Principal’s message Oct.17, 2019

During the past couple of weeks I’ve been privileged to visit a number of classrooms during the celebrations marking the end of the narrative unit of writing.  I’ve read many “small moment” personal narratives on topics ranging from family trips to the death of a beloved grandparent.  One of the wonderful opportunities inherent in the Teachers College Writing Project is that whether they are writing narrative, information, or opinion pieces, students are encouraged to write about what they know or what matters to them. Our children are becoming prolific writers, and even our youngest students are developing writing stamina that is quite impressive!  Empowering our children to find their voices as writers is so important and exciting!
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October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  This is a good time to talk to your children about the importance of treating others with kindness and respect.  While our school-wide social/emotional curricula emphasize community-building and tools for self-regulation, and while instances of bullying are not commonplace at Kensington, we do need the support of our parent community to actively discuss this issue with our children and to be proactive when you become aware of hurtful behavior.  We must all do our part and we need to let our children know what we value and expect.
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Please remember to call the office whenever your child is absent.  We are required to indicate whether an absence is “excused” (illness, religious observance, funeral) or “unexcused” (family trip, visit with relatives, etc.).  After three unexcused absences, your child is considered truant and this generates a “truancy” letter. We do not get funding for any days that your students miss, whether the absence is excused or unexcused, but we still need to document the reason.  If you know in advance that your student will miss five or more days of school, you can ask your child’s teacher for an independent study contract.  When your child completes the contract, the school does receive funding for those days as if your child had attended school.  Please be aware that asking for an independent study contract requires your child’s teacher to put time into creating plans, gathering work, and checking the work upon your child’s return.  Be sure to give your child’s teacher ample time in advance of the absence, and return the completed work as soon as your child returns to school.