The week began on a high note as we shared expected behaviors this week with our students at our annual skit assemblies. Our teachers performed skits modeling expected and unexpected behaviors in the common areas of school life: bus, cafeteria, hallways, rest rooms, and recess. The teachers do a great job performing their skits and we hope it models good behavior for our students in a fun way!
As our students are transitioning to the new school year, we hope they are learning expectations and routines. As Wheelock is the next school up from Memorial, there are greater expectations for our students. To bring you up to speed and answer some questions you may have, here is some info to help you understand student expectations at Wheelock.
We allow a lot of flexibility to the boys and girls. If a student needs to stand or wiggle at lunch, it's fine with us. However, we discourage traveling around the cafeteria other than to get condiments and utensils. Students do know lavatory protocols and are doing a nice job. When students go to the lavatory, they take one of the lanyards hanging on the wall and sign out. Should a student have an emergency, they are sent to the nurse's office if all the lanyards are in use.
However, a school practice is that we do expect nice manners at lunch. If a class is struggling with behavior, sometimes it is necessary to assign seats. Often this is a temporary measure designed to make the point about our expectations. Reasons why we assign seats could include saying unkind things to students who may not be their good friends, hitting students or even due to what our students may describe as "gross" food habits students partake in to show off. In any case, we work hard to extinguish these behaviors and we have facilitated growth successfully among the students. One year we held a dress up for lunch meal at the holiday time with table decorations and table cloths, etc. and we discussed using manners when eating. You may be thinking, "Why is that necessary? My child has appropriate manners!" Well, in our setting, sometimes they need reminders.... In any case, that special lunch was really fun and the children did a fantastic job.
Student play at recess can become very competitive and physical. I've noticed our current Wheelock students are very physical and touch each other a great deal. We are utilizing Open Circle meetings and conversations in the cafeteria to emphasize student rules and acceptable play practice. While neighborhood and sibling roughhousing may be acceptable to some, it is not acceptable at school when kids can get hurt. It makes supervision challenging.
Students have many sensitivities and some have special needs so navigating the landscape can be a challenge. These special needs are confidential so while it may seem evasive, it is our responsibility to protect students' privacy rights. You can be assured we are handling matters that arise.
A big thank you to Wendi, Campbell and Avery Ayers and all of the parents and high school students who volunteered to make our MCPE grant a reality. The Passport Club provides 30 Wheelock second graders the opportunity to "travel around the world" and learn about different countries. For our first meeting, we welcomed Mrs. O'Shea, a native of the Philippines who taught the children about her home country.
As we go forward throughout the year, if you have questions about our school or a practice, please reach out. I urge you to contact your child's teacher with questions, and after that, if you need to follow up with me, I am always available.
Have a terrific weekend!