At the beginning of the school year, the adults and students in the elementary building were given some challenges--one for the adults, and one for the students. As adults, we were challenged to choose to respond--as laid out in this thought from Kein Carleo--”Responsibility is not something that is given. It is something you take; you have a choice. It has far less to do with your ability, and far greater to do with your response. Do you possess the ability? Respond. Always choose to respond.” Students were challenged to rise to the challenge of living out the character traits that we looked at this year as we tried to be a CHAMPION, demonstrating Courage, Honor, [a positive] Attitude, Motivation, Integrity, Optimism and [doing what is] Necessary. We have seen a lot of great examples from both adults and students, and we have been and continue to be proud to celebrate these victories this year.
We have had over 50 students recognized by staff members as recipients of a CHAMPION referral. These students have done things like take time from their own recess to sit with a lonely student from a different class or grade level, bring in their own green and gold shirt to share with a brand new student who started on a green and gold day, helping struggling students choose appropriate books in the library, giving up a coat on a cold day when we had an unexpected fire drill, standing up to other students who were not being kind to someone, and cleaning up in the cafeteria, even if they didn’t make the mess. These are just a few of the reasons that students were recognized, and we are all very proud of these students and the examples that they were to all of us this year.
Adults in the building have also been responding to the challenge. We have had several people this year who were recognized by their peers for giving up their own time to help in a different classroom, taking time to share resources and teach a colleague how to try something new, trying new instructional practices or materials in their classroom, and volunteering to take on some new responsibilities in the building. Additionally, at different points in the year there have been many people who have come to me with ideas or resources for new opportunities for our students, leading to exciting trips, new activities that pushed and challenged our students, and new experiences for our kids, allowing them to participate in conversations with authors from across the country, demonstrations at community events, having their work chosen to be included in published anthologies, and numerous other exciting and enriching opportunities.
I am beyond grateful and proud of the way that everyone here stepped up to the plate and took a big swing at the challenges that came our way. We hit so many home runs, and I have enjoyed seeing all of the bold first steps and the success that so many people have had. At a recent faculty meeting, I shared what I am already looking forward to focusing on next year as we continue to respond to needs and see our kids become CHAMPIONs. I shared a vision for the building next year, in which we will continue the work that we engaged in this year in our responses to different needs and in challenging the students to be CHAMPIONs. We will also continue our work in revising and improving our curriculum to meet the ever-changing needs of our students to equip them for success, and we will do all of that to fulfill the vision of the elementary building as a unified team, working to create and implement systems that support students in their learning. We appreciate your support as a part of the team, and all of the work that you do with and for us as a school. Enjoy the summer, and I will see you all again in the fall.