“Back-to-School” night (aka Parent-Teacher Night) is quickly approaching and, while it remains an important annual ritual for parents, teachers, and administrators in most schools, it will be a virtual encounter again this year. We hope you will join us from the comfort of your own homes, offices, or backyard decks (weather permitting). Why is it important? It’s the time when we will formally begin our “new relationship” for the 2021-2022 school year, meeting the teachers and parents of our children’s unique classroom community and becoming acquainted with the adults who will be our partners in supporting our goals for the year. The evening will begin at 6:45 PM on Thursday, September 23rd and no child care will be required because your kids will be right there with you. I look forward to Zooming with all of you next week, as we share progress and plans for what is happening at our great family school (check this week’s newsletter for the meeting sign-in details).
Of course, the most important dimension of the evening will be hearing from your child’s teacher, who will be highlighting classroom routines, expectations, and curriculum themes and plans for the year. It will also be a chance for you to clarify any general questions….or offer your assistance! Although we are still managing pandemic measures at school, with careful planning and collaboration, volunteers and visitors will be welcome. If you would like to support our classroom learning or have a special talent or background to share, please reach out to your child’s teacher and, together, we will find a way.
As we continue to navigate our shared virtual spaces this fall, it remains important for parents and teachers to understand and use the digital platforms that will be in place. At Matthews Hall, as is the case in many schools, we are using Google Classroom to support at-home learning, homework and collaboration. Its most popular tools – Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs – are staples for many students in getting organized and getting work done. During the past couple of years, these tools have revolutionized the way we communicate, work together, and store information online. If you are new to Google Classroom as a parent, you can learn more about the platform here.
While technology seems to have become ubiquitous for even our youngest children, it is important to remember that it is only a tool and not an end in itself. There are so many other important things to learn and do in school and so many other important avenues of educating kids: core knowledge, logic and reasoning, relationships, self-awareness, and the ability to discern and judge well.
We pledge that we will work hard to support student learning in all areas of the curriculum – language, mathematics, social studies, health and physical education, the arts, and science and technology – while never forgetting the vital human dimensions of teaching and learning. As a school team, we are committed to the maxim that people use technology, not the other way around.
The elementary years are fleeting and we are serious about our role in making them memorable. We look forward to starting the journey with you next Thursday.
“See” everyone soon.
Ric Anderson, Head of School