Letter from the MC Principal
Hello Middle Campus Families,
This is my 12th year at Neighborhood Charter School and my 18th year in education, but this is my first year having a child in the school where I’ve worked. Up to this point I’ve enjoyed being able to separate my work life and my home life, but this year as a family we’ve decided to have my son Mark join me at ANCS during his 6th grade year. I love our school, I believe in the work that we do, and we have some of the best teachers around, so I wanted him to be here.
In the last week I’ve had a couple of interesting moments as a parent that I wanted to share with you all. First, on Monday morning Mark had expressed that he was having some anxiety around school. I wondered if it was his adjustment to a new school or if it was the workload, but he said it wasn’t those things. After doing some digging I found out that he was putting a lot of pressure on himself to perform academically. Summatives were coming up and he really wanted to do well. I had a conversation with him about the fact that we focus on growth at our school and that he shouldn’t worry if he didn’t start off with the level of success he was hoping for academically. Our goal is to see him grow and improve. I reminded him of the work that we do around growth mindset as a school, and reinforced the idea that we mean what we’re saying when we want to see students working to improve. After the conversation was over he let me know that he was feeling better about things. I reminded him of some of the great things that he is doing at school and let him know that I was proud of how hard he is working.
As we talked about managing anxiety I also talked to him about Quiet Time. We talk about mindfulness and sometimes meditate at home, but we don’t meditate regularly. I taught him a couple of meditations, including simply counting his breaths, and encouraged him to practice during Quiet Time on Monday.
I also wanted to dig deeper on what he’s doing in school so I leveraged the bi-weekly messages that teachers post in ManageBac (all of the messages are in one place as you can see) in order to do so. In these messages teachers share information about what they are teaching in class as well as upcoming assignments and assessments. Sometimes teachers also post notes about questions that you can ask your child and these are immensely helpful. I was able to ask Mark specific questions about what he is learning in class and the questions were spot on. I was able to get much better answers than I’ve typically gotten when I ask how his day was and the answer is always “fine.”
This may sound like a commercial for Neighborhood Charter, but I assure you I didn’t sit down with the intent of selling anyone on anything. This is simply a week in the life of ANCS and I wanted to share. These conversations that I had with my son are conversations that our teachers have with our students everyday, and that’s why Mark is at ANCS. I hope you found what I shared useful. I encourage you to check in with your children. Find out how they’re doing and how they’re feeling. Use bi-weekly messages on ManageBac to inform yourself about what’s going on in class and to guide specific questions that you have for your child. There is also an IB Parent/Caregiver session coming up about assessment that I encourage you to attend. This info session will be offered at two different times: Wednesday, September 21 from 9:00-10:30am and Thursday, September 22 from 6:00-7:30pm – the registration link is here. We are here to support you and your children so as always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out.