Letter from Lara Zelski – May 23, 2018

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

The time has come to close out the 2017-2018 school year. Students have spent the past several days at school focusing on our fifth Guiding Principle, “We Celebrate Our Individual and Collective Successes.” With portfolio shares, the fifth grade movie, exhibition & celebration, running awards and signing yearbooks, we have been very busy! I am proud of the great work we have accomplished together and I hope each student is equally proud of his/her successes this year.

Please know that report cards will go home tomorrow with students and that students will be dismissed at 11:30. There will be no after school on the last day of school. Please ensure that you have taken care of any outstanding financial obligations to the school (after school, cafeteria, library). Please also make sure that you have returned all library books back to the media center. As of today, we still have over 100 books out with students. Finally, please come look through the rack of lost and found (Yes, we have collected more since we donated all of it on the 11th!) located in the cafeteria. We will donate all items not picked up by Friday at dismissal.

I would like to thank each of your for your dedication to ANCS. Whether this is your first, sixth or tenth (or anywhere in between) year here, we appreciate all that you give to our wonderful school. We all know that what sets any great school apart is the investment its community makes to ensure its success. We know it takes all of us working together to not only make it work, but to allow us to thrive. That community spirit is the foundation of our school, and I truly believe that spirit is what is going to allow us to continue to flourish. I know many of you go above and beyond with your volunteer hours. Please know that your time and commitment is appreciated!

If you are curious about ways you can become more involved next year, check in early in the year with your child’s teachers or room parent, take time to review the PTCA committees and choose one that appeals to your interests, talk with our related arts teachers about ways you can support them, or talk with me directly about some other ideas you may have. Don’t just assume that somebody else is taking care of the things you think are important for our school. We need to work together and keep the volunteering spirit alive here at ANCS.

As you move into the less routine oriented summer months, please consider keeping reading and math fact fluency practice as daily occurrences for your child. We often see students slide a bit over the summer with their reading comprehension and math fact knowledge. We believe that it is simply from neglecting to keep those areas a priority for the eight weeks over summer break. Math practice can only take ten minutes a day. Maybe you could practice some facts on the way to the pool or during breakfast a couple of mornings a week?

As far as reading, I encourage you to spend some time reading aloud to your child, even if your child is an avid independent reader. When I was in my Children’s Literature class at Agnes Scott, my professor read to us for the last half of each class. I can still hear her voice and remember the books she shared with us (and that was a long time ago!). Reading aloud really brought the characters to life and allowed us to have wonderful conversations about many aspects of the books. It gave us a shared experience and a way to connect our own understandings to each other’s. You can also listen to an audio book while taking a road trip, so everyone gets the pleasure of being read to. The important part of reading, though, is following it up with conversation; that is what makes it meaningful and builds comprehension skills.

Thank you all so much for all your dedication and support of our school. I feel honored to work at ANCS each day! Have a wonderful, safe and happy summer break!

I wish you well,
Lara