The year is over. Our students are gone. Soon, the banner for our year-end art exhibit ‘Celebration’ will be taken down from the front of the school.
But the celebrating hasn’t stopped for me.
We have plenty to celebrate this year: our 25th anniversary; amalgamation with St. Georges Nursery School; the addition of 14 terrific new colleagues; and big inroads on our plan to establish a high school. These are achievements worthy of celebration, but right now they aren’t what come to mind.
Working on final report cards immerses me in the faces and stories of our students. This celebration has a face, many faces in fact. It has one for every student, and one for every teacher standing by their side. I’m celebrating:
- the SK students who started the year unable to read, and who ended it reading in front of the school at our final assembly
- all the students who made huge gains in their reading skills thanks to their teachers and our new efforts with Direct Instruction
- the new students who started the year struggling in various skills or lacking in confidence, now working alongside their peers ready for their next grade, head held high
- the dozens of students who chose to seize challenges like the Caribou Mathematics Competition because they welcomed the chance to be pushed to their intellectual limits
- all the students who work their hardest in academics, arts, athletics and citizenship, day in and day out
- two students who persisted in writing a book with our YAKCS program, and will have them published over the summer
- the students who took their first steps in leadership this year, and the many other dozens who have used their leadership skills to make KCS and the world a better place
- the students who tried out for sports they’d never played before, and the students who had the courage to perform for the first time ever at Wake Up With the Arts this year
- those who earned banners; ribbons; public-speaking, science and math awards; Four Doors Awards; and year-end trophies
- those who didn’t win, who weren’t chosen for a team, who struggled with schoolwork or with a friendship, and who faced each day anew, ready to try again, and seeing things get better and better as a result
- and all those who acted with empathy, who held the door for others, who heartily welcomed visitors and who made evident their enthusiasm for life and learning at KCS.
There sure is a lot to celebrate this year. What’s most worth celebrating are our students and all they’ve been through, and grown from, thanks to their efforts and those of their teachers. Their work isn’t done, of course, nor is ours. But parents, when you receive your child’s report card in the mail, try to imagine how much your child has embraced learning, thought flexibly, created, shared what they know, persisted, made a difference and more. Think about their full story. Then look at their face, and celebrate.
Assistant Head, Academics
You can follow Andrea on Twitter @afanjoy.