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Head's Corner

Dear Saklan Community,

This week we had our first Family Group Session of the year. Our eleven Family Groups are made up of 8 or 9 students ranging from 1st to 8th graders. Each group is led by an 8th grade student, who is responsible for running the group activity for the session. The Family Group activity presents a wonderful leadership opportunity for our senior students, helps to build a cohesive school community, and is a vehicle to promote the themes of our SEL program. In this session, the activity was focused on Kindness and students did a number of activities around this theme. The session culminated in the creation of a Kindness Chain, a beautifully symbolic activity which underscored the idea that kindness is the bond that keeps our community strong. I was able to visit all of the Family Groups and was highly impressed by the leadership abilities of our 8th grade students. In each group I noticed a high level of engagement, a positive group atmosphere, and tremendous self-confidence in the 8th grade students leading the activities. In follow-up discussions with students around the campus, I found that the session had a very positive impact.

Here is what some 5th grade students shared with me this morning during a conversation:

Leo:  The session was an opportunity to bond and find out how we can be kind to everyone else.

Rachel:  It was great because we all interacted and enjoyed ourselves.

Nicholas:  I enjoyed how Rachel and Victoria (team leaders) read to us and how we all complimented each other.

Benjamin:  This was a great way to get to know each other better.

This was a great way to start our SEL program for the year. Compliments to the faculty team, made up of Erica Morales, Kim Parks and Carol Schofield, for writing the lesson plan for this session. Our next theme is Respect and I look forward to seeing how this theme is presented over the next month.       

Although next week is short for our students, there is a lot going on: Monday is a holiday, and school will also be closed next Friday for a professional development day on "Meeting the Diverse Needs of Our Students."  On Wednesday Mr. Zippin is hosting a Middle School Math Night at 6PM. And lastly, I am happy to announce that the 2015-16 yearbook has finally arrived and will be distributed at school on Tuesday to all of last year’s students!

Have a great long weekend!

Peter