Spectrum Family and Friends,
I was so happy to see new faces at the PTO meeting last night. It is a big deal coming into a new school and a new community, and it means a lot when you show up. We seek to nurture a school culture that welcomes and connects parents meaningfully to the school and each other, and our PTO leadership is well on its way to strengthening that work this year.
As we look to the unique structure of “in-take conferences” for which we give up a day of instruction, it is a good time to remind parents about a core value of progressive education, which is child-centered assessment systems. In most schools, assessing learners is based on comparisons to others, a static “scope and sequence”, random standards, or the old “bell curve”. In progressive schools, assessment is based on the whole child; it stresses the importance of goal setting (academic, social, and emotional), reflection, and using formative low-stakes feedback that doesn’t impose a “pass-fail” result. Our progress reports reflect this by explaining progress along a variety of measures: e.g. academic progress, social interactions, self-directedness, creativity, perseverance, collaboration, and problem-solving. We educate parents and keep you informed throughout the year via the In-Take Conferences, Curriculum Night, Principal video-blogs (vlogs) on our Facebook page, Processfolio Nights, Progress Reports, and the occasional parent workshop on topics and themes. Your understanding and support as parents of these approaches is CRITICAL to maximizing your child’s success at Spectrum.
As far as what’s on the horizon for Spectrum, please plan to attend (and possibly volunteer?) Fall Fest on September 28 at Spectrum School from 10:00am-3:30pm. The committee has worked tirelessly to make a fun, productive event that will raise money for the school. A flier was in the Wednesday folder and more information is on the school website and Facebook pages.
IMPORTANT: Some time on Thursday, September 19, expect a call and/or text as we test phone numbers for our emergency contact system. We will state instructions to reply to a verification email – a simple Google form to the primary email on record to verify you got the call. Please do not call the school to verify. We will reach out to you directly if we do not get verification via email.
Don’t be surprised if your child comes home using words in other languages. For International Peace Day on September 20, we are learning how to say “peace” in many languages. We will be singing peace songs and waving homemade flags during our All-School Share that morning!
I am so proud to be part of this amazing school community.
Dr. Mary Beth Cunat
Luckiest Principal in the WORLD!