Brookside Elementary School

Principal's Blog

Dear Brookside Families,

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year at Brookside! The Brookside Faculty and I are so happy to welcome all of our first graders and their families! I enjoyed meeting and getting to know you during the tours following First Grade Orientation as well as during the many placement meetings that we conducted. Of course, we are also thrilled to welcome back our second graders and their families.

I hope that you have enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and time with your child this summer. At the beginning of the summer, I enjoyed time working on our integrated curriculum with a team of Brookside teachers. During this time, my colleagues and I were discussing the beautiful singing of our second graders at their spring concert and identified the song "Here Comes the Sun" as a good theme for the coming year in response to the complex time in public education. With this inspiration in mind, I sought out summer reading that would focus on creating the light to guide our way. Accordingly, I read the book, The Happiness Advantage, written by Harvard Researcher Shawn Anchor describing empirical principles of positive psychology that support performance. This reading motivated me to learn about districts, schools, educators, families and students who worked together for success. In addition to re-reading the book, Improbable Scholars, that describes the collective journey of the community and district of Union City, New Jersey who came together to reimagine themselves resulting in their transformation from being at risk for take-over by the State Department of Education to their current status as a high-performing , award winning district. Similarly, I read the book Toward Excellence with Equity, by Dr. Ronald Ferguson who is a Harvard Professor and the Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative. In his latest book and in his recent work with our district, Ferguson shares the research gleaned from over 30 years of research on practices that lead to equity and excellence. While I look forward to sharing what I learned from this reading in greater detail during the school year, the big themes I took away was the power of communities, schools and families working together in concert to support their children to follow their unique "North Stars". Overall, reading these inspiring books renewed my commitment to engage all families in renewing a common purpose and working together to create the best school environment for our children.

I look forward to seeing you at our Open House on September 2, 2015 at 2 p.m. for first graders and 2:30 p.m. for second graders.

Please see below important dates for September:

September 3: School Opens
September 7: Labor Day
September 9: First Grade Pictures
September 10: Second Grade Pictures
September 14: Rosh Hashanah- School closed
September 15: School Closed
September 16: First Grade Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.
September 23: Yom Kippur
September 25: Brookside Bash

Fondly,

Ann Dealy