We have successfully completed a full week of school, and I join my teachers in saying how proud we all are of the ways in which our students have jumped into September. Our remote learners have begun to take ownership of their schedules and transitions, participate more productively, and engage more fully with their materials. They are falling back into school schedules and expectations and stretching their stamina. They are sharing about themselves, laughing together, and beginning to take pride in their school accomplishments.
I am so inspired by how fast our students are growing, even over the course of a single day. In a literacy lesson on Tuesday, one of our Kindergarten students shared, “I can’t read.” By the end of the lesson, she was volunteering to read a page to her group, stressing the new sight word “the,” and proudly displaying her own writing on her screen.
Popping into upper elementary math lessons, our students were warming up their minds using previous equations to help them figure out new equations — if there are 8 bags of apples and each cost $5… I know 5 bags cost $25 and 3 bags cost $15, I can put these together and know that 8 bags cost $40. Our students continue to build community through group meetings, dance parties, sessions dedicated to sharing about themselves, and clubs in which they can tap into their interests, be they animals, superheroes, or games. This Friday will be our first Spirit Day — yet another occasion for our students to laugh and bond and get excited about the year to come.
The important groundwork we lay in September — fostering community, independence, a love of learning, and a growth mindset — always sets the tone for the year. This year is no different: By the time our students are on campus in October, they will be ready to hit the ground running. And we are so excited!
In looking ahead to October, we have already introduced our littlest learners to “Forest School,” our physically distanced outdoor model. After just six days of school, we have watched as our four- and five-year-olds show up to school skipping and jumping, eyes twinkling, their joy palpable even with their smiles hidden under masks.
They have shown us how quickly they can fall into safe routines like moving around the building while maintaining physical distance, washing hands upon arrival, working in their work areas, and taking carefully guided mask breaks. They have shown us that under the care of our extraordinary teachers, they will indeed have a happy, strong learning experience that is carefully designed to abide by health and safety guidelines and, most importantly, deliver the LREI experience we all know and treasure.