor’s new orders are going to be on school. Two responses: 1) Business as usual for us, no restrictions on coming and going at school and no interruption of LIPI support; 2) No clear implications on the metrics yet, we may have more information later today.

2) Invitations on Thursday! I’ll be sending out this link to families today and again on Wednesday: Invitations for Thursday, November 19. Please check it and make sure your offering is correct. Please be sure you have blocked this time in your schedule for Thursday (11-11:30am) and that you have shared the info with students and families.

3) Kindness clip. Last week I sent out a request for each of you to send a short video clip to me sharing a time when someone was kind to you and the impact it had. If you have not done so, please do this before the end of the day Tuesday (today would be preferable!). You can send them to me via text message or as an attachment to an email. Thanks to all who have already shared a clip!

3) Staff meeting on Wednesday, 2-3pm. We’ll have time to consider our next community activity. I’m throwing out my idea now: “2020 has been a difficult year, but… (fill in the blank with something positive that has happened, I know you can think of at least one thing!).” Just one idea, please bring your ideas.

5) Teachers in K-2 will be involved with some literacy PD on Thursday afternoon and all day Friday.

November 18: Staff meeting, 2-3pm
November 19: Invitations
November 23-27: Thanksgiving Break! NO SCHOOL
December 21-January 1: Winter Break, NO SCHOOL

Here’s to a great week ahead, and dreaming about vacation next week!

Monday Notes, November 9 2020

Good Morning All!
I hope you enjoyed the wintery weekend! It was a great weekend to hunker down and enjoy some time at home. I was able to get out for a great hike along Fall River yesterday and it was glorious!

Happy Birthday to Amanda!

A few notes for this week:
1) Invitations on November 19 is still a go. If you haven’t added to the Invitations document please do so today! Invitations

2) No School this Wednesday in honor of Veteran’s Day–please be sure families know. I hope you can take the day to do something fun!

3) MAC Survey day–please look for an email prompting you to take the survey.

4) Staff Lunch on November 18 at noon! FOA would like to treat the staff to lunch in appreciation for all your hard work. Patti will send out a menu soon.

5) Teacher Meetings this Week–thanks for getting signed up! If possible I’d like to do these meetings in person. If this is not possible please let me know.

6) World Kindness Day– I am hoping you will work this into your plans in the coming days/weeks. From the district: We know the world, and even our community, can feel awfully stressful and hostile right now. We are hoping to make the discourse in our community more positive and are launching a kindness campaign with regional partners to elevate stories of kindness – with special focus on World Kindness Day, Nov. 13. If you are interested in learning more and supporting this effort: Here is a list of ideas of how to join both in and out of school. We are hoping these resources will make it easy to join: Writing prompts, for instance; topics for advisory or freshmen foundations; a contest at the high school level; books to read at the elementary level. Additionally, we know many schools are ALREADY doing a lot around kindness. Please consider sharing with Alandra the great work you are already doing. Thank you. And if you haven’t yet watched the kindness launch video featuring our 8th graders, be sure to do so.

November 9-13: Teacher 1 to 1 meetings w/Andy-check schedule above
November 11: Veteran’s Day, NO SCHOOL
November 13: Packet Pick-up, 1-3pm (tentative, to be confirmed closer to the date)
November 18: FOA sponsored lunch, noon
November 18: Staff Meeting, 2-3pm
November 19: Invitations, 11-11:30am
November 23-27: Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL
December 21-January 1: Winter Break, NO SCHOOL

Here’s to a great week ahead!