With less than two months of the school year left, it's a great time to start reflecting and planning for the upcoming school year.

Each school year brings it's own set of experiences--both expected and unexpected; predictable and unpredictable; wanted and "we could have done without that." This time in our children's lives is always so amazing to witness and be a part of! We see our children grow in their independence, learn to ask questions and problem solve, and learn to be a part of a community that is bigger than themselves.

It's also during this point in the school year that state assessments are being scheduled. Students in 3rd grade (and up) get the opportunity to "show what they know" in each subject area, with the goal being to ensure our children are becoming competent in the standards that are set by the state; to find gaps in learning that may be systematically associated with instruction and curriculum. While state assessments are definitely not my favorite time of year, it does help remind me one of the reasons we are teaching--to ensure our children are learning.

With that being said, I have run across many letters written to parents, by principals, regarding state assessments. Below is one that shares my similar thoughts...

"The exams of your child are to start soon," the principal wrote . "I know you are all really anxious for your child to do well." The principal continued:

"But please do remember, among the students who will be sitting for these exams,
  • There is an artist who doesn't need to understand Math…
  • There is an entrepreneur who doesn't care about History or English literature...
  • There is a musician whose Chemistry marks won't matter…
  • There's an athlete whose physical fitness is more important than Physics…

If your child does get top marks, that's great. But if he or she doesn't, please don't take away their self-confidence and dignity from them. Tell them it's OK, its just an exam. They are cut out for much bigger things in life. Tell them no matter what they score you love them and will not judge them. Please do this, and when you do, watch your children conquer the world. One exam or low mark won't take away their dreams and talents. And please, do not think that doctors and engineers are the only happy people in the world."

As we begin rounding out the school year, now is the perfect time to reflect and ask the questions...
  • In what ways has my child grown and changed this year?
  • Are they happy? Are they confident?
  • Are they learning?
  • What have been our favorite memories?
  • What are we looking forward to next year?

Encourage your Owl(s) to do their personal best, no matter what they are conquering, grow their confidence with support and validation, and give them the chance to make mistakes in a safe environment.

Enjoy this time with your Owl and embrace each part of it, even the state assessments. This time will flash before our eyes and our Kinder Owls will be graduating high school before anyone is ready. Our Owls and our school are one-of-a-kind and are made for greatness! Thanks for helping to build UP our children and our community each and every day!

Happy April Owl Families!
Charla Salmeron, Principal