Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome to a wonderful new year of learning together! As I sit here relishing another relaxing summer morning, I am also looking forward to the start of school. This year brings new adventures for all of us and I want to take this opportunity to welcome each of you, share some information that could help ease us into the next couple of weeks, and introduce myself – because for each of you, I am a new homeroom teacher.
Over the past few months, Jim, Lauren, Peter and I have met often to vision, discuss, and plan what is at the heart of teaching fifth and sixth graders – holding the social-emotional and academic components close. We are all excited to hear and see the halls and classrooms buzzing with the activity and energy of students. Over the next few weeks and the Back to School Night on Thursday, August 28th, the fifth and sixth grade team will let you know and answer many questions you might have about our program.
Perhaps you’re curious to know a bit about me? I am beginning my 17th year teaching and learning at Horizons K-8 School and I am grateful to have so many wonderful teachers – both younger and older – inspire me each day. Before I came to Horizons, I taught in Longmont in a traditional middle school setting in a bilingual classroom. I have also been a substitute teacher, taught numerous sessions of summer school, and have taught English in Mexico. Although I have been focusing my teaching in the areas of Language Arts, Social Studies and Spanish the past 12 years, I am licensed in a number of areas, one of which is elementary education. It has been fun this summer to reconnect with my mathematical self as I prepare to teach math once again. Prior to teaching, I worked in the business world as a mortgage banker in Denver and in the finance department of a construction company in Arizona. I presently live here in Boulder with my son, Aidan, who is a 7th grader at Horizons along with our (sometimes crazy) cat, Rayado (aka Ry). I spent much of my childhood here in Boulder. My parents bought one of the very first houses in Table Mesa. I am six months shy of being a native Boulderite. I have much gratitude and love for Boulder and the lifestyle here – enjoying the expansive trails and natural beauty that is so abundant. I feel especially proud to be a part of the Horizons Community.
I realize that many of you I have known through hallway, playground, lunchtime, council meeting, or A&S
encounters. For some of you I have worked and learned with your older children or siblings over the years. A special welcome goes out to Ben, Duke, Eliza, Noah and their families who are new to the Horizons community. Please know that we are all here to help answer questions and help explain our (sometimes) unique and special ways of learning and being in community at Horizons. There is much to learn, it takes some time, and don’t hesitate to ask any question that arises.
I look forward to creating a homeroom community with you that is filled with exploration, laughter, cooperation, thoughtfulness, kindness, and learning.
One way we can support each other is through direct communication and an intention to follow the Horizons Communication Agreements (please see below). If a question or concern arises, please do not hesitate to contact me. Parents, it’s most effective to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and, if necessary, we can set up a time that works for us to meet. It’s challenging for me to speak with you right before school as I am preparing for the day and welcoming each student. Students, I encourage you also to email me if questions arise outside of the school day. It’s important for you to continue to take on more ownership for your learning as 5-6th graders. We will talk more about why this might be necessary and why I might request it in the first few weeks of school as we re-establish our district gmail accounts.
I look forward to seeing each of you on the first day of school for fifth-eighth graders which isWednesday, August 20th from 11:30AM-3:30PM. It will be a day filled with activities in which we will get to know each other, reconnect, set some intentions for the year and have fun with each other. Please bring a lunch, water bottle, and sunscreen, as we’ll be inside and outside during our time together.
On Thursday, August 21st, our typical school days will begin! Please bring the following items on Thursday, August 21st:
_____ Items on the “5/6 Supply List”
_____ Water bottle
_____ Generous snack and lunch
_____ 10-15 printed pictures of your family (including pets, if available)
_____ Picture of you (student) participating in an activity or taken in a place you are passionate about
_____ Book read over the summer (be willing to donate the copy to expand our class library). If you haven’t read one, there is still time. J
Perhaps I will meet some of you on the Pre-Labor Day Labor Day, this Saturday, August 16th. My plan is to be working in our classroom from 1:00-4:00PM and there will be some jobs (dusting, bookshelf arranging, label making, futon covering, etc.) I could certainly use help with if this fits into anyone's schedule. I am looking for special help with creating an air conditioner window block for our new portable ac unit. If you might be handy with wood cutting and have some time, please email me and I'll describe more what I need help with. Even if you're working in another classroom on Saturday, please stop by and introduce yourself. I am always grateful for this help.
I will be emailing under separate cover a brief electronic Welcome Back Check In to be completed together parents with children. It's only a few questions long and will provide you each a chance to let me know things that might be on your mind as we begin the year together. Thank you for taking some time to complete this for me. Finally, parents, please let me know if you’d like to continue to receive emails at this email address or if you prefer me to send it to another one.
Savor these last days of the vacation. I am truly looking forward to seeing you soon!