Welcome!! For some of you, this may be a welcome back letter; for others it is a welcome to Castlewood letter. Either way, I can’t believe that it is already September, and I am excited about the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
The best part about being an educator (and a child) is that every September, the slate is wiped clean (literally and figuratively), and we get the chance to begin fresh. New clothes and shoes, new books and pencils, new friends and teachers, and new opportunities and attitudes. This is an incredible time of the year for everyone who works in or attends a school. It is the time when anything is possible. And I know that we are in for quite the ride this year!
We will continue working towards our instructional focus, which is building student independence. The children will be encouraged to pack and unpack by themselves, walk from the Auditorium to their classrooms, between classrooms, and to the Cafeteria independently (in grades 2-5), complete assignments and projects individually or with peers, increase their reading and writing stamina, etc.
We will also be continuing some of our most popular programs as well as adding new ones. AIS (for students in grades 1-5) and in-school enrichment (for students in grades 2-5 who are meeting grade level expectations) will continue. This year, we will be adding Art and Technology enrichment classes as well as social-emotional development, study skills, and grammar classes. Swimming (for grade 2) will also continue. Moreover, we will be adding Zumba to the classes (rotating grades throughout the year). Genius Hour will include more students/classes.
As for before/after school programs, morning fitness will begin in October as will the first theater program; remediation for students in grades 2-5 will be off and running by November; test sophistication will begin by February; Architecture and all family/student programs will start in the Spring, after State testing. Banana Splits will be back by December (unless there is a need for us to begin earlier).
Tea and Talks with me have already been scheduled. Field Trip requests have started coming in, and concerts, parent workshops, etc. are in the process of being developed.
As you know, free bagged breakfast is available for children (K-5) to pick up in the auditorium to be eaten when they arrive in their classrooms. Pre-Kindergarten students are served breakfast in the classroom “family style”. Lunch will be eaten either period 4 or period 5 depending on grade. New this school year is free lunch for all students. However, the school food lunch form is still required so please be sure to complete your application on-line ( http://nyc.applyforlunch.com ).
Dr. Melissa J. Hairy, Principal