Principal Makela’s Newsletter – April 2013

IMG_0508Dear Madera Family,

It’s been great to be back after a week away! It really is beginning to look and feel like spring. With joy and wonder, the kids on the yard have been finding caterpillars and ladybugs, sparking conversations about what they will become and what they need to thrive. Perhaps it’s that life and growth is just so evident or maybe it’s that the week off allows us a bit of distance to see things anew, like stepping back from a painting to see the magnificent whole made from thick paint and brush stokes… whatever the case, the tremendous growth, the fruits of our labor seems to appear unexpectedly. The children even seem so much taller after just one week! The staff and I were thinking back over the year, from August until now, realizing that we’ve accomplished a lot! And, we’ve grown a lot too – looking at what makes a good school and good learning, as a community of people committed to the work of providing a wonderfully joyful learning environment. What we’ve planted is taking root and growing.

As we look toward the future and envision what might be, join us. Whatever your interest or expertise, there is a place at Madera for you. Watch the website for committee meeting dates and times, or other community meetings and ways to be involved. “Schools embody the dreams we have for our children,” says Deborah Meier. What are our dreams? What are yours? Perhaps we’ll start a forum to share our ideas. Spring is the perfect time for new ideas and solutions.

One new program to be housed at Madera next year will be a Transitional Kindergarten class for children who will turn 5 in the fall, between October 2 and December 2. Families can register in our office. Don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions or need information.

The district also is looking to the future, through a strategic planning process. The plan will be developed over the coming months through the input of various stakeholders. Our meeting date is April 27, at 10am, at El Cerrito High School. If you’d like to join me in representing Madera, please let me know either by email or drop a note in my box in the office.

If you’d like to give feedback about our school climate, take the Healthy Kids Survey online. Our school code is YX44GD. Our 5th grade students took the survey last month, the staff is doing it now, and it’s open to parents until May 3.

State testing begins on April 30 and continues for two weeks, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This is another way to show growth over time. While we never want to put undo emphasis on this one measure, it is important, so many thanks in advance for making sure that your child is well fed and gets enough rest so that they’re at their best for testing.

Yesterday, I sat in the garden with a child reading to me and we noticed all that was in bloom, a hummingbird enjoying the flowers and a beautiful bird bathing in the bath the kids had just filled with water. I found myself grateful again to be here at Madera, learning and growing alongside all of you!

With thanks,