Come August 1st every year, I’m always ready to get back to school. True, I may not have read all the books I wanted to read, the alarm clock gets set too early, and the pace of life speeds up dramatically. Nevertheless, the excitement of jumping into a brand new school year is always a lure: What can we accomplish this year? How will we challenge ourselves to be even better? These are the questions and opportunities that fuel my eagerness to return.
This fall is marked by an extra level of excitement and it is felt not just by me but by the entire lower school faculty. Thanks to the Our Family Is One campaign, this school year welcomes some incredible “firsts” for the Lower School. Research-based and capacity-building, our approach will take an already award-winning educational program to the next level and will have a direct impact on your child’s learning.
Here are two of our most exciting and powerful initiatives:
Hiring More Teachers which has resulted in:
Protected teacher collaboration time 2-3 times weekly dedicated to more closely analyzing student achievement and growth, studying pedagogical approaches and adjusting teaching practices to best meet students’ needs.
Increased time and focus for each child and every parent due to the fact that secular teachers now teach at one grade level and Judaic teachers teach at two grades levels.
Teachers observing other teachers in action, across GMLS and MUS, to learn from one another and improve their practice.
Increased teacher leadership in key areas of curriculum development, teacher mentoring, lesson study, new program/initiative development, and more.
Increased Professional Development which will include:
Monthly on-site training, modeling and coaching for teachers to increase reading comprehension and high-level critical thinking across both general studies and Judaica, provided by a national literacy expert from SDSU.
Five on-site trainings for teachers to improve K-5 writing instruction and to create greater alignment with middle school, provided by the San Diego chapter of the esteemed National Writing Project.
The above two job-embedded opportunities are in addition to already robust opportunities for teachers to attend regional and national conferences to learn from top experts in the field.
I encourage you to talk to your child’s teacher about the impact of Our Family Is One. We are seeing the effects of the campaign every day. The teachers and I share a deep commitment to be excellent stewards of the funds and to making the most of your generous gifts. We are hard at work translating those dollars into powerful learning for your child and all the children of GMLS.
Thank you and welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year!