I hope you have had a wonderful first month of summer and are looking forward to more time with friends and family. Many teachers are engaged in meaningful professional development this summer so we can continue to grow as a professional community and implement current best practices in the classroom.
I have been reading Tony Wagner's latest book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, and I am reminded of the value of genuine free time. We have so many wonderful opportunities for our children to participate in myriad activities that it is sometimes too easy to forget the need for children to grow their imaginations through play and innovation.
Recently, Shelley Meisler and I spent four rigorous days at the Nueva School learning how to apply Design Thinking to our curriculum. While the school sits in the heart of Silicon Valley and has students who are conversant in the C++ programming language, our student coaches were most excited to show us "The Forts," a wooded area in which lower school students make forts out of sticks and logs, and collect "artifacts" to trade with other forts. There is a posted "Fort Agreement" and all the children love the opportunity to play. Shelley and I were reminded of a game called "Groundies" that our Kindergarteners invented his year, and we look forward to the next iteration in the fall. I encourage you to fight the temptation to "overbook" your children with too many activities, so they learn to tinker and invent in the long days of summer.
That said, I also remind families to check the ACDS website at aspencountryday.org/summer to be sure your children are completing the summer work. We ask students to read, do about an hour of math weekly, and complete some lessons in foreign language to ensure that we do not spend too much time in the fall reviewing. Please email the teachers or me if you have questions.
As most of you know, our Third - Seventh Grade classes take the ERB standardized tests. I have the reports and am happy to meet with you to review your child's scores. If you have met with me in the past and would like me to send the reports to you, just send me an email.
The administrative team is actively working with Josh Wolman to ensure a smooth transition into the 2014-15 school year, and we look forward to seeing you all for the first day of school on Tuesday, September 2nd and for our first Eighth Grade Leadership Training, which will be on August 29th. I will send detailed information at the end of July. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!
Assistant Head of School