Hello, everyone.
I want to wish to all participating, a fun and safe Halloween experience this Monday evening.
Our K-2 students were paid a visit this week by Brookline Fire Fighters Patty and DJ.  The students learned about fire safety strategies and the work of fire fighters, which goes well beyond fighting fires.  Students were able to earn their own fire safety training certificate (along with a packet and a special pencil!), as well delight in watching Ms. Halwick don a full fire fighter’s uniform!
On Wednesday our 5th graders went to Halls Pond on a birding expedition as part of their ornithology unit, and our 7th graders went on a problem-solving and team-building “Questing” expedition to “Boda Borg” in Malden.  There, students (along with their teachers and their principal!) found themselves in a series of different challenges where all of their brains and bodies were needed to work in concert to extricate themselves from various thematic predicaments.  Themes of resilience and grit were on display as the teams found themselves, after failing time and again, eagerly devising and testing out new strategies to help progress through and ultimately conquer the different challenges.  It was a fun day for all, with many planning their own return trips to continue their quests.
The experience of Boda Borg dovetails beautifully with education theorist Art Costa’s “Habits of Mind,” which Dr. Costa describes as “knowing how to behave intelligently when you DON’T know the answer. It means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known: dichotomies, dilemmas, enigmas and uncertainties.”  We as a staff continually look for more ways to create these types of experiences for our students.  I will be sharing more information on the Habits of Mind philosophy with the parent community in future posts.
Also this week was the annual Public Schools of Brookline Cross Country Meet for students in Grades 5-8, held at Larz Anderson Park.  The Runkle squad, led by Coach and Runkle paraprofessional Rob Antonelli, was over 40 strong, with many students achieving their Personal Bests.  Congratulations to all who participated!
The Cross Country Meet featured a surprise appearance by our own Jen Schultz, who has been recuperating from the serious injury she suffered last May.   I am so happy to announce that Jen will be returning to Runkle to resume her teaching in December!   The plan is for Jen to return on a part-time basis at first and gradually build up to full-time.  Jen will be visiting Runkle occasionally during the month of November to begin reconnecting with students, and also to plan with Ms. Chambers, who has been filling in admirably during Ms. Schultz’s absence, and Mr. McTaggart.  Jen is planning on coming to the November 15 PTO meeting, to reconnect with parents, as well.  We are so very excited for Jen’s Runkle return!
Best wishes,
Jim Stoddard

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