I want to welcome everyone back for the 2018-2019 school year. I hope that everyone had a beautiful and exploratory summer.
We will have a lot of new students in the school this year, including 30 new kindergarten students. This continual enrolment boost, over the past two years, has changed the structure of our classes as well as the layout of our school. We now have two Kindergarten classes, two Grade 1 Classes, a Grade 2 class, a Grade 3 class, a Grade 4/Grade 5 class, and the Grade 6/Grade 7 class. We have opened three new classrooms over the past two years.
This year we are committed to continuing to use Assessment for Learning practices and create and utilize reporting methods the families that best showcase and explain the learning that is happening in our classes with your children. The Assessment for Learning practices will continue to allow our children to become reflective learners and will place a stronger emphasis on the process of learning rather than rote learning. Hidden Valley School has been utilizing these strategies for the past few years, but we are all committed to expanding our knowledge of assessment in these areas. A simple way for you to engage in the same support for your child will be to ask them three simple questions: (a) what are you learning and why is it important, (b) how is it going, and (c) what's your next step. Another way that you can to engage in your child's learning is by logging into FreshGrade and seeing and commenting on their learning through this online interactive portfolio.
We have also transformed our library into a learning commons that will allow our students to explore a variety of interests in the curriculum area of Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies. The learning commons still includes elements of a traditional library but also incorporates the flexibility of a maker space. All classes have scheduled times to be using this space and the tools, such as a 3D printer.
We are also going to be working on the expansion of our outdoor experiential programming at the school. We will be developing and implementing opportunities for our students to experience and reflect on a variety of cultural and placed-based activities to expand their knowledge, connection and understanding of the natural world around them.
This year we will, also, be canvassing for volunteers to start helping with school programming and planning. If you are interested, please let us know. We will be looking for volunteers to assist with academics as well as school culture activities.
If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me any time at the school.