A Message from Karen Leavitt, Head of Lower School | January 18
Karen Leavitt, Head of Lower School
Dear Lower School Parents,
Welcome back! We are so happy to see the kids and hear the energy return to the halls after Winter Break. I hope the time away from school was relaxing and rejuvenating for you.
While it is always a treat to hear of student adventures during school breaks, the excitement and reentry to school routines can feel reminiscent of the beginning of a school year. It can be difficult for kids to readjust to the demands of a typical school day, while also trying to get back on track with sleep and eating patterns. Recognizing this, we spend a lot of time planning for students to have a successful transition back to school. With our dedicated recommitment to Responsive Classroom, here are some ways we welcomed your students back:
Provided Socialization Time 
We find tremendous benefit to our classroom communities to plan for and dedicate social time for reconnection. Setting aside time to reunite and engage in welcome-back activities helps students re-acclimate to their environment. Encouraging students to talk to one another, share experiences, and ask each other questions helps everyone feel comfortable and sets kids up for a successful transition back to learning mode.
Practiced Routines
We spent time incorporating intentional practice of school routines.  Weaving in rehearsal and praise reminds students how to meet important behavior expectations.  Reviewing rules on the following procedures conveys the value of these positive behaviors.
  • Morning/dismissal routines
  • Responding to a quiet signal
  • Lining up
  • Hallway expectations
  • Restroom behaviors
  • Small-group routines
  • Lunch and recess rules
Engaged in Goal Setting Activities
While it’s not exactly new years resolution-style, we welcome the opportunity to think with students about important academic or social-emotional goals they hope to accomplish in the coming months. Now that we are entering our second semester, we revisit activities like Hopes and Dreams, or Creating Classroom Agreements with a lens on increased competencies. Offering students the chance to set new goals, and holding them accountable can help students reenter their learning space.
We are patient during this reentry phase with our students, and we are understanding of some recurring feelings of sadness or uncertainty as kids are readjusting. We continue to reassure our students with smiles, hugs, and positivity and hope that everyone is nicely settling back into our school routines. We are back at it and looking forward to sharing more about curricular happenings in upcoming Lower School communications.
Karen Leavitt,
Head of Lower School

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