I hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend.
I wanted to let you know that our chickens are laying lots of yummy eggs. Thanks to all of you for supplying them with laying mash (chicken food) and egg shells! We've always struggled with how to distribute the eggs and I wanted to let you know about the system we're currently trying out. Each week we collect the eggs until we have enough to give one to each child in a class. This takes 3-5 days. We then put them in small cups with a note about the eggs and send them home with a class of kiddos. It will take several weeks to get through the whole school but this way every child will get to take home an egg. Did you know that fresh eggs can be unrefrigerated for 10 days and when refrigerated are good for 30 days? Nature's own amazing packaging... When your child brings home an egg, you may want to let him/her experiment with it a bit. Some things to notice: How hard is the shell compared to a store-bought egg? Is there a difference in the yolk color? What about the taste (when cooked of course!)? What color and size is the egg? Each of our feathered ladies lays an egg of a different size, shape and color. So interesting!
I'd also like to take a moment to address the petition that one of our families created and emailed to many of you over the weekend. I've heard from some of you and first want to apologize that your email was used in this way. Some have asked how your email was obtained for a mass mailing; others have questioned the nature of a petition which is not in unison with the methods we use to communicate in the DVIA community.
In a nutshell:
1) I encourage open dialogue and am always happy to meet with you to discuss concerns and brainstorm solutions. I don't believe email is an effective problem-solving strategy.
2) The policy in question is the School Visit Policy which is not a new policy. It has been the same for two years.
3) The specific aspect of the policy in question is the fact that visitors are asked to make arrangements with teachers in advance of a visit. The petition-writer wishes to be able to spontaneously stop by class whenever he/she wishes.
4) The reason we request prior arrangements to be made is so that teachers can anticipate any needs (for that parent and kiddos who are easily distracted or thrown off by visitors). This is a policy that I, too, adhere to when showing people around campus. Teachers are informed in advance so that they can determine if a particular activity is conducive to the visit or if there are students who have difficulty with such transitions.
5) One change that was made this year is that we are asking families to avoid walking their students to class after 9:15 or lingering on campus during school hours. The reason for this (and for our request for prior notice and checking in at the office) is twofold:
a) Safety, safety, safety. It is my top priority to ensure we have a campus that is safe. While we all trust that we are safe visitors, we do not truly know every adult and his/her intention when entering a school campus. Rather than have a policy that picks and chooses who looks like a safe person to roam unsupervised or unannounced and who doesn't, we ask that every visitor follow the same process. Since we share the campus with Da Vinci Science, both campuses rely on each other to equally enforce the same policy to ensure mutual safety.
b) Effective learning environment: with students on campus for only two days each week, we aim to maximize our impact. While a parent or other visitor may think his/her presence has no impact on student learning, oftentimes side conversations, moving about, and even talking to students or the teacher occur during such visits. Perhaps for some students that is not a bit distracting. But for others it is enormously distracting and learning is significantly compromised.
I am also available during Pastries with the Principal on March 25th and 27th should you want to discuss this further as a group.