Getting Ready for a New School Year

The staff at 276 is excited for a new school year. Our custodians have been polishing and cleaning.  Teachers are beginning to set up classrooms in anticipation for the start of the year and meeting to plan.

Over the past year, the PTA has worked with a committee of parents to create a new website for our school. It is beautiful and so much easier to navigate. It also works equally well on computers and mobile devices.  You should bookmark our school website. There you will find lots of important resources and information.

This summer, I have embarked on a study of the impacts of media use on young people (and their parents!)  We began this conversation last year when our school hosted, Screenagers, a movie about the impacts of screen time and teenagers.  I have been deepening my understanding of some of the ideas in this movie by reading a range of books on the social media and culture and learning about the benefits of online access and the aspects of social media in which we want to help our children engage thoughtfully.   I have been learning that while the impacts of screen time on teenagers are widely explored, we can help set the stage for successfully navigating the online world by planning for our youngest students.  While we have a fair amount of hardware at school, we emphasize the development of person to person interactions, the ability to listen to each other, to engage imaginations through reading great literature, to build deep knowledge across a variety of topics, and to learn to construct and critique arguments.  These goals help all our students to develop empathy, the ability to sustain attention, to reflect on the ideas of others and to weigh them in light of one’s own values and knowledge of the world.  We then can use technology – social media, the internet as a source of information, software for creating and communicating – to enhance learning.

I have lots of notes on my kindle books about these ideas and will be sharing some of the important takeaways with you over the course of the year. Our School Leadership Team is working on developing our school’s digital citizenship curriculum.  We hope many of you will participate in this conversation.

As a school, we appreciate parent involvement.  We have the most powerful impact on our young people when we work together.  If you want to contact me about any topic or have any questions, please reach out via email at terri.ruyter@bpcschool.org.

I am looking forward to another fantastic year!