Beginnings

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To begin again every September is an opportunity.  New energy infusing the space.  New ideas born of reflection and time away.  New faces to learn.  New families to welcome. New voices to hear. New friendships to find.  New challenges to overcome.

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Last Sunday, a group of parents joined on the first work day of the year to spruce up the gardens, clean up the sand and mulch;  to paint and patch, and drill holes for new coat hangers.  It always humbles me to see the great love and commitment that parents bring to CNS.  For some of them, this was their first touch with our community.  And just like their children that will meet together this week on the playground or in a classroom, here they were, meeting new faces, introducing themselves and making connection. It is a vital part of our community with each other as caretakers of our school.  And also very rewarding for anyone who was able to see the transformation of the garden beds and yard (and they were so quick at weeding the beds, that I didn’t even get a good picture!).

This year, I look forward to a few new programs and new ideas that we are planning for this “just about to start” year.

–Book group.   I would like us to choose a book to read together and with those interested, meet throughout the year to think a little more deeply about children and their development.  I will share more about this during Parent Orientation on Tuesday night.

– Childrens Rights Project. I am also going to suggest a community project that asks us to define the rights of children.  When I was in Italy last March, I saw that at a few schools they had articulated and then posted a list of “Childrens’ Rights”.  Reading through them (and posted months ago here), I was struck by this idea and have often thought that we as a community should articulate our own set of “Childrens’ Rights”.  What do we believe in as the adults (parents, teachers) in their lives?  What do we want to protect?

— CNS monarch will provide new classes and opportunities for children to expand in many different ways. (www.cnslex.org/monarch).

— Hawkins Center for Learning.  Starting this fall, on some Saturdays throughout the year, our Studio will be a gathering place for local teachers, directors, and parents to have a chance to interact “hands-on” with materials. Check out: http://hawkinscenters.org for more information on the Hawkins and why this is a special new part of what happens at CNS.

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On this day, final touches are being made in the classrooms. Orientation materials for teachers and parents are being assembled.  Name tags are being created and paint cups filled. Tomorrow morning, the teachers and I will meet and spend the day in meetings and prep for the start of the school year.

I look forward to this new beginning with butterflies in my stomach, warmth in my heart and a gentle knowing of all the adventure that awaits us.  I look forward to connecting with your children and supporting you throughout our time together in the coming months and year.  I continue to be humbled by your trust and will work tirelessly toward creating and sharing a space at CNS that nurtures all of us as we walk this path together.

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