As I changed my calendar from October to November this week, I let out a big sigh! I realized that this school year, which so recently felt new, awkward, and filled with endless possibilities, had over the past two months become routine, comfortable and somewhat ordinary. The kindergartners no longer look lost and wide-eyed, while many of the sixth graders have settled in as role models and mentors. There is a more predictable rhythm to our days, even as they become shorter and more compressed. This process occurs every year, and yet every year I forget how it magically transforms both the individuals and the classroom and school communities.
November also brings with it another amazing transformation – how does an entire month of school pass by so quickly? All I can figure is that it’s a combination of minimum days, Veteran’s Day, and the long Thanksgiving holiday. It begins to feel as if we have hardly any time to teach! Please continue to try to schedule your child’s medical and dental appointments so that they won’t conflict with the school day, and plan your family outings on holidays and weekends. Thank you for your cooperation in assuring that your children don’t miss instructional time.
And if it’s November, it must also be the annual Garden Party fundraiser! For those of you who are new to Kensington School, I’d like to extend my sincere hope that you will join us this Saturday for this very special event. I have been privileged to attend the past twenty eight Garden Parties, as a parent, teacher, and principal. Every year I am amazed at what can be accomplished by a group of volunteers, each of whom already has an overly-full plate of his/her own, with family, home, and work responsibilities. Every year I think it can’t get any better than this, and then the following year I’m proved wrong once again!
As much fun as the Garden Party is, and as much work as it represents, the most important things to remember are its purposes. First of all, and not to be minimized, the Garden Party builds community. Parents who have new kindergartners, or who are new to the school with upper-grade children, are already knee-deep in Garden Party tasks, making friends and contributing to our school within weeks of their arrival. Second of all, and most important of course, the Garden Party raises a very large amount of the money that funds everything from physical education enrichment, Read Naturally and Math intervention programs, computer lab, art enrichment, Math Olympiads, science lab, our school library, vocal and instrumental music, and much more. Without the funds raised by the Garden Party, Kensington School would be a very different place. I will look forward to seeing you on November 2 for a memorable evening.