September 2017 – Letter from the Principal

Dear South Mountain Families:

Welcome back to school! I hope you and your children enjoyed a relaxing summer filled with fun and adventure.

Whether you will be dropping your child off at South Mountain School for the very first time, or you are a returning family, the start of a new school year is always a time filled with anticipation and excitement. Our school staff has been working hard all summer getting the buildings ready for the arrival of your children. The teachers and I are very eager to see the kids walking through the halls again.

This year, we have some exciting new initiatives planned. As a school community, we are studying the book, “Mindset for Learning.” This book is all about teaching students five mindsets that research shows are critical to students’ success: Flexibility, Optimism, Resilience, Persistence and Empathy. Over the course of the year, I will keep you informed of the work we are doing to support fostering independence, problem solving and strong peer relationships through the teaching work around these mindsets. We are also going to continue the “Mindful Minutes” program, in which our teachers have carved out seven minutes a day to teach mindfulness to our second through fifth graders in an effort to help them better focus and self-regulate. I am also excited to share that we have a pilot group of twelve classrooms which have completely transformed their learning spaces through the use of “flexible seating,” and have reimagined the traditional “desk and chair” learning environment to incorporate standing desks, stools and so many other fun options that further engagement and collaboration.

I continue to be inspired by the talented staff and families in this community, and look forward to you getting to know the new additions to the South Mountain School community. I would like to introduce the newest members of our school community:

  • Sabina Soloway will be teaching Kindergarten at the Annex
  • Jessica Davis will be teaching second grade at the Big School.
  • Angela Colatruglio will be co-teaching with Amy Simon in the 5th Grade.
  • Rebecca Ciuba will be co-teaching English/Language Arts with Tammy Murphy in the 4th Grade.
  • Shazaan Napolean will be our new social worker for the Annex and Big School (officially starting mid-September).

Annex families, you will notice that a lot of work has been done behind the Annex this summer thanks to the amazing partnership between the PTA, parent volunteers, the district and our school. Please help us by not only keeping your children off the dirt mounds, but talking to them about not playing on them until they are “play ready!” Grass is being planted and needs time to grow during the cooler fall months.

South Mountain is committed to supporting our children on their journey to excellence by encouraging them to grow in all areas – academically, socially and emotionally. I am fortunate to be a part of this energetic and creative learning community, and I speak on behalf of the entire staff when I say we are thrilled to have each of you as partners within it. It takes all of us working together to help each and every child reach his or her potential, and we look forward to sharing in your child’s growth.

I look forward to meeting each of you, welcoming back familiar faces, and together pursuing a wonderful year filled with learning, productive relationships and the joys that accompany success and accomplishment.

Warm Regards,

Alyna Jacobs, Principal

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