January 2, 2018

Dear Families,

Thanks for your warm holiday cheer and abounding generosity this season. I hope you had an enjoyable Winter Break and wish you all a Happy New Year!!

A few months back, Theresa and Rob’s 4th/5th graders were reading a book called Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed. The book has a lovely message about helping others with acts of kindness. At the end of the story, kindness has spread around the whole world. The student teacher Adrienne invited the class to respond to the book. The children were surprised that all the people in the world were depicted as only one race (White). Three students decided to write letters to the author and publisher. Just before vacation, the class received a letter and package. Because of our students’ critique, they published a revised edition to better reflect the world’s diversity!!! Enclosed were five copies of the new edition to add to our libraries. I am very proud of our students for taking a stand and helping these adults to see the world in a new, more inclusive way: 

“It is understandable why each of you expressed concern with the artwork of the different children of the world being only one race. This is not an accurate display of the variety of people that this world has to offer and the message that is throughout the book.” – Addison Sharp

January is a busy month for our teachers. After months of observations and assessments, it is time for them to write narrative report cards about each child. Though the workload is intense, the burden is outweighed by the value of the close, individual attention paid to each child. At The Earth School, we believe that knowing children well is the key to teaching them well. Though most parents are not used to “narrative report cards," we hope that reading them provides a window into the work that teachers do to get "inside" the thinking of young learners. The narrative reports will be sent home the first week of February. Please understand that teachers may be less available than usual for parent meetings and communications.

Love, Abbe