The wintry weather has begun to show its true colors during this last week of school before our holiday break. The playground has been cold, and the children are anxiously awaiting the snow so they can sled, create snow pals, and relish in the white fluffy stuff! The school is full of excitement, as classrooms have been busy exploring culture and traditions that take place around the world, while also focusing on those throughout our own GCS community. There has been singing, dancing, baking, celebrating, gift-making, zooming with guests, wearing of pajamas, and sipping hot chocolate. Thank you to the classes that took part in the art, jewelry, and Lego community service collection for a group of second graders at the Rice Square Elementary School in Worcester. The teacher, Mrs. O’Brien, was delighted with the full boxes of treats that she will be able to send home with each member in her class. It was such a wonderful lesson of compassion and caring that we can all benefit from. Some children even took part in home tasks to earn money toward their purchases.
We are saddened that this is the second year in a row that we have been unable to host our annual family sing-along that solidifies the excitement and joy during this time of year. So much has changed, and we are all continuing to adjust and sometimes grieve for traditions and missed opportunities. Just as we thought we could open up ever so slightly to families, we have had some COVID-19 cases and needed to close a couple classrooms, briefly, out of caution. We are working hard to continually create new opportunities and adjusting to the limitations that current world happenings keep throwing at us. Staff are truly putting their hearts into teaching each and every day, and they are working so incredibly hard to create and share a rich curriculum among so many challenges. Cleaning and sanitizing, mask wearing, social distancing, and so many other precautions continue to be prominent in each classroom – all preventative measures to keep children safe for the inevitable times that these new strains of the COVID -19 virus make their way into our school. Thank you once again for your diligence, cooperation and attentiveness. We know you are all equally doing your part and making many sacrifices along the way. Please continue to refer to our GCS website for clarification on COVID-19 protocols.
We were able to gather together as a staff for a Curriculum Day earlier this month. Thank you for allowing us to make these staff training days possible. Helping each child and staff member to “Reach for the Stars” has been our school-wide theme this year. True wellness of each individual child and providing an environment in which each can grow and achieve excellence, one child at a time, is what we focus on. Consultant, Jeanine Fitzgerald, led us in a fabulous training, “Achieving Excellence One Child at a Time,” helping us to see, evaluate, and provide the emotional and social environments so needed in today’s world. She focused on SEVEN essential domains to attain: Connection, Meaning/Purpose, Joy, Creativity, Silence and Solitude, Transcendence, and Invitation (to navigate). We laughed, shared, learned, and grew as a professional staff. We also focused on goal-setting for children and staff, shared in some team building, and worked on assessment portfolios. We are grateful for these opportunities.
Sue Lizotte, the school’s Occupational Therapy Consultant, has been back in the classrooms and offering her trained eye to identify potential needs and areas for growth while also offering preventative ideas and possibilities that all children can benefit from. She has been sharing some specialized “Tool” trainings in classrooms, as well as conducting regular staff training opportunities during lunch times. The latest training was regarding Proximal Stability. She will be of great assistance next month when teachers share their written assessments and observations of each child with their family.
We have been working on the programming and offerings for the next school year’s registration process. Thank you to those of you that offered thoughts in our recent survey. Registration Forms for current children, as well as incoming siblings, will be distributed in late January, so please be on the lookout, and feel free to seek me out if I can be of any assistance. With COVID-19 still very much present in all we do, it is so hard to predict what sort of restrictions we will have next fall. We are considering all options as we work to share the offerings with you. If only we had a crystal ball! However, we do remain optimistic!
Congratulation to the Doyle Family on the birth of their daughter, Quinn (sister, Zoey, is in the MWF FD Yellow Room).
Thank you to Mary Kay Consultant, Liz Sullivan, for providing a little “hand pampering” kit for the Staff, to the Waiters family for a poinsettia plant, and to the Pudans family for spare clothing for children.
We’d also like to thank the following families for holiday treats for the Staff: The Dewing family, the Giangregorio family, the Jackson family, the Mauch family, the Neff family, the Doherty family, and Katie Niose.
As we close out 2021, we wish you all the blessings for peace, hope, and good health. Thank you for sharing your children with us.
Until next time,
Linda Kosinski, Director