In this column:
From the Head of School * Lower School Physical Education * Annual Fund * One Million Hours of Service * Facilities & Transportation * Super Cheap Software
|From the Head of School |
With all of the rain we’ve been getting, we’ve been holding recess inside the gymnasium more often than not. I supervise 3rd & 4th grade recess twice a week, and I have often observed that when one fills a gym with multiple grades, it can get rather…busy. And so, in an effort to bring a little more structure (and quieter play) to recess, I organized some games of Knockout, an elimination basketball game involving two balls and as many students as with to play.
Then not long after, I read a wonderful article in The Atlantic that made me rethink my goals. The Oct. 12 article, titled “All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids are More Anxious, Depressed,” reminded its readers about the strong advantages of giving children opportunities for unstructured play. I have paraphrased them below:
1. Play is self-guided and self-directed. Unlike organized sports, play is not done for a trophy or for a tournament seed. The reward is internal, not external.
2. Play teaches important life skills, such as problem solving, decision making, and self-control. It is through play that children gain mastery over themselves and the world.
3. Play teaches children how to handle their emotions. As the author writes, “in free play, children put themselves into both physically and socially challenging situations and learn to control the emotions that arise from these stressors.”
4. Play helps children learn to get along with their peers. Because play is voluntary, the child can choose to work together to continue the group activity…or choose to find a different game to play. These subtle negotiations are part of learning to work with others.
5. Finally, at its most obvious, play is joyful.
And so, the next time for my recess supervision duty, when we had the benefit of being outside, I stepped back from my efforts to organize a game. In short order the students had spread out over the available play space, and I could see quite a range of play – here the students had organized a soccer game and were working out how to pick teams and referee themselves; there a small group was collecting pine needles and building pretend structures; some found quiet places to read and relax; and others tested their nerves by swinging high on the swings.
Play still has an important place here at Barnesville. As educators, we must remember that the best thing we can do is provide safety and supervision, but leave the structure to the children. Free play provides its own lessons for life.
Spirit Day News
Reminder about Spirit Days - all students should follow the Family Handbook policy regarding School Spirit Day dress, listed on page 21. However, we have two exceptions coming up...
* Friday, Oct. 21 - no school for students, so no Spirit Day dress
* Friday, Oct. 28 - with our morning Spanish celebration, the Walkathon, and our Halloween Parade, we will not require Spirit Dress that day.
Remember to be in your Barnesville gear the following Friday, Nov. 4.
|Lower School Physical Education |
For the past few weeks in PE class the kids have used a variety of items to improve their cardiovascular fitness, coordination, balance, and quite simply, find physical ways to have FUN. These are activities designed to include family and friends at home with minimal expense and equipment. They have used hula-hoops as jump ropes and lassos. They traveled the field using soccer balls playing a ball tag game, and used scarves and balloons as something to hit and catch with and without a partner. They have learned many old fashion activities with the Frisbee too (Barnesville Frisbee golf, Ultimate Frisbee). They even navigated through a mini-obstacle course a few times using hurdles, mats, and cones where they ran over, around, and in-between the items. Recently, the second graders visited the Barnesville Ropes Course where they used their balance and teamwork skills to complete a few personal challenges.
|Annual Fund |
Barnesville is well on its way to a very successful Annual Fund! As of Oct. 18, $82,654 has been pledged or given toward the $225,000 goal! In comparison, at this time last year we’d raised $67,654. Remember, anything we raise over the goal will be used toward technology improvements. This is in direct response to the Parent Climate Survey responses we received last spring.
Thus far, 70 families have participated by indicating their pledge amount or by contributing. Can we hit the 100 mark by Friday, Oct. 21? Please consider pledging this week!!
· Pledge online and pay any time before June 2012 OR
· Make a one-time gift online today OR
· Make a gift to be automatically paid over several months ORMake a pledge commitment when the Annual Fund volunteer calls.
|One Million Hours of Service |
Susanne Johnson, Dir. of AdmissionsImportant! Please be sure to sign in and out when you generously volunteer at school! We are tracking volunteer hours as part of the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) "One Million Hours of Service" initiative. NAIS has challenged its 1,400 member schools (including Barnesville) to collectively perform at least one million hours of community service this year.
Additionally, many of our families donate their time and talent to community service outside of Barnesville. When you do, please let us know! Everyone in the school community is invited to join - students, families, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees.
I am the contact person for this important initiative and tracking our community service hours. When you give back to your community, please send me a quick email with the kind of service you are performing (i.e. working directly with people in need, organizing a charity fundraiser, participating in a charity event like a run/walk, etc.) and the hours. I'll do the rest!
Together we can make a difference; together we can BE the difference!
|Facilities & Transportation |
Visitor swipe cards are only programmed to work between 8 am and 3 pm. After 3 pm, this type of card will not grant access to the buildings.
Bus Evacuation Drill
Due to the inclement weather last Thursday, Safety Week’s bus evacuation drill was postponed. A day will be picked for this drill in the near future, working around field trips.
Barnesville Basement Volunteers
I want to give a big thanks Kathy Donohoe and her clean up volunteers, and those dads who helped get our gym back to order after this past weekend’s Basement Sale. The fastest ever cleanup with the tarp up by 4:20 pm. We could not have done it without all your help.
In this column:
Important Dates * Business Office * 4th Grade & Kindergarten Community Project * Barnesville Basement * Thank You for Feeding Us * Grandparents Day * Gala Reveal * Notes From Mrs. Nave...
|Important Dates |
21: No School for Students; Parent Conferences
28: Walk for the Homeless, 9 - 10 am; Halloween Parade, 1 - 3 pm (Spirit Wear not required)
31: No School for Students
4: MS Fall Dance
5: Admissions Open House
7 - 9: 7th Grade to Echo Hill
10: 7th Grade Off; 1:30 Dismissal
|Business Office |
You have lots of questions about Kids Club, so here are the answers:
- Kids Club contract is your best cost savings, if you will need to use afterschool care on a regular basis; the saving is ~$18 per day.
- Vouchers are for sale with the Business Office for $120/sheet of four. Vouchers cover the entire length of Kids Club (dismissal until 6 pm).
- The Drop-in charge for Kids Club is $30 after the first hour following dismissal, and an additional $30 per hour thereafter.
We encourage families to either commit to a contract or to purchase vouchers as an alternative cost saving.
If you are interested in either a contract or vouchers, please contact the Business Office, and we will gladly answer your questions.
|4th Grade & Kindergarten Community Project |
|The Fourth Grade and their Kindergarten buddies met Wednesday, Oct. 19 to make holiday cards for the soldiers overseas. It was a spirited time together. Our classes managed to make more than 130 notes to be placed in gift boxes to send overseas to our very dedicated soldiers. The gift boxes will be packed and sent Oct. 26 by the Officers Wives Club of Frederick through the help of Jeri Hough. As you can see by our pictures, we all put our patriotic spirit to work.|
|Barnesville Basement |
Thanks to the hardwork of Kathy Donohoe, the wonderful volunteers, and everyone who contributed, Barnesville Basement raised $5,884. Even more than the funds, the Basement brought together members of the Barnesville community, neighbors and people from the surrounding Barnesville area. Bringing people on campus helps us support and promote the wonderful programs we offer and maintains The Barnesville School as an important fixture in the Upper Montgomery County community.
|Thank You for Feeding Us |
October's faculty & staff appreciation luncheon on Oct. 19 was a delicious feast of fall-themed foods. Thanks to our wonderful parents for their creative contributions: Behnaz Almasikoupaei, Lynn Brown, Gay Butz, Ferhet Hussain, Niki Markhoff, Pam Matia, Kate Polozie, Lynne Rasmussen, Angel Rutsch, Wendy Sinnott, Dana Smith, Kristen Waksberg, Dawn Walton, Deb Weiss-Collins, and Laura Zukiwski.
|Grandparents Day Invites |
|Please check your children's grandparents/grandfriends addresses in Renweb so we can send them invitations to Grandparents Day or email their information to Kristen Carter. Invitations will go out at the end of October.|
|Gala Reveal |
|Gala Kick-off: Nov. 17, 2011 at 8:30 am. Discover the theme for the Spring Gala & Auction and learn how you can get involved!|
|Notes from Mrs. Nave... |
Changes in Normal Dismissal Plan
Any change to a student's dismissal (early dismissal, going home with a different family/caregiver) requires advance notice from the parents/guardians to the Receptionist’s Office, preferably in writing or email. If communicating by phone, please call no later than 2 pm. I can‘t always locate your child in a timely manner to give them the message especially if they are in PE.
Tooth Box Report – Just for Fun!
In the past two weeks three tooth boxes left my office. We had one 4th grader, Alex Brown, one 3rd grader, Sean Silverman and one 7th grader, Jordan Myers.