Blazer's Bulletin 04/21/23

 Dear RBS Family,

In “school world,” April Break often feels like a turning point – a time for warmer weather, longer days, and a sense that we’re in the final stretch of the year. The break itself is, for many of us, a time to slow down and relax, hopefully enjoying some fun before the busy last two months. The Sturm family grabbed some last-minute plane tickets down to South Florida, found a little place with a pool, and threw a few bathing suits in a carry-on – we were ready! And we arrived! And it rained. All day. Every single day. My kids (and yes, Daniela and I) were bummed. No pool-side relaxation, no jumping into the waves at Fort Lauderdale Beach. But we also model the positive trait of resilience for our kids when we work to make the best of what’s in front of us. So, we put on smiles, found some indoor go-karting, saw a movie at the theater for the first time in many years, and built the biggest Jenga tower Lucas and I have ever successfully created.

But I have to admit, we were still bummed. And then it started to really rain. Like 25 inches in one evening. Tornadoes and flash flood warnings started blowing up our phones, the lights flickered on and off; I guess the crazy storm even made news up here as we started getting worried texts from friends and family. When we ventured out the next morning, it was unreal: cars flooded out and abandoned all over the place, many homes under water, the airport literally covered with water and closed for multiple days. And as we drove around, we had the collective realization that, yup, while this isn’t the year for Jet Skis and tans, but, man – we were okay. The rental car still ran, the house didn’t have a palm tree lying on its roof, we didn’t have to spend nights camped out at the airport. Our “being bummed” suddenly felt pretty petty, and we had the collective realization as a whole family that we were safe, and healthy, and together. And that, yes, resilience is important, but maybe gratefulness is even more so.

 Here’s hoping your April break was either

a.) calmer and sunnier, or b.) provided some good opportunities to learn and grow!

 Now, grateful we most definitely are to have enjoyed 140 days of school with your amazing children! Which means, in part, that we’re at the part of the calendar where we begin our plans for next year. As you know, we work hard at RBS to craft a student/teacher placement each year that is collaborative, positive, and thoughtful; where our teachers, support staff, and “yours truly” weigh in to ensure each child is set up for success as they move on to a new grade level. We take great pride in creating class lists that are balanced academically and meet the varied social/emotional needs of our students as well. And we always work to value your input as well. Like every year, changes can and do occur on our teams, and as such, any feedback you share should not be focused on a specific teacher, and rather targeted to the learning/emotional needs of your child. If you choose to share your thoughts with us, some things to consider:

  • Describe your child as a learner. What are his/her strengths? What are areas for growth?
  • Describe your child as a person. What are his/her personality traits? In what type of environment does he/she learn best?
  • Inform us of any special circumstances involving your child and his/her peers.

Please feel free to email or drop off your thoughts to Kathy in the office over the next two weeks ([email protected]). We begin the placement process mid-May, so make sure it’s in Kathy’s hands by May 5th. And as I always say, our teams use all the information they have gained from knowing your child so well over the past year(s), so please do not feel obligated to submit a note.

A number of other quick updates during this busy stretch:

  • My appreciations to our community for respecting our new (no-)parking area on the grass median closest to the driveway – we’re trying to neaten things up and (more importantly) open up sightlines exiting out onto Old Wheeler; thank you for your help with that!
  • Our annual state testing for our third and fourth graders begins this coming week – a separate note with details has gone out to those families already.
  • Our RBS Book Fair also returns this coming week – thank you so much to our many volunteers who help make this happen! One request: if you are the parent of a third grader, as the testing for that grade level begins soon after students arrive, if you are shopping at the Fair in the mornings, please pay a visit on Thursday or Friday of next week, which are not testing days – thank you!
  • Finally, we are excited to welcome Mrs. Wendy Mahoney as a new Teaching Assistant; she joined the RBS team this past week!

And of course we’re grateful to enjoy these last 40 days with our learners – may they be smooth and positive for all!

-Noam, Susan, and the whole RBS Team