Friday Letters From Leslie – Friday, January 12, 2018
Despite experiencing four different seasons over the last four days, it has been wonderful to return to the routines and predictability of school. Children and teachers returned rested and eager to be at school, and I hope that the break provided a joyful and relaxing time for your family.
Prior to the break Intensives in each Stage culminated in a range of activities. This learning experience was indeed intense and required a tremendous collaboration and coordination among teachers and students, and resulted in a high level of engagement and discovery. We will continue to examine the impact of the Intensives and welcome feedback from parents and students around this type of learning experience. While we will continue to refine the details around how we deliver the Intensive experience, we are in agreement that providing students with real world, collaborative, and interdisciplinary learning well meets the needs of our precocious, complex, and intense gifted students. An added bonus to the Intensive experience was the connections made with community partners, alums, and parents. Our Statement of Educational Purpose reminds us of the Roepers’ foundational belief that all people “have two central tasks: to come to understand themselves and to discover how they will contribute to the world.” The opportunity to engage in the Intensive experience is one way we support our students in achieving these central tasks.
Because teachers are preparing for January conferences we have not had a lot of time to reflect on the Intensive experience. Although parents receive information about the curriculum via class newsletters and through the digital portfolio “SeeSaw” (in classes using this platform), conferences on January 22 and 23 will allow parents to develop a fuller understanding of instructional goals, progress toward those goals, and next steps in the learning process.
Throughout the remainder of the year we will continue to focus on meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of our gifted learners. Next week David, Brian, Karen and I will present a “Coffee Talk” for RPC about what giftedness means at Roeper. David and the Academic Directors have enjoyed working together to more fully articulate our very complex program and how the Roeper School meets the unique needs of our gifted learners. I hope you will be available to attend this session on Friday, January 19 at 8:30am in the Bretzlaff Commons.
In the meantime, I wish you safe travels during our return to Winter, and look forward to seeing families at one of our signature events on Monday in celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. We will begin in the CCB at 4pm with a viewing and discussion of “A Class Divided” (suitable for students in Stage III and older), followed by a soup dinner, celebration, candle light walk to the Domes, and student led discussions and performances. Parking is available at Stoneridge, with shuttle service throughout the night.
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and thanks for the wonderful and generous gifts given during the holiday season. It is an awesome privilege to serve as the Lower School Director, for which I am truly grateful.
Best to all,