And we’re off! What a wonderful start to a new school year this has been! In my discussions with other school heads and teachers around Connecticut and around the country, it is clear that there is a feeling of newness and joy in the way that our school year has started. Here at Ezra, we have welcomed dozens of new students and parents into our building and there is certainly a feeling of excitement that has taken us through our first few days of school. With the Jewish holidays starting just a little bit later in relation to our school year this year, we truly have the time to experience the Jewish month of Elul.
The final month of the Jewish year, Elul, is both an opportunity for reflection and a chance to prepare ourselves for the year to come. This year, in advisory and our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons, we have been taking time to reflect on the past months and set goals and intentions for this school year. One big goal that we have as a community is to spend more time learning and celebrating together. In our end-of-summer faculty learning sessions, we did some planning around ways to celebrate success and accomplishments together as a full group. These discussions resulted in the construction of our Citizen-Tree in our entryway. Students will have opportunities to add leaves to the branches of the tree whenever they perform an act of kindness or contribute in a meaningful way. Each age group will add to the tree with different types of leaves and our hope is that this will not only bring artistic beauty to our entryway, but will also help us to celebrate our success together as a community. I had the pleasure of getting to witness the 1-2 class learning about our new tree and discussing some of the ways that we can fill it with leaves and am so excited to work on this collaborative project together.
Speaking of which, we are so excited to join together this coming Sunday for our back to school picnic and carnival which has been organized and sponsored by our PTO. This event promises to be fun for the whole community and will include activities such as a bounce house and opportunities to dunk certain school administrators in a dunk tank! We are so grateful for this opportunity to celebrate the start of a new school year together and I hope that you’ll join us!
Lastly, If you’re new to our community and have just started to receive this weekly newsletter, this is the place where you can go each week to hear some Ezra stories, stay up to date on community events, and learn more about some of the important work that we are doing here. We’ll often use it to share some of our learning as a faculty and staff and to also spotlight some of the learning going on in our classrooms. Welcome (and welcome back!) to Ezra Academy!