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Posted on Sep 09, 2011

Preparing for the Year Ahead

September 9, 2011

“Encouraged by exemplary and passionate teachers to express their knowledge and opinions, children become lifelong learners and critical thinkers.” –From the The Gillispie School Vision 2020 Statement Across the country, teachers and administrations have recently concluded the annual tradition of “prep week”–a time when teaching professionals collaborate to set the goals, tone, and philosophy for the year ahead. At Gillispie, this year’s prep week emphasized the Vision 2020 statement approved by the School’s Board of Trustees in late spring of 2011. This statement is based on insights provided by trustees, parents, faculty, and administration. While keeping in mind the excerpt above, these are just a few of the many purposeful sessions that took place last week: –Grade 4 teacher Kim Haas updated Grades prekindergarten through 2 teachers on Everyday Math developments. –With teachers trained at individual grade levels K-6 on the Learning Headquarters writing program, Director of Curriculum Margie Edwards led a session to share implementation strategies and develop a common language for teaching writing across the grades. –Assistant Head of School Steve Bunyak continued preparing Grades 3-6 teachers for September and October ERB CTP-Online testing. –Reading Specialist Maté Schissler trained Grades K-2 teachers in assessing student reading levels using the well-researched Fountas and Pinnell system. –Early childhood faculty continued work on emergent curriculum approaches and spent time with consultant Becky Candra on how classroom environments can be inspired by the Reggio Emelia philosophy.   –Prekindergarten teacher Kimberly Abrams led a session on how children can see art all around them and discussions were held on extending learning outside of the classroom. –All elementary school and specialty teachers gathered to discuss their summer reading book, Nurture Shock, and early childhood faculty reviewed Working in the Reggio Way and excerpts from The Hundred Languages of Children. Through these experiences, teachers and administrators collaborated and learned together with a shared vision–for the year ahead and 2020–of providing their students with a nurturing, forward-thinking education of excellence. Alison Fleming 
Head of School
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