May 17, 2017
I find myself both in awe and in bewilderment over the fact that we have exactly 1.5 days left in this school year. As I reflect upon our year, I realize that many things went well. Students embraced the concept that they matter and their peer’s matter. The leadership classes found ways to demonstrate this in tangible ways. Sixth-grade leadership created “Hawks Flying High.” They designed tokens that they award to their peers for demonstrating life-long learning and honorable leadership. Seventh-grade students worked on ways to support new students as they transition to our school. The 8th graders provided supervision to the elementary field day. Compliments from staff about their efforts flooded my inbox.
Academic achievement increased at all three grade levels. We had fewer students on the ineligibility list this year. We worked to establish restorative discipline. While students still served detentions and received a variety of consequences for wrong choices, we worked diligently to restore relationships. We worked to help students see that even when they made bad choices, they were not bad people.
With the efforts of Mrs. Howard, Ms. Brooks, and Mrs. Lleras, we implemented peer tutoring. Though a new concept this year, the program successfully provided academic and organizational support to many students. Reflection and evaluation of the program provided us necessary feedback so that the program can provide even more support next year.
I witnessed on a daily basis the passion and skill of teachers as they poured their heart into teaching their students. I experienced grace as I navigated my first year as principal. I enjoyed spending lunch getting to know students. I loved hearing about their weekend activities or their favorite classes. I treasured every moment I spent getting to know them. I will miss seeing them every day. When I walk the halls this summer planning for next year, I will miss the laughter. I will miss the hustle and bustle, the slamming lockers, and the energy. Mostly, I will miss their sweet faces.
Thank you for entrusting me and the SkyView Middle School staff with your students. We feel extremely privileged to serve your family. We will constantly strive to grow and improve so that your students receive the best we have to offer. Many of you have asked me to continue my blog throughout the summer. I am humbled by this request. I will continue to write throughout the summer. I will address topics that I research and topics that address the concerns our students face. You can subscribe to this blog to receive updates.
I wanted my final letter to reflect the success and joy of this year. But my heart grieves over the fact that our students face challenging issues. For months, I monitored the progress of the game The Blue Whale. It originated in Russia. It is a downloadable phone App. In some parts of the world, it is referred to as the suicide game. It finally made its way to the U.S. Below is a link, that provides a brief insight into the game. Please educate yourself on this game. I fear its growing popularity among middle school students.
It has been an honor to serve as the principal this year. I look forward to serving our community again next year.
Honored to Serve You All,
More Food for Thought: The Suicide Challenge Game: The Blue Whale