A Note From Dr. Haidary

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November 1, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We have had a busy couple of months with the beginning of school, Take your Dad to School Day, the start of residency programs, a visit from Sesame Street’s Elmo and Abby, Picture Day, Replace the Lace Day, Safety Night, the Scavenger Hunt, Movie Night, The PTA Halloween Dance, and the Wonder Walk. This month, we continue to have events scheduled such as Student Council elections, Parent Teacher Conferences, Tea and Talk with the Principal, a PTA Movie Morning at Movieworld in Douglaston, and Multicultural Day. We continue to encourage your participation in all events and look forward to seeing you frequently.

As the year progresses, we are moving towards actualizing our Instructional Focus: “Teachers will foster student independence by ensuring that there are multiple entry points through which they can access the information necessary to engage in inquiry, take part in high level discussions and strategically solve problems in an environment that allows for diversity and exceptionality.” It is important for us to encourage our children to strive to be the best that they can be by utilizing their abilities and working towards their full potential. Students in grades 4 and 5 are already walking up to class themselves in the morning as well as to lunch in the afternoon. Third grade students will begin doing this in November, and second graders will get this opportunity in January. Student Council has “taken over” many extra-curricular events (such as the Scavenger Hunt) and are happy to take my place making introductions, thanking participants, etc. Students are also running our Morning Meeting in the Auditorium. They are taking the reins and beginning the day, leading the Pledge of Allegiance, and running morning Yoga. Moreover, we are encouraging students to build stamina and independence in the core subject areas by providing more opportunities for students to participate in book clubs, math stations, Inquiry-based STEM projects, and Project-based learning.

This month, some of your children will be receiving invitations to come to our Before/After School ELA and/or Math programs. These programs are for students in grades 2-5 who are approaching grade level and need a little extra assistance. The program is scheduled to begin mid-November. Invitations for Castlewood Prep will be coming out in January and will focus solely on test-taking strategies. Castlewood Prep will be open to ALL students in grades 3-5.

Our Arts Enrichment programs are in full swing. In-school Theater and Chorus have begun. There will be a Chorus concert next month, so stay tuned for dates and times. Castlewood Players rehearsals have also begun. We will have a Family Theater Day for Cast and Crew in December, and the performance is scheduled for January. To start off the season, Mr. Bogart, Mr. Zwang, and Mrs. Zwang will reunite with their former community theater group for a special performance (and fundraiser) of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” on November 20. Be sure to purchase your tickets early (through Ms. Rowe, Parent Coordinator) as you do NOT want to miss this spectacular comeback performance by three of our very own.

Lastly, if you have any questions or concerns about anything, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. Have a wonderful month! I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you celebrate with family and friends and share with them the multitude of things in your lives for which you are grateful!



Dr. Melissa Haidary, Principal



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