Message From Principal Althouse

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December 11, 2017

Greetings Fairmeadow Community,

What makes you unique?  While celebrating Inclusive Schools Week last week, our students and staff discussed this question and shared hundreds of individual attributes about themselves as one way to capture the diversity of our community.  Through this simple exercise, we emphasized that every person contributes to our school in distinctive ways, and that everyone has strengths we can capitalize on in our classrooms.  The display of bright colored cards capturing these unique attributes attracted much attention last week, and I encourage you to stop by and read some of the comments our children shared.  Our school of diverse language, ethnic background, interests, perspectives, abilities, religion, and experiences is a great strength of Fairmeadow, and a strong unifier in our community.

In a discussion with an engaged group of parents at our Principal’s Coffee last week, we examined how the concept of inclusion relates to a safe and welcoming school climate, as well as to addressing diverse academic needs in every classroom.  For our children, it is very normal to be with an incredibly diverse population of people at our school, though every child can benefit from inclusive modeling, and safe spaces to ask questions.  Parents hold significant influence in the way we talk about differences, and the way we model inclusive behavior and practices for our children.  Some members of our parent community may feel isolated from the mainstream culture at our school, and it could benefit all of us to consider actions we can take to improve the sense of belonging for all in our parent community as well as our student community.  I would love to hear ideas that you may have about how to improve and enhance our inclusive school climate for children and parents alike!

More than 180 countries across the world participated in last week’s Hour of Code challenge, and many Fairmeadow students participated as well!  Celebrated as one of the largest education events in history, millions of students spent time at school last week learning the basic process of coding with both digital and non-digital options.  Many Fairmeadow children practiced sequential problem solving and outside-the-box thinking while engaging in coding fundamentals in classrooms.  In a special partnership with our neighboring school, J.L. Stanford Middle School, four upper grade Fairmeadow classes joined 7th and 8th graders in Computer Science Class, and together they created thousands of lines of code!  If you would like more information about coding activities you can explore with your child at home, please visit https://code.org/.

We are prepared and excited for two engaging and fun final school weeks of 2017 at Fairmeadow!

With kindest regards and appreciation,

Grant Althouse
Principal

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