10/22/21

From Todd:

QCA of the Year

One of my favorite morning meeting moments of all time happened this week. A 1st grader waited patiently in line for his turn to make an announcement. He is usually a very calm and composed young man, but he bounced a bit as he stood behind his classmate. As his teacher steered him toward the camera, he quickly shouted, “My mom is pregnant.” We have had similar announcements before, but without hesitating this young man dug deep into his pocket pulled out a balled up piece of black paper. He carefully unfolded it directly next to his face, and it was only the size and shape of the paper that allowed me to guess that it was a picture of a sonogram. He smiled and looked at the camera again and shouted, “And it's a boy.”

I have had a number of teachers tell me that this 1st grader’s QCA made them a bit emotional. The student could not have been more excited and proud, and the fact that he carried a picture of the sonogram with him to school was the perfect conclusion to a classic morning meeting announcement.

Writing is Hard

For 20 years, I was an English teacher, and I love to teach writing. I have seen how students can struggle with the writing process and how proud they can be when they write even one powerful sentence. I can literally remember specific sentences from student’s stories 15 years ago. I bumped into one of my old students this summer at the Hyline, and I told him his description of steam from hot chocolate mixing with lake fog at their families cottage still stuck with me. It was the best sentence he wrote that year, and he was proud of it. Writing is hard, but it is also one of the most important skills we can develop in our students.

I will never turn down an invitation to hear our students share their own stories, and on Friday I was invited by the 3rd grade to attend their Publishing Party. It was awesome. This class spoke with such confidence and pride, even with Jetblue flights taxiing around the airport and landscapers clearing brush. Their stories were detailed and vivid. The pieces were sensitive and sharp witted- particularly to a couple of the dads! The stories' plots involved everything from broken wrists to golf to bubble baths. This is probably the largest writing project of these young students’ lives, and I could not have been more proud of their efforts and results. I always encouraged my classes to call themselves writers, and today I witnessed a group of 3rd graders proudly grow into true authors.

Masks in School

It was great to see some progress locally with the town’s removal of the indoor mask mandate. Through at least November 1, we are following the state’s mandate that teachers, staff, and students wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. The state is due to announce their intentions next week, and we will keep you informed as guidance changes.

Annual Fund 

I am pretty sure that almost all of you have received a letter, email, or phone call relating to the Annual Appeal. Claire is hard at work planning this important project that makes a difference in what we can do with your children today. I know we ask a great deal of our parents, and I am proud of the value that we return through the experiences we provide these amazing children. Quite simply, the annual fund makes those experiences happen. Please consider a donation using the links below, and thank you all for your generous support.

Have a great weekend!!

Thanks,
 
 
Todd Eveleth, Head of School
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Nantucket New School