From The Principal
Dear Wonderland Families,
I love the beginning of each new school year. It reminds me of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.” Nowhere is this optimism for beautiful possibilities more evident than in the bright eyes and smiles of our children as they enter our doors each year with hearts full of nervous hope and high expectations for all the wonderful things that kindergarten or the next grade holds for them.
That childlike optimism is also a great reminder of the importance of what we, the staff at Wonderland, are called to nourish, build, and grow as we welcome our students into our school and classrooms.
Last year was one where we saw many of our goals come to fruition. We finished our three-year implementation cycle of Writer’s Workshop and witnessed amazing growth in our students’ ability to express themselves in word far beyond their years. We saw the implementation of social/emotional instruction intertwined with Way of Council. Our garden program grew with project-based learning and cross-curricular integration. Our teachers were trained with Kagan strategies that brought new levels of accountable academic talk into our classrooms. I could go on with science fair, art show, music extravaganzas, and more, but all that was last year.
This year we are a staff that is on the move again. We started out the year with a four-day training in Reader’s Workshop that had 100% attendance during our vacation time. Kagan is returning with more training in cooperative learning strategies. Mr. Lawton is back and full time with an expanded music program and we have Cynthia Miltenberger coming to teach dance all year. And if you haven’t heard, we are also starting the implementation of the California Common Core Standards, which will raise the bar on depth and complexity throughout our whole curriculum.
Of course, as with all new beginnings, there is a mix of anxiety with all the excitement. Most of the anxiety will rest in the hearts of our parents who entrust to us what they cherish the most. Here at Wonderland Avenue Elementary, the staff and I understand that starting a new school year is something we may be used to, but that for many of our families this is a first time and momentous event.
That is why long before school started (and pay resumed), the Wonderland teachers have been preparing for the new year. When you and your children enter school on the first day you will enter and see classrooms that are fully decorated, plan books filled, desks arranged, seating charts prepared, floors waxed, carpets cleaned, and within minutes all anxieties will melt away. No matter how wonderful a vacation has been, it always feels good to come home.
So unpack your suitcases, put the family vacation photos in the summer 2013 album, take time for some big family group hugs and…
Welcome home Wonderland Coyotes to the 2013/2014 school year.
Proud principal of Wonderland Avenue School