Dear Briarcrest Families,
I hope you had a truly wonderful winter break with your family, and are settling back in to the new year. It is so nice to see the children back at Briarcrest, and to hear about their adventures over the vacation. I’ve been asking many students about their favorite thing about the vacation, and it’s pretty neck and neck between “Time with my family” and “Sleeping in”.
We have had a few staffing changes in the past couple of weeks that I wanted to share with you. Shoreline is allocating counselors to our elementary schools, and we are so fortunate that Kelly Akemann has a strong counseling background and is able to move into that position for us. Doing so created an open Family Advocate position, for which Val Anker has been selected. Val has spent many years in similar positions throughout her career, and will be a great asset for our families and school. I’ve been collaborating with both Kelly and Val on how they will best serve our students and families, and am grateful for their support. We also have learned that John Ames, our orchestra teacher, will be out on leave for the remainder of the school year. After much searching, Nick Wade has been hired to be our orchestra teacher in his stead. Nick comes to us from North Carolina, with a wealth of knowledge to share with our students. Finally, our head day custodian, Larry Erickson, has retired from the district after many years of service. His last five years were here at Briarcrest, and I know that we all appreciated his hard work, good humor, and attention to detail, and wish him the very best. Our new head day custodian will be Ian Kern, who most recently was the head night custodian down the street at Kellogg Middle School. He is eager to become a vital part of our school community.
I have made a couple of small presentations to our PTA and Cafecitos group, and also to our school board, about a truly exciting potential opportunity for future Briarcrest students in the form of a Dual Language immersion program. I look forward to sharing more information with you in the near future, and also hosting an information night next month. The general idea that we are exploring would be to create a English/Spanish bilingual, biliterate (able to speak, read, and write in both languages) pathway for children, starting with one class of kindergarteners and first graders in 2017-2018. There is a great deal of academic and brain research showing strong benefits to children who become bilingual/biliterate at a young age, and the lasting impact it has on them throughout their high school and collegiate years. I will be firming up a date and time for an evening event, and will invite everyone to come and learn more about our proposal.
January is turning into quite the busy month. I will be attending the School of Distinction Awards Ceremony on January 21st, and will be joined by Trisha Massot, Cindy Ebisu, and Sara Sokolowski. Our district’s annual KinderFest, for incoming kindergarten families, will be on Saturday, January 23rd from 10:00 – 12:00 at the Shoreline Center. I also have a team of teachers joining me for a trip to Houston, Texas, for the national Title I Reading Conference at the end of the month, which we are very much looking forward to. Because of the evening events, I will need to move our Family Movie Night to Wednesday, January 20th, from 6:30 – 8:00. We will watch Minions. Hope to see you there!
Principal | Briarcrest Elementary School