Hello, Families –
I wish you all a Happy New Year!  I hope you have had a chance to enjoy the holidays with family and friends, and to create marvelous new memories.
This week we welcome back 6th and 7th grade Social Studies teacher Eileen Woodford, and bid a fond farewell to Suzanne Caruso, who filled in most ably during Ms. Woodford’s medical leave.  Also, I am delighted to report that Physical Education teacher Jen Schultz is steadily increasing her hours in her return from her injury and will now be working half-days (mornings) Monday through Friday.  We hope to announce a long-term substitute for the afternoon PE classes by the end of this week.  (Leslie Chambers, who had been filling in for Ms. Schultz, has taken a full-time long-term substitute position at another school in town.)  Also this week, we will be interviewing for Music teacher Sarah Gardner’s replacement, as Ms. Gardner readies for her upcoming maternity leave.
There are several wonderful learning opportunities for our staff this week. On Wednesday, K-5 classroom teachers will be exploring the Units of Study for Teaching Reading with Literacy Coaches Kristin Gray and Shoshana Jacobs, where they will revisit themes of student conferencing and independent reading, as well as delving into nonfiction units. On Friday, members of our middle school team will continue their work with Brookline’s Disciplinary Literacy Initiative. The goal of “Disciplinary Literacy” is to create independent and versatile readers, writers, and communicators across the spectrum of academic disciplinary fields. And on Thursday, members of our Mathematics department will be joining other town-wide colleagues at an EDCO workshop run by Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, and author of several books including Mathematical Mindsets.  Her work is grounded in equity in math, and the belief that all students can learn to high levels. Our K-5 classroom teachers have looked at Dr. Boaler’s “Number Talks” teaching approach this fall.
The spirit of lifelong learning is quite strong in our educational community.  As we begin this new year, I hope we all find our own ways to keep growing, and to forever strive to be our best selves — for ourselves, for our children, and for our society.
Jim Stoddard



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