Dear Cardinal Families,
Welcome to the 2020-21 school year at Felicity-Franklin Elementary School! I am very excited to begin my fourteenth year as the principal of Felicity-Franklin Elementary. It has been my pleasure to work with such caring and dedicated staff, parents and students each year.
Over the last few years, Felicity-Franklin Elementary staff has worked to implement the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching. This approach to classroom life and learning emphasizes an environment that builds social and academic skills. The physical space in classrooms, morning meetings, and class and school rules are organized to facilitate opportunities for positive interaction.
Guiding Principles of the Responsive Classroom:
1. The social and emotional curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
2. How children learn is as important as what they learn.
3. Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
4. To be successful academically and socially, children need to learn a set of social and emotional skills that include cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
5. Knowing the children we teach—individually, culturally, and developmentally—is as important as knowing the content we teach.
6. Knowing the families of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children we teach.
7. How we, the adults at school, work together is as important as our individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community.
Components of the Responsive Classroom Model:
Morning Meeting—gathering as a whole class each morning to greet one another, share news, and warm up for the day ahead
Rule Creation—helping students create classroom rules to ensure an environment that allows all class members to meet their learning goals
Interactive Modeling—teaching children to notice and internalize expected behaviors through a unique modeling technique
Positive Teacher Language—using words and tone as a tool to promote children's active learning, sense of community, and self-discipline
Logical Consequences—responding to misbehavior in a way that allows children to fix and learn from their mistakes while preserving their dignity
Guided Discovery—introducing classroom materials using a format that encourages independence, creativity, and responsibility
Academic Choice—increasing student learning by allowing students teacher-structured choices in their work
Classroom Organization—setting up the physical room in ways that encourage students’ independence, cooperation, and productivity
Working with Families—creating avenues for hearing parents' insights and helping them understand the school's teaching approaches
Collaborative Problem Solving—using conferencing, role playing, and other strategies to resolve problems with students
The first six weeks of school are an essential time to build classroom and school communities. Routines and expectations are set and an emphasis is put on how the class will work together as a community. During this period, parents and visitors are discouraged from visiting classrooms as their presence can hinder this group development. After this initial period, visitors are welcome to come into classrooms.
In addition to our efforts, parents and caregivers make a big difference in a child's education. No matter how small the task, a little bit of encouragement or time spent with your child can make a lasting and positive impact. I encourage you to read with your child every night, talk and listen with often and give lots of hugs!
Ongoing communication between school and home is critical to a child's success in school. Communication from school to home will be done primarily through e-mail, the REMIND app, Facebook and our district website. Please be sure that you maintain updated contact information in Final Forms at all times.
Lastly, at Felicity-Franklin Elementary, we stress the importance of attendance. Research shows a direct correlation between high achievement and high attendance rates. Please ensure that your child attends school on time every day unless they are sick. Plan vacations and doctor’s appointment according to our school and district schedule.
Let’s have a great year! Please keep in touch. All of your questions and constructive feedback are important.