Jon's Weekly Update 10-18-12

posted Oct 18, 2012, 12:20 PM by Cynthia Friedman
IMPORTANT DATES:

· SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20: YouthToberFest! (at the Uketoberfest) (Flyer Attached!)

· MON-FRI, OCTOBER 22-26: Jon in Ohio for Montessori Training

· THURSDAY-FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1-2: NO SCHOOL--Student-Parent Conferences

· WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 6-7PM: Adventure Trip Planning Meeting  

Dear Middle School Family, 
Our Occupations projects are underway! This is going to be a year of planning and development for sure. Who knew there were so many rules and regulations involved in... well, everything! The classroom has been a buzz of activity in the afternoons this week. 

Students have been:
investigating health regulations for a food service program
investigating nutrion requirements for a food service program
contacting other schools who are managing their own lunch programs
compiling staff surveys for the "Outdoor Classroom"
compiling a table of materials needs for building shelters and arbors and fences, complete with potential donors and phone numbers
collaborating with Spencer Butte Middle School's Green Team to help train our Green Team
unpacking and organizing the Middle School Library
creating a system for book check-out

...and much more. It's a little overwhelming for all of us right now, but this is real work. Our students are creating a legacy. The foundation work they're doing right now, establishing these programs will carry on for years to come. Pretty exciting. 

Morning work period is going well. I know I keep saying it, but the students are getting more and more settled into the routine. The work habits we're developing are different than what they've done in the past. Please check in with Jupiter Grades and see how your student is fairing. The "Grades" are pretty weighted in favor of simply doing the work. Some of their grade is more evaluative in nature (writing assessments, for example), but most assignments are process-based: "Did you complete the assignment and follow the instructions?" The process-based work all supports the students' success at the evaluated work. 

There should be very little homework if your student is using their time productively at school. If your student is feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, please contact me ASAP to set up a meeting to discuss some supportive strategies. 

Conferences are November 1 and 2. Sign up is in the office. The students will be doing a reflective presentation about the year so far: how it's going, and how we can support their success.  

I will be gone next week, completing my Montessori training in Ohio. Carrie will (continue to) be the boss, and we'll have a substitute in the classroom to fill in. Our routines will remain the same. Our kids are amazing, and Carrie is... I can only begin to tell you what Carrie gives your kids: empathy, experience, guidance, love, support, strength, intelligence. It'll be a fun week, an opportunity for the students to demonstrate their ownership of the learning environment we're co-creating. 

Perfect timing for me to be gone, actually. 

Have a great week! 
Jon and Carrie

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