Dear Blake Families,
I hope that you all have been enjoying a relaxing and restful summer with your family and friends, and that you have found the time to make your vacation days all that they should be. The months of July and August have been productive ones here at Blake, as our teachers have been preparing new units and revising their curriculum units while our excellent maintenance staff has been getting the building ready for a productive year. The first official day of school is nearing, and I am writing to provide you with some important information regarding the beginning of the school year -- please refer to the Important Dates and Announcements tab of this blog.
The 2012-2013 school year will begin on Tuesday, September 4. As we have done in past years, we will stagger our starting times for the students. Arrival information for the opening day is as follows:
- Students in grade six report to the gymnasium by 7:40 a.m. for opening orientation
- Students in grade seven report to the gymnasium by 10:00 a.m.
- Students in grade eight report to the cafeteria by 10:00 a.m.
- There will be a separate bus run beginning at 9:15 a.m. on the first day for students in grades seven and eight.
- Students in grades seven and eight should not report to school before 9:40 a.m. on opening day.
My hope is to continue to share articles that I have read as well as resources that I believe may be of use to you as parents. Along these lines, I have posted an article from The New York Times by Madeline Levine, author of the book 'Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success', entitled 'Raising Successful Children' (8/4/12) (located on the Articles tab of this blog). In the article Levine shares research and findings from both Diana Baumrind and Carol Dweck, regarding parental involvement and indicators for raising motivated and successful children. The article touches on a number of themes such as appropriate levels of autonomy, feedback, and recognition, that we have been exploring as a school and will continue to examine throughout the coming years as well. A couple of particularly salient lines stood out in the article for me: "...reasonably supporting a child's autonomy and limiting interference results in better academic and emotional outcomes...parents also have to be clear about their own values. Children watch us closely. If you want your children to be able to stand up for their values, you have to do the same." As we approach the transition from 'summer living, expectations, and parenting' to 'school living, expectations, and parenting', I found this article of interest as both an educator and a parent. And, although some of the language and topics may feel 'daunting' or 'overwhelming' as a parent, I do believe that it helps keep some of these themes at the forefront of our thinking, when we are working with our children.
As I have shared many times, I feel extremely fortunate to be working with such a fine group of students, families, and teachers. Blake Middle School is a wonderful, nurturing, and challenging environment and it is my pleasure and honor to work in this community. I look forward to working with you and your students throughout the year as we collectively strive to continue to foster a culture of learning and respect. We have both successes and challenges that lie ahead and I am excited about what the future brings for all of us. I wish everyone an enjoyable and memorable next few weeks.
I will resume updating my blog on a consistent basis once again after the official start of the school year, and I encourage you to check this site weekly for updates and important information.
As always, please feel free to contact me, Kelly, or your student's guidance counselor with any questions or concerns.