Blazer's Bulletin October 2021

Blazer's Bulletin October 2021
Posted on 10/26/2021

Dear RBS Family,

It seems, just like "that," the leaves have changed colors, the breeze got much cooler, and more or less overnight, here we are - fall in Connecticut! We also reached something of an important number this past Friday - our 36th day of school, or, in a 180-day school year, we've made it to the 20% mark! I'm deeply proud of the community we're building in our classrooms and our school, the social and academic learning taking place, and a focus on "gratitude" around RBS - our "Word of the Month" from our regular All-School Assemblies. We're delighted that we're reopening our doors to families to volunteer, read, celebrate (and occasionally bake ) in our classrooms, thrilled to host a (crossing-fingers-for-good-weather) our annual "Kindergarten Costume" parade around and outside our building, and experimenting with ways (such as an outdoor performance) we can bring an entire classroom (or more!) of families in to showcase what your amazing kids are up to! These are things that just feel "right" - opportunities to come together, to share, to recognize worthy accomplishments.

This year in particular, those experiences - rituals, even - seem particularly important. Our kids - and yes, all of us!, have been through a lot. My own 8-year-old, who is normally a very easygoing little guy, has been asking a lot of questions this fall about "are the smoke detector batteries working?" and "why does this cleaner say it's so toxic?" - little worries that, when taken together, are probably indicative of him trying to process all that's gone on these past few years. I notice it with our students here too - a little uptick in some less desirable behaviors along the lines of, say,'fresh' language on a school bus ride home, or an argument over who gets to use a locker first... little things that we work always to nip in the bud, and we always appreciate your collective help and support in doing so. But we also see it in the number of notes of appreciation that our students are sending teachers or office staff (Susan and my office doors are already nearly covered with the kind, caring, beautiful drawings your kiddos sometimes send us!), or the student-written jokes that are submitted for our daily morning announcements. These are good reminders - now more than ever - that our kids sometimes just need us to love'em, squeeze'em, and ask them how they're doing.

One of the ways that we find out'how they're doing,' is during our parent/teacher conferences, this year held over the third week of November. If you haven't already, you'll receive in the relatively near future information from your child's teacher about days, times, and format. One of the silver linings from last year was how well virtual conferences worked - we had effectively 100% attendance and for a family member who might, say, work far away, it was wonderful to be able to include dads and moms and whoever else needed to be part of the conversations, from wherever they were. As such, we will continue to offer virtual conferences, but also know that some families may prefer to have an in-person conversation - just let your child's teacher know if that's the case for you.

At our conferences, one thing we're truly excited to share with you is the growth (and energy!) our students are showing around their writing! Using the Workshop model, we're seeing our RBS writers at all grade levels producing delightfully genuine, authentic, and creative pieces, working on volume, stamina, and product! As you explore the results with your children, it may well not be a "perfect piece" as we may have seen in the past, but we assure you that it's your child's work, and a true demonstration and understanding about what your kids can do.

We're so proud of them, and can't wait to "see" you (even if it's virtual) later on in November. Be well, be safe, and be in touch with anything we can do to help!

-Noam, Susan, and the whole RBS Team