Friday, August 26, 2016
Dear Notre Dame Marist Academy Families,
I cannot thank you enough for your contribution to a wonderful start to our 2016-2017 school year. From moving through the traffic circle in the morning, to moving through the lunch line to moving in and out of the facilities during the busy after-school hours,and all that is in between, everyone deserves a sincere thank you – and a gold star.
Even a first time visitor to our campus would notice the smooth start we've had. With so many departments in the school fine-tuning right up to the first bell of the first hour, it seemed one could count on something to go haywire. However, here we are, back in third hour after a celebratory first all-school liturgy, patiently awaiting the bell to dismiss us to lunch, and I have no "immediate new school year stress" invading my thoughts of gratitude and peace.
And how grateful I am. In just one short week I spotted students who never met each other helping one another and faculty assisting their colleagues as they prepare for new classes (even some teachers in the middle division experienced last minute changes in their schedules). I noticed a few grandparents on campus this week too, which reminded me of the logistical challenges our families face getting back into the routine of school.
In the grand scheme of things, I can confidently say we are up and running. I do not mean to imply that it's been a week of sheer bliss. We've had our share of normal back-to-school hiccups; forgotten materials, uncharged devices, incorrect uniform attire, lost items (mostly schedules and locker combinations – lol) and even the need for an ice pack or two.
Believe it or not, I'm even grateful for the challenges of the week.
Dealing with difficulties early on, or helping to see a friend through some rough days at a new school is a valuable learning experience. From these situations, our students learn that this is a safe environment, that help is never too far away and that it's normal for everyone to experience good and bad days.
I predict your students will share with you both the good and the bad of the week. My advice is, at this point, enjoy the feedback – good and bad (when they get to high school you will need a crowbar to get anything out of them). Respond to the "bad" with a calm, problem-solving manner. You may consider sending an email to someone here on staff if you think a situation may require more attention/explanation.
Feel free to get as excited and loud about the "good" your students speak about. Not to worry – most students think their parents are "weird" no matter how we act! It's only temporary. Besides, your students do not think their friends parents are weird, and they act just like you do – so carry on and celebrate that the first week of school is a success – even if it was a challenge.
One more thing: below is a link to a technology-related article that you may find helpful. The start of a new school year comes with a built in bonus, an opportunity to adjust or implement new routines at home. There are some mentioned in the attached reading.
Have a restful weekend,
Jill M. Mistretta
MD News & Notes Archive
Amy McLeod (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Notre Dame Marist Academy
1300 Giddings Road
Pontiac, Michigan 48340
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