Dear Blake Families:
After an emotional and very full week, I hope that everyone has been able to find some time to relax, rest, and spend time with family and friends. I once again want to convey my sincere admiration and thanks to the entire staff, student body, and community for the compassion, care, and support that was expressed for the entire Manning family this week. I am honored to work with and for all of you in this community.
Our trip to Washington, D.C. was another testament to a strong sense of community for our students and staff. The students were excellent and all chaperones and tour guides were impressed by their character, intellectual curiosity, and interest. I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of our chaperones: Ellen McConnell, Alex Gantos, Tracy Allen, Erin Kearney, Sara Callahan, Tom Woods, Lisa Crawford, John Sullivan, Heather Gonzalez, Eileen Hurley, Jim Cousens, Kristen Kirby, and Kelly Dengos. Reflection is an important element of our practices here at Blake, and we will be taking time to elicit feedback from both students and staff about the trip - successes, challenges, and areas for improvement. We welcome your input as well.
Throughout the year we have taken time as a staff and with our students to emphasize the importance of a community. It was one of the goals outlined at the opening faculty meeting, and many of our advisory activities and assemblies have centered around this purpose and concept. When we gathered with the high school on September 9 to acknowledge and recognize the tenth anniversary of the tragic events that transpired on September 11, 2001, our focus was to explain the historical events that led up to the events on 9/11 and to then reflect upon the impact that has been felt since that time. As part of our advisory, we discussed and introduced the unveiling and development of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. Our ultimate goal was to have students gain an appreciation for the value of a community, helping to lay the groundwork for the year and throughout our students' middle school experience. When visiting the 9/11 memorial this past week with our 8th grade students, I was struck by the beauty of its design and the thoughtful planning that went into the positioning of the names on the memorial via 'meaningful adjacencies', the concept/algorithm behind the interconnected nature and web of relations amongst the individuals to place the names in a thoughtful and coherent pattern. I found an article from Scientific American, located on the Articles tab of this blog, that describes the design and process that was implemented in the design of the memorial for your interest. I absolutely love the concept and feel that it directly ties to the most important work we do with our students. This concept of 'meaningful adjacencies' is one that has been shown in our community and was once again displayed this past week, both at Blake and remotely in Washington, D.C. - by our students, staff, and greater community. One of my greater hopes for our students and staff is that we can help one another continue to develop, foster, and nourish meaningful adjacencies.
Please click here for Important Dates and Announcements.
Best wishes for a great week.