Thursday, January 7, 2016

A thankful new year

counting the gratitude of the ye
Families and Friends, 

We have so many things to be proud of in this new year. As 2016 begins, I made notes on 2015. An overwhelming sense of gratitude arose as I witnessed - in my list - the remarkable spirit, generosity, interconnection, and resilience of our school community. This was a year of grand accomplishment and commendation. We had our largest graduating class, and our elementary program completed its third year. We had two state champion teams (Robotics and Women's Ultimate). We are rated as the best high school in Minnesota. 

And, what I remember from the year is the way our community gathered together in support, in mourning, in shared respect and care
for each other. I remember our school where every graduate walks across the stage
leaving a community that is akin to a family. I'll remember how many families reported "My child loves coming to school." I'll remember the fun for hundreds of kids and $8000 of scholarships that our Great River Summer program provided to our neighborhood community. 

We are a school where our state champion teams are best defined by the time they take to laugh and spend time together outside of their practices and competition season. A school where students take on the work of planning a memorial to serve the community when a loved one is lost. This school that is remarkable, for the value that is placed on the work of the heart, and the hand, as much as we meet and exceed standards in the work of academics and intellect.   

So in our year ahead I look forward to seeing the care and interdependence of our community shine as the foundation upon which we continue to build a vision for the future of our school. Keep an eye out for invitations for the community to participate in conversations and input for the long-term in-depth school vision that we are working on. This is the result of a process that began with community-based strategic vision work in 2014, and has included student representative visits to Montessori schools around the country by our students. The goal is to have a solid understanding and articulation of the principles and values that will carry us through the next 15 years of life at our beloved school. You make it possible with the time, energy, money, and love that you share with our school each day. 

A few other things I look forward to this coming year:
solstice party in elementary
 planned by students!
  • Seeing the Parent Engagement Group grow and build on HUGE successes in 2015. Please join them at events, volunteering, and having fun in the name of a more connected school community! 
  • The production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Wellstone theater January 28th-30th! (JTerm!)
  • Seeing us all at the annual soiree gala on February 20th 7-10pm at Como Dockside. 
  • Seeing our current visioning work cultivate a deeper shared purpose among our community
  • Our annual IRACE day of social justice and identity workshops, and the community potluck on March 30th!
  • Being in the dunk tank again at the spring festival on May 14th 2016!