Dear Oak Knoll Parents,
Saying I am excited about the 2016-17 school year is an understatement! The Oak Knoll staff, along with Mrs. Kessler and I, are gearing up and getting ready for our students to arrive back to school on September 1, for what we believe will be our best year yet!
We encourage you to get and stay connected so you can be in the know, on the Knoll! From our outstanding academic programs, best teaching practices, and high-quality professional development, you will gain a great understanding of why our teachers are beyond amazing. You also won't want to miss hearing about the incredible enrichment programs we offer. Thanks to the Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF), all of our students get weekly enrichment programs like music, art, library, and PE. Our fully credentialed specialists are superstars! Our school Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) will be keeping you in the loop on the many ways to get involved and build community.
"Every student an exemplary scholar, a valued friend and a courageous citizen." Our mission defines our school values and how we define success for our students. Each year we build measurable goals that tell us how we are collectively progressing in each area. Beyond our academic goals, we write goals to measure how our students understand and apply a growth mindset, compassion to others and involvement in providing service to others. In the past we have had a school-wide theme that usually pointed to one of the three parts of this mission. We feel strongly that EVERY child needs to learn and develop within each area of our mission, EVERY year. Instead of a theme, this year we will launch the Motivated Me Challenge!
Motivated Me Challenge:
This challenge is designed to motivate and inspire our students and guarantee that all Oak Knoll students progress as scholars, friends, and citizens. To be specific, we will focus on stretching our brains, showing compassion to others and working together to make our community better. Each class will engage in lessons, make project plans and earn badges once they are able to demonstrate their learning in each area.
Oak Knoll Homework Agreement:
Homework continues to be a hot topic in education and at Oak Knoll. Evidenced by the overwhelming amount of parent comments on last years school survey and the hundreds of parent input forms that we received connecting homework to teacher placement, validated my desire to continue to resurface the topic with our staff. Being well aware of the research that supports little to no homework for elementary age kids, and recognizing that although there were great efforts to be a "no-homework" school, the reality at Oak Knoll has been quite different. Some teachers have been assigning a lot of daily homework in multiple subjects, others assigning none, and everything in between. Together as a staff, we have discussed this topic, keeping our students success, and wellness, in the forefront of our minds, and decided that we could start improving our homework situation by getting to an agreement. It is with great pride that we are ready to implement the 2016-17 Oak Knoll Homework Agreement! This is a shared vision that our teachers have ALL signed on to implement this school year! The agreement outlines our expectations for students and staff, from K-5th grade.
Oak Knoll Staff Changes:
This year we have made some changes to our team. I am proud to introduce our five newest staff members: Blythe Bulkin (multi-age/3rd), Mindy Garagozzo (3rd), Samantha Johns (band), Katherine Perilloux (4th), and Allison Zeiser (multi-age/4th)! Each new member brings outstanding strength to our staff, school, and community. Check out the 2016-17 Oak Knoll Staff to see our team line-up!
Speaking of team, you are also an important part of our Oak Knoll team. Oak Knoll is a community school that needs your involvement and participation. Join us in our best year yet and support the MPAEF, PTO, and our many school initiatives by getting involved. If you are not already receiving, or reading our school newsletter, make it your Motivated Me Challenge, and do it!
I can't wait to welcome your children back on the Knoll!
Oak Knoll School Principal