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Principal's Message from Kevin Dorken
May 3, 2019

Be Here and Finish Strong!

With our calendars having turned to May, we will be stressing the importance of Being Here and Finishing Strong at school. These are particularly relevant concepts every year around this time because of the increase in potential distractions (e.g., many special events, looking ahead to transitions, spring extracurricular activities) from the habits and hard work we’ve been engaged in all year. Just as any athletic contest requires a strong push until the very end, this is the time of year when we all need to sustain our energy and determination (the strong finish), as well as our focus on the present (the being here). We’ll continue our dedication to our school-wide guidelines for success – Be Safe, Be Kind & Give Your Best Effort – while emphasizing these additional, very timely themes.

As a staff, we will maintain high expectations for learning and behavior (in many cases, viewing this time of year as needing as much structure and explicit communication as during the first month of school). Teachers will be reflecting on the extent to which they have achieved goals for individual students thus far, as well as their collaborative team goals, and making productive use of the time we have remaining to further that progress. At times, we will be intentionally slowing down, when the temptation will often be to do the opposite, so as to make the most of each day and invest in the present. I tell our students frequently: today is the most important day.   

At home, children benefit from a continued (or renewed) commitment to positive routines related to nightly reading and homework completion, schedule planning, healthy diet, hygiene, adequate sleep, and prompt arrival to school each day. With the improving weather, the time is ripe to recommit to limited screen time (see https://www.commonsensemedia.org/screen-time for some very helpful resources for families). Look for moments when you also can slow things down and be fully present with your child(ren). In other words, this final “push” need not be anything intense, just a rededicated focus on simple but important things that foster a child’s well being. You will likely benefit as well.

There are many opportunities for celebration to come in the next few weeks, representing much hard work, including our Second Grade Program (May 23), Open House (May 30), Field Day (May 31) and more. We are looking forward to a rewarding and focused finish to our school year. We hope to see you at Lyon soon!