Dear Madera families and friends,
Here we are! It’s the last day of the last week of another wonderful year at Madera. And, what a year it’s been!
We hit the ground running with activities even before the first day of school. Jumpstart, Pizza in the Park, Running Club, Winter Sing…the list of events and programs at Madera is long! Many are traditions we know well and love, activities that bring us together as a community. Others this year were new, grown out of a desire to understand and impact the world we live in. For example, we widened our view of the world by welcoming students from China and out of concern for tragedies in schools across country, held our first Peace Walk. Perhaps both will remain a part of the Madera repertoire. But even if not in exactly the same way, I hope the underlying motivation of kindness and goodwill, of curiosity, respect, and diversity will be at the heart of all we do.
Ours is a school that values community. Throughout the year there are so many opportunities to get to know one another, to learn from and with each other, and to lean into the work of raising up children so they can become the very best version of themselves. The task of public education, says Deborah Meier, is to, with parents, raise children who maintain and nurture the best habits of a democratic society; children who are smart, caring, strong, resilient, imaginative and thoughtful. I’m proud to be a part of such a school. Imagine what the world might be if we get this right?
Next year we have two primary areas of focus that will underpin our work. The first is academic. We desire to foster a real love of learning in general and specifically around reading. We will continue our focus on writing, alignment of mathematics, workshop pedagogy, etc. but we will delve deeper into reading and what fosters a real love of reading rather than simply developing skills. The other is to view all that we do through a lens of equity, inclusion and Social Emotional Learning (SEL). This work will permeate all our programs both academic and social.
Finally, a huge THANK YOU! “When parents are involved at school, the performance of all the children at school, not just their own, tends to improve.” (Henderson, A.T., and Nancy Berla. 1995. A New Generation of Evidence: The Family Is Critical to Student Achievement. Washington, DC: Center for Law and Education, 14–16). So, it’s no surprise that our students achieve what they do. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of you! You help in myriad ways to make this school what it is. All those activities and programs, then enrichment programs that provide a well-rounded curriculum for our kids, library time, field trips and on and on, would not exist without your efforts and support. Special thanks to Maia Bazjanac, our outgoing PTA President, to Foundation Co-Presidents, Paul Normington and Negar Souza, and to Kevin Gauna and Rick Yee who chaired the Dad’s Club. The amount of time and energy you all commit to our school is extraordinary! Thank you!
May your summer be restful and replenishing! Read, cook, play, enjoy each other.
See you in August!