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Message from the Head of School

September 8, 2016

Dear Families,

Welcome Back! I hope you all had a wonderful summer and found some time to share with your family and friends. Robert, Fin and I were able to get away to visit our family in Nebraska, as well as spend time in the Catskills where we enjoyed boating, paddle boarding, zip lining, Nerf battles, and evenings without computer and TV. As a working parent, I value this time tremendously and feel so incredibly grateful to get to spend these moments away with my family, as the days and weeks seem to pass at lightning speed. I was once again reminded of this as I walked my 9-year old son into his new 4th grade classroom yesterday!

While I treasure the summer break to reconnect and give undivided attention to my son, I love coming back to Gillen Brewer, which is my second home. It was especially exciting to come back and see that all of the construction work in front of the school was completed and we now have a new and safe sidewalk in front of the school. We also had the concrete planters removed to allow for a better sight line and pathway to and from the buses.

Being among the Gillen Brewer staff, in preparation for the school year, is one of the most energetic times of the year. The school has been cleaned from top to bottom and everyone has been hard at work preparing for your children. So much thought and attention is put into every chart and lesson plan, in anticipation of the amazing students that will soon fill the space on Friday. We look forward to seeing many of you the first few days of school but know that it isn’t always possible for families to be present. Be assured that we will give each and every student the warm and reassuring reception that sets the tone for a wonderful year to come.

One of the most exciting parts of our orientation week is selecting a theme for the year that will shape the name of each class. The selection of a theme is taken through a democratic process among the staff, much like we do with our students. After many influential pitches, attempted bribery, and heavy debating, our theme has been chosen for the year: Things That Float! We look forward to uncovering the many things that float and learning about the difference between falling, flying, and floating! This theme will lend itself nicely to lots of learning and conversation and more wonderful ideas from our Parents’ Association and library committee.

Lastly, please save two important dates for school-wide events: Tuesday, September 27, at 6:00 pm, will be our State of the School address, where we look forward to sharing our ongoing Strategic Planning work. Wednesday, October 19, at 5:30 pm, will be Open School Night, where parents/caregivers have the chance to visit classrooms after a school-wide Parents Association meeting. Please note the date change for Open School Night.

I look forward to our partnership and working with all of you this year.


Donna Kennedy
Head of School

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