Thanksgiving weekend is the first long weekend of the fall and the one that marks the end of our transition to the routines of the school year. While we continue to adapt, I am pleased to know that our students and families are settling-in so well. I am especially happy to see the smiles and laughter coming from our new students, as they become comfortable in their new school with new friends and teachers. Next to home, school is where our children spend the majority of their time, so it is crucial for them to feel safe, happy, and supported. It is our sincere wish that each of your children is beginning to feel like Matthews Hall is a “home away from home”!
Yesterday, we gathered with many of our new parents at a light reception in the school gym after school. Thank you all for attending, meeting one another and chatting with staff, board members, and parent ambassadors. It’s never easy moving your child to a different school. We understand that for elementary school-aged children, going to a new school can be especially trying. The idea of having new teachers, classrooms and friends can be daunting to even the most outgoing of kids. When children witness their parents engaging with teachers and other members of the school community, it is an outward sign to them that “everything will be ok”.
It isn’t uncommon for kids to feel out of place for the first few months of transitioning to a new school, especially if they are in a new home environment as well. Children who experience the stress of going to a new school may show their discomfort by acting out, withdrawing from social activities, or even changing their diet and sleeping patterns. If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s teacher right away and, together, we will work to resolve and support you to the best of our ability.
I am happy to share that ongoing transitional stresses at our well-loved school are very rare. Our School’s mission is to “to inspire academic excellence and a lifetime of joyful learning in the students we serve” and that is what we work hard to do each day.
Inspiration and Joyful Learning are the hallmarks of a Matthews Hall experience. We value community, inclusion, resilience, integrity, and respect in a setting where the care and wellbeing of people is important to us. These priorities guide our work with your children during these formative grades.
The elementary years are a marathon, not a sprint, which requires each of us as partners to hold hands and stick together. If you find your child struggling, unsure, or not coping in any way, please know that we are watching over them carefully and with an eye to lifting them up! We won’t get it right every time, but we will always work hard to keep their best interests at heart.
As we break for Thanksgiving weekend this term, we wish you well and look forward to a rewarding year together.
Let the games begin!
Ric Anderson, Head of School