On behalf of the staff at Waters, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2017-2018 school year! I trust that your families had an enjoyable summer.
I would like to share a few staff and curriculum updates with you. I want to thank Mr. King, Ms. Garrison, Ms. DelCampo and Ms. Termini for their dedication and years of service at Waters. Each of them embodied the true meaning of being a teacher. They will all be sorely missed. Yet with these departures brings new opportunities. I would like to introduce the following staff members: Ms. Jessica Nieves (diverse learner teacher), Ms. Paulina Heilbrunn (2nd grade teacher), Mr. Reilly Wall (5th grade teacher), Ms. Jeanette Aguilar (6th grade teacher), and Mr. Patrick Carney (engineer). Some of you may have already met them during the Meet and Greet on Thursday. We are very excited to have them join our Waters family.
In curriculum news, the previous technology program will now be known as digital media, taught by our very own Ms. Herman (stayed tuned for more information on her plans for the program). In addition, we updated the language arts and writing curriculum for grades 6th through 8th with the purchase of a new series called “My Perspectives.” Additional technology, including Chromebook carts, document cameras, projectors and supplies to further develop our STEAM initiative, also have been purchased with a combination of funds remaining from a previous Mariano’s grant, the school budget and fundraising through WatersToday (see below).
Our staff looks forward to partnering with you to ensure your child’s success this year. We recognize that in order to be successful in school, our children need support both at home and at school. We look forward to building a strong partnership with you to encourage your child’s growth academically and also socially and emotionally. As a team, we all have a role. We will do our best to carry out our responsibilities. In return, we ask that you join us and guide and support your child’s learning by ensuring that he/she: 1) attends school daily, arriving on time and ready for the day’s learning experience, 2) completes all assignments as directed by the respective teachers, 3) reads daily to develop a love for reading and to improve literacy skills, 4) shares school experiences with you so that you are aware of his/her school life, 5) shares with you if he/she needs additional support in any area or subject, and 6) knows that you expect him/her to succeed in school and in life.
With a strong school/family connection, I would like to recognize our WatersToday partnership. WatersToday is a parent-based group of volunteers who eagerly provide annual support to our wonderful school. Through WatersToday, your children, our students, benefit in various ways. The Waters ecology program, fine arts program, STEAM initiative, technology program, physical education program, classroom assistants and a multitude of classroom needs are generously supported by you, our parents. WatersToday will hold its first meeting on Thursday, September 7, at 6:00 p.m. in the school’s annex. Please join us at the meeting to find out the various ways that you can volunteer your time to support Waters.
As a strong school community, I would like to comment on a recent event that took place in our neighborhood. A couple weeks ago, our community experienced some ugliness in regard to racially motivated graffiti that was scrawled on garages, sidewalks and other locations, including on school property. I can never be more proud than to acknowledge the immediate organization of a peace march in response to this hateful act. Our very own Waters parents, Jason and Leah Reiger, and community member Roshna Keen coordinated this march. Within 24 hours, more than 500 participants gathered to march to demonstrate how our community supports one another. Families came out and wrote beautiful positive messages of peace and love on the sidewalks throughout the community, marching from Waters to Jacob Park. This is what being a part of Waters school is all about — we are here to support one another.
Our wonderful staff and I are excited to be a part of the Waters family and school community. We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you Tuesday!
A parent resource guide is available on our website and forms will be going home later this week. If you have questions, please visit our school website at waterselementary.org for more information.