“Change is the end result of all true learning” Leo Buscaglia
Over the past few years as a teacher at St. James and now as the Director, I have listened to the concerns and suggestions of both parents and teachers. I have learned that in order for there to be growth, we must evolve and fall in step where appropriate with the current trends of education: in practice, curriculum and operation. During my first year as Director, I have implemented changes that resulted from, knowledge as to the needs of our community, responses to the Parent Surveys, and research into educational practices utilized by other preschools in the area. In that regard, we are moving St. James along a continuum of development much like your children.
Communication, curriculum and operations were the primary focus of last years’ changes and will continue to be this year too. Emails are now being submitted by the teachers to the parents on a weekly basis, Friday – Sunday, and posted to your email or on the class Shutterfly website. Every teacher has a website. White boards were placed outside the upstairs classrooms so that teachers can post what they did that day in the classroom, helping to facilitate conversation between the two year olds, toddlers, and parents. A Curriculum Coffee for the parents of the PreK students, as well as those interested in the new Five/Six class, was held. This year we will have Curriculum Coffees for all of the age levels except the Infant class. They will be open to all parents and or anyone interested in learning more about how we implement Creative Curriculum in our classrooms. Beth Ford is our new Curriculum director and will be helping our teachers with ways to execute the curriculum objectives to their lesson plans. In addition, she will be looking at other language and math curriculums to supplement our existing Creative Curriculum in those areas. She will also be organizing the Curriculum Coffees. Last but not least, we instituted walkie talkies, as well as, the wearing of labels by the children for the first two weeks of school, with the child’s name and their teachers’ name on them placed on their shirts. Both help facilitate the carpool process and allay the anxiety of the children and parents. All these modifications are the result of learning so as to make St. James the best that it can be in these three areas of concern.
Some changes, but really just moving around: Olga Diaz and Luisa Castaneda will be teaching a two year old class together. Meg Sessions, Khaki Hutchinson, Lisa Winfrey and Annette Sullivan will be teaching the Toddlers (Lisa will also be teaching a Three Day Three class). Meg was a floater for us last year. Annette is new but subbed quite a lot and is a parent here. Pat Bell and Annette Sullivan will be teaching a two year old class. Pat has taught for over 20 years at Peachtree Presbyterian. Downstairs, Taylor Viers moved to a 5 Day Three classroom, and Susan Fleck moved in with Heather Binder to teach Prek. The other new change is Cindy Meade and Lanier Barnes who will also be teaching PreK. Hopefully you all received the pictorial in which all of these changes were outlined with pictures. Lots of new energy and ideas have been put into action to help propel our school along the continuum, keeping it relevant. It has been a busy summer at St. James and we are ready to start a wonderful school year.