It is hard to believe that a new school year is only a few weeks away. We look forward to the energy and bustle of full classrooms! Here are some highlights of what’s new this fall:
- Electronic weekly newsletter for a more efficient and “green” way to communicate with FSM families. FSM families, be sure you are receiving the weekly newsletter by email! Contact Susan with questions.
- Common K-8 lunch and recess on Wednesdays! We have long wished for a common lunch and recess time for all ages to interact. This year we are achieving that on Wednesdays. Some students will eat in their classrooms, allowing larger groups (half the school) to be at recess together at the same time. We know this cross-age experience will help build community.
- Four coffees/visit times for grandparents and special people : In order to better accommodate our grandparents and other guests, we are offering four school visit times this year. The visits will include coffee and a short presentation about FSM, along with classroom visits. We think this format will better allow us to get everyone here who wants to see FSM, without being stressful to the students. Watch the weekly newsletter for upcoming dates.
- New conflict resolution time for middle school: For several years we have scheduled conflict resolution conferences for middle school students on an as-needed basis. While we have facilitated many conferences, we recognize that not having a regular time devoted to this important skill has made it a little harder for students to access. This year, at the end of the day during advisory period, we will assign a facilitator to help students communicate with each other. This dedicated time will help reinforce our expectation that we all use this process!
- Middle school math changes will include new curriculum materials, revisions of our middle school benchmarks and programs, and more time practice with computation and algorithms. Learn more: Curriculum Improvement at Friends School of Minnesota: Middle School Math
- “Exploring Together” project with local Quaker meetings: We are excited to have been selected as one of two schools nationally to pilot a new project of Friends General Conference called “Exploring Together”. This project will help build relationships with Minneapolis and Twin Cities Friends Meetings. We will work together to develop an open house for interested FSM families to visit a meeting and learn about Quakerism. We will keep you informed as plans develop!
- Communications and outreach work is keeping Susan busy. Her new job as Communications & Outreach Director focuses on FSM’s internal communications, publications and social media, advertising and marketing, alumni relations, community outreach and more.
- Building Project: We are happy to report that our fundraising for the building project has progressed to the point that we are comfortable moving ahead with the project! Over the next several months we will be refining plans for adding an art room, a Spanish room, and office space, and for remodeling the front office. Construction will begin June 9, 2014!
See you soon!
Lili Herbert, Head of School