Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dancing around

Eighth grade sponsored a Middle School Dance last Friday. I only got one picture, then my batteries went dead - which is probably OK, since I might have gotten some embarrassing shots. So I am posting a middle school picture of band practice.

The dance looked really fun! There was a costume ball theme (costumes optional) and a bake sale. An admission donation was suggested. Eighth graders raised $246.50 for their class trip to Philadelphia. The kids deejayed (is that a verb?) with tunes from Gabe's mom's dance class. It was loud - everyone danced. At the end the seventh and eighth graders cleaned up. It was over by 7:30.

Last night we had a trustee meeting. There are 19 trustees - a combination of parents, past parents, teachers, three acting heads of school (Trudy Hall from Emma Willard, Peter Baily from Oakwood Friends in Poughkeepsie, and me), two past heads (Marlisa Parker and Susie Merrett), and other wonderful people with varied fields of expertise who are kind enough to take on this role. For part of the meeting we took a "field trip" down the hall to Liliana's K-1 class and then to Sarah's middle school language arts classroom.

They told the trustees about how children learn to be writers at Parker. It was an inspiring presentation. It was great to see how consistent the process is from kindergarten through to eighth grade. In K-1 children learn to observe closely and to add detail to their writing. They write for authentic purposes like tracking the development of tadpoles or butterflies. Middle schoolers write every day in journals, keep weekly self-assessments with goals, and chose certain seeds of ideas to bring to fruition for creative writing. For essays they revise several times as they work to make their pieces truly great.

As one trustee said, "There is power in good writing." She was so glad to see that Parker students are held to the highest standards for grammar and style. She sees too much poor writing in the work world.

Then we approved the audit, coordinated committee goals, and talked about fund raising and how well the school is doing. It was over by 8:45.

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