The first full week of school

Hello Families,

     We made it through the first full week of school, not to mention the first full week of Kindergarten!

The kids have done a great job of getting down to business.  I just came from the second grade, where one class was working silently – yes, it’s true, silently, while the teacher worked with students one-on-one on their reading assessments.  In the other second grade, I saw the kids ‘think, pair, and share’ during a great math lesson.  Ask your second grader if they know what that is!

The teachers have done a great job in preparing for the year.  I am so lucky to work with such a devoted and talented staff.

I wanted to thank you parents for your part.  I watched as many of you bravely said goodbye to crying children – who were fine two minutes later, by the way – and we want you to know we know how hard that is.  Letting the kids go in on their own is their first, big step towards becoming independent learners, and it helps the teachers get the kids settled and ready to learn in a timely manner.

Thursday evening, we had our first PTO meeting.  Many of you joined the meeting, and we had a great discussion about the inclusion model here at Peirce.  One common concern was ‘ how do we talk to all of our kids about the meaning of inclusion’?  While there is not a lot of advice out there on this matter, when you are talking to your children, these thoughts may be helpful:

1) Inclusion means everyone is included.  This means all students – students who struggle with learning, students who learn easily, student who are really, really good at one thing but have trouble with something else-we all belong. 

2) Everyone gets what they need, not just what seems fair.  If one child requires the use a computer, or adult assistance to get through a writing assignment, another child who does not may feel that it isn’t fair.  Here, we stress that we all get what we need, and sometimes we need to work independently in order to become better at something, and to become independent learners.

3) Teachers and aides in the inclusion class will get a chance to work with all the children in that grade, including the ones in the classroom with only 1 teacher.

4) It’s ok to talk about our differences – respectfully.  Children have an honest curiosity about each other, so it’s ok to talk about differences, as long as we use polite words.

Curriculum afternoon is this Tuesday.  I will be available in the library to say hello during the presentations.  I’m looking forward to seeing you all there, and at the Open House in October.


Karen Hartley

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