Letter from Cathey Goodgame – February 12, 2020

Dear ANCS Families,

In last week’s letter I talked about special events both in a recent Morning Meeting and the one at the end of this month. While we do often have extraordinary moments during our Wednesday school family gathering, it’s also important for me to share why each weekly Morning Meeting is significant for us at the Middle Campus.

It’s extremely unusual for an entire middle school to even be able to get together in one space at the same time, much less every week, so each time we gather I remember how fortunate we are to be able to do that. Each meeting begins with an Advisory leading our Brain Smart Start, where we Unite, Connect, Disengage Stress and Commit together. Typically next on the agenda are a few announcements from a variety of people about upcoming events and opportunities for the students. Up next are presentations or activities of some sort. For example, last week Chef Bradley talked to us about the nutrition team’s “Cook the Book” initiative for February and read a passage from Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, the inspiration for last week’s Wednesday meal. Tilifayea Griffin, our Diversity and Equity Coordinator, followed that presentation by sharing some words about why we celebrate black history and challenged each of us to learn about and remember Carter G. Woodson. As always, we closed our time together by saying together, in one shared voice, the poem, In Lak’ech.

Each Morning Meeting is slightly different and there are a few things that happen monthly throughout the year. On the first Wednesday of each month, Nickey Hardon introduces the new MYP Learner Profile attribute for the month and this month’s attribute is Principled. The IB defines Principled students as “They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.” We will focus here each week as the leading Advisory shares a new commitment.

Usually on the second Tuesday of the month, Terri Linahan, our Media Specialist, does a combined presentation about the hot books of the moment for young readers, shares news of Spelling Bees, Reading Bowls and Trivia Nights, and shows us cool digital tips and tricks. Another monthly presenter is Nancy Lamb, our school psychologist, with her Brain Smart Games. Nancy usually joins us on the third Wednesday of each month and she teaches us about our brain functions, brain research, and shows us some fun games to challenge different parts of her game. Nancy also displays the games on one of the bulletin boards outside the cafeteria. Be sure to check that out the next time you are passing through the building.

Please remember that you are always welcome to join us at Morning Meeting. Even if your middle school child says he or she doesn’t want you to come, don’t be deterred. I have certainly seen quite a few smiles, waves and even hugs at the end as students head off to class. Morning Meeting happens almost every Wednesday morning at 8:30 am. I say almost because we occasionally flip to an afternoon meeting as we get into testing and exhibitions later in the semester. I’ll be sure to note those changes in a letter closer to that time.

Finally, I have one piece of information to share that isn’t related to Morning Meeting. Please remember that Mid-Winter Break begins at the end of this week. Everyone will be on break on Friday, February 14 and Monday, February 17. If your child is wondering, our first day back, Tuesday, February 18, is an A Day.

Wishing you well,