November 10, 2022

Greetings Gunston Families,

I know, it has not been easy to get into a good school rhythm. Last week was a full five-days of school. This week, just three! It is good that students are flexible. They might manage the changes better than the adults! I did, however, ask a student yesterday if the day felt like Wednesday or a Monday. She said Monday. The benefit of a week that has two Mondays, one real and one that feels like one. . .is that it is a week with two Fridays!

I hope you enjoy another three-day weekend. And to our military families, thank you so very much for your service!

We have just come to the end of the 1st quarter. We have made it through nine weeks of school. In my hallway conversations with 6th graders, they share that middle school is still going better than expected! In my chats with 7th and 8th graders, I hear them still adjusting to the increased demands of work, and navigating the stress that comes with that. Increasing expectations around behavior, independent work, and the accompanying stress are normal in the middle school experience. It is progress, not perfection. And we want students to know the success of doing hard things. . . even if at first they are, well, hard.

Thank you for the responses to the survey about Parent-Teacher Conferences. The data showed that 57% had a positive perspective about the conference, 26% indicated that they were okay, 4% did not have an opinion, and 7% said they did not like the format.

The structural challenge is that there is not enough time, during the allotted conference window, for every teacher to meet with every family. Our structure was an attempt to give families an opportunity to meet with a teacher from Gunston, share some standardized assessment information, have students speak about their progress thus far, and hear and learn more about students.

We have looked at the comments and will do what we can, with the time that we have, to better meet the expectations of the 7% of you who did not like the format and improve on what we can. Again, there are some constraints with the structure but we will do what we can!

Dr. Wiggins

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