From the Desk of Principal Franks
Friday, August 2, 2019 8:00 AM

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Dear Armatage Families,

“Goodbye?  OH.NO. Please, can’t we go back to page one and do it all over again?”  Winnie the Pooh

As the 2018 – 2019 ends, it is a time to reflect, plan and get ready for the 2019 – 2020 school year.  This year brought us heartache with the passing of Steve Bonine, challenges with the endless school closures due to winter weather conditions, and fortunately many wonderful moments of learning and inspiration.

Many times, throughout the year, we would hit a bump in the road and I would hear someone say, “We’ll get through it.”  It is true, we powered through some difficult situations, but not alone.  I honestly could have a banner hung from the front of the school that says, Team Armatage.   We could not do what we do without the incredible support of our families.  You have no idea what a day brightener it is when family members walk into the office to volunteer, offer moral support or simply give us feedback about the good work being done by staff.  I love quotes, and one of my favorites is by Winnie the Pooh that says, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”  Your kindness, support, encouragement and positivity have filled our hearts.

Data

Everyone has an opinion about assessments i.e.  Their value, impact and outcomes.  Having said that, as a MPLS school, we are required to comply with the district and state requirements for testing.  The MCA’s assessments are just one moment in time, but are used to compare the performance levels of all schools across the state.  I am so proud of our students and the incredible work they have done this year.  Below are the preliminary results indicating what percentage of our students by grade level met or exceeded the targets in Math and Reading :

                 Math                                         Reading

                                                3rd – 86%                                          81%

                                                4th – 82%                                          76%

                                                5th – 82%                                          86%

Farewell

Next week, we will be saying good-bye to two staff members who are moving on toward other life aspirations.  Breianna Butler, ECSE Special Education Associate will be going back to school to work on her degree and Sarah Hassebroek, Instructional Specialist will be working at St. Kate’s full time.  I so appreciate their hard work, dedication and commitment to Armatage School.  Their expertise has made such a difference, and they will be missed beyond words.

Report Cards

Quarter 4 report cards will be sent home in your child/s backpack this Friday.  If you have questions or concerns about a particular grade, I would encourage you to email the teacher before next Wednesday, June 12th as teachers will go offline for the summer until their return August 19th

Included in the report cards will be a supply list for the 2019-2020 school year.  Families have requested they receive it in the beginning of the summer in order to purchase items as they go on sale. 

Equity In Education

NOUN 1.the quality of being fair and impartial. "Equity of treatment" synonyms: fairness · fair-mindedness · justness · justice · equitableness · fair play ·

As educators (and humans), we strive to be equitable in every decision we make.  Every day, every situation and every decision must be looked at through an equity lens.  Therefore, as a district and school, we provide ongoing professional development in this area in order to increase our awareness and sensitivity skill sets. 

Next Monday, our staff will spend the day in a workshop led by Dr. Aura Wharton-Beck around the topic of equity.  She has met with us twice this year and will continue the work of Equity in Education.  Following this final workshop of the school year, each staff will receive a copy of the book, Why are all the Black Kids Sitting together in the Cafeteria? By Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD.  Over the summer, the staff we will read this book and then use it as a jumping off point this fall as we continue our professional development.

On Tuesday, we will start the day in the media center and go through a short MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) presentation to launch our classification work.  MTSS is one of our SIP (School Improvement Plan) goals for next year.  We will use this to support all students in their academic and social & emotional achievement. 

5th Graders & their Families

The fifth grade recognition ceremony is always a mixed bag of emotions for students, staff and parents.  For many families this is the end of their journey at Armatage and a new beginning as their child heads to middle school.  As I began with in this letter, our parents are invaluable to us.  As I hand out diplomas this Friday, I am not saying good-bye to only the fifth graders but also, to many families who have been such incredible supporters of Armatage Montessori School. 

I wish our fifth grade students the best of luck as you take on new endeavors.  Please fall back to the skills your teachers have taught you over the years; this will take you far.  To our departing fifth grade parents, thank you for trusting the staff to educate, guide and love your children.  The work was often challenging and at times maybe overwhelming, but in the end, your child is leaving with incredible skill sets in independence, work ethic, organization and citizenship; they will thrive.

I wish everyone a wonderful summer!  I hope that the sun will shine (a lot) and the thermometer will hit the 80-degree mark on a daily basis.  I look forward to our returning students and families and plan to make the 2019-2020 school year the best!

Sincerely,

Joan S. Franks, Principal