Hello AAG Parents,
We are already nearing the end of September and have been successfully back easing into the steady routine of school life again. I am proud to join this AAG Team, as the Elementary School Principal! I have certainly enjoyed meeting your daughters, hearing their stories, seeing their smiles, and watching them participate in fantastic acts of learning..School is a place for developing our knowledge and skills in academics, but also to grow socially and emotionally as human beings who care about the world, and each other. These are our goals.
We are aiming for a positive 2019-2020 school year for all our girls. You will notice some changes in class scheduling have already been put into place; for example: during the “Basic Math Skills” class, students will focus on memorization and application of the necessary number-skill drills for their grade level — in subtraction & addition, multiplication and/or division. Students have more scheduled time for building their reading fluency. We are creating “The Reading Room” which is a fun and relaxing space for our girls to choose from a variety of reading materials that encourage their love for reading — and escaping into a captivating story!. Weekly Library sessions will be used not only as a time when students can sign out and borrow books, but when they will also participate in active “Reader’s Workshop” lessons with Librarian Leah, who will be reinforcing how strong readers think about, understand, and connect with the story content they read.
With the goal of getting fourth graders ready for the transition to Middle School, our girls will be rotating classrooms according to where their core-subject area teacher is located. At this level, we are encouraging our students to take on more independence and responsibility for their learning. In turn, we have created a weekly “Study & Social Skills” class that will assist in their development of positive habits that facilitate organization, studying tips, and time management etc. And because the school environment has such a significant social impact on our pre-teens, we will also help equip our girls with strategies for building positive peer relationships, self-confidence, managing stress, conflict resolution, and proper manners & etiquette.
While tests and quizzes will obviously be present within each Quarter, our revised grading and assessment scheme will now place more emphasis on the day-to-day classwork and ongoing efforts of students across the span of each Quarter. Cross-curriculum “Project” work is also a way that each class will connect the content from various subjects into one fun and multi-faceted activity. Traditional homework is not a priority of AAG’s Elementary school, because kids need to have time for rest, hobbies, and family too — in order to have a balanced lifestyle and develop in ways that actually help them as learners. However, we do encourage students to get into a consistent habit of “reviewing” their school notes and learning materials: to look over, re-read, talk about and explain, summarize what they have learned in class; doing so — a few times a week — helps students retain what they have learned, so they perform well in class consistently, not just on a test. You will notice a change in the Report Card format; we aim for it to inform about particular skills more specifically, across all subjects.
After-school Clubs will begin in November, and they are a wonderful chance for our girls to participate in leisure activities with their peers — while also building their skills in art & performance, music & dance, fine-gross motor development, new languages, and athletics.
On Sunday mornings, everyone in our Elementary School gathers and we sing loudly and proudly together: We’re the Girls from AAG and we’re one big family… And we really are a family; we are truly committed to cheering eachother on. As educators, we are working towards fostering an environment that our girls are excited about, one that is enriching and engaging for them; together — with you –we can help our girls become their best and most successful selves.