Moving Up

Faith Hunter
Dear Families,
 
Today, we celebrated our 4th Graders as they moved up into the Middle School. It has been a wholly unprecedented year, to say the least, and I am so proud of our oldest students for how they welcomed a new principal and assistant principal at the start of the year, how they put their communication skills into action each month by leading Lower School Gatherings for the entire division, how they quickly adapted to remote learning, and how they continue to lead the school in demonstrating the courage, creativity, critical thinking, and citizenship that are at the center of our school's mission.
 
I cannot express clearly enough how inspired I have been by our students and how thankful I feel to be part of the LREI community. In my first year as Lower School Principal, I have seen our 4’s develop their language skills and kindle a sense of community engagement. I have seen our kindergarteners write books, build with blocks, and take part in joy-filled and purposeful dramatic play. I have seen first graders develop the confidence and skills to move from writing a sentence or two to filling entire pages with their creativity and voice. In the older grades, I have seen second graders collaborate on math problems and defend their thinking through analytical reasoning. I have seen third graders research, write, and present their learning about the history of New York City with creativity, confidence, and poise. And I have seen fourth graders grow as independent learners who use their skills to make an impact on their community. Across all ages, our children develop relationships with their buddies that exemplify our tight-knit community. 
 
I know we find ourselves in a challenging moment, with both the pandemic continuing to impact how we lead our daily lives and recent instances of anti-Black violence reminding us that there are deeply rooted societal problems we must collectively fight. More than ever, our progressive approach to education is critical in teaching our students to be creative, analytical, and ethical leaders. I cannot help but think about how proud I am to have joined a school with such a profound history and such a commitment to shaping the future. Elisabeth Irwin’s words guide us as much now as they have over the past 100 years: “The foundations of democracy and of our school are built by daily habits of recognizing the rights of those who differ from ourselves.” 
 
As we look toward the summer, I wish you plenty of opportunities to be present and enjoy the blessings that family brings. I wish you hours upon hours of falling into wonderful stories with your children, and I wish you some much-needed breaks from technology. I wish you joy-filled moments like the countless ones your children gifted me with their smiles, their tremendous learning, and their generous love. 
Thank you for your partnership throughout this year. I look forward to keeping in touch over the summer and welcoming you back in the fall.
 
Our final Lower School gathering is tomorrow at 10:00am. All are invited to close out this year with our Lower School students. 
 
Announcements:
End-of-the-Year Lower School Assembly - We look forward to seeing you. 
Jun 5, 2020 at 10 a.m.
 
Warm regards,
Faith
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