The Principal's Office

Dexter Park Staff Weekly Roundup

Dexter Park Core Values

We believe that all students can learn

We believe that all students should feel:

  • safe
  • welcome
  • respected
  • successful

December 14-18, 2015

Dearest Colleagues,

The Winter Break is a marvelous time to regroup from what can be a whirlwind start to the school year. As you relax and unwind, take a few moments to pause and reflect on all that you have accomplished thus far this year. You have learned about your students as learners and as people, analyzed student data to guide instruction, and reflected upon and refined your practice through PD and PLC work. Take great pride in all you have done; it is noticed, appreciated, and will make a difference in the lives of students. I value and honor all that each of you bring to our school community each day and all you do to contribute to a profession that is complex beyond compare. As Coach Jimmy Dugan stated in the movie A League of Their Own, "It's supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it. The what makes it great."

Take time for yourselves this break, as your return in January is what I refer to as "prime learning time", with limited distractions or days off. Plan on spending time the first couple days revisiting class rules and routines, as I am sure you know students will need a refresher. I will see you all at our all school meetings to kick off what I believe will be an even better 2nd half to our school year together.



Student Spotlight

Kate Koonz's students recently wrote letters to the owners of Altruette (, a company that sells charms and other jewelry. What makes Altruette special is a substantial portion of their sales gets donated to various charities and philanthropic efforts. The students recently received letters back from the owners, along with jewelry that they were able to wear at the Winter Concert! Congratulations to the students and to Kate for providing an authentic and meaningful learning opportunity for our students.

Winter Program

The Winter Program was a huge success! We had a tremendous turnout at both shows and the kids performed wonderfully. It was great to see them dressed up and to see the pride in their faces as they exited the stage. A huge "thank you" to James Mercier and the other DP staff who helped get the program together. I know that James was especially grateful for the teamwork displayed by staff to get the kids ready and the gymnasium prepared. A marvelous team effort!

Upcoming Dates

December 18th: Student Recognitions due!

December 23rd-January 1st: Winter Recess

January 4th: School reopens; All-school assemblies @ 9:00 (grades 3 and 5) and 9:30 (grades 4 and 6)

January 12th: Staff Meeting @ 3:15 p.m.

January 18th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 20th: Early release (Math PD at Dexter Park @ 12:30)

January 22nd: Marks close

January 29th: Report cards sent home

Quotes of the Week

“Trust can be defined as an individual’s or group’s willingness to be vulnerable to another party based on the confidence that the latter party is benevolent, reliable, competent, honest, and open.” Alan Daly et al.

“Good teachers are those who remember being a student.” A.C. Grayling

“Success depends on teachers recognizing when a little timely assistance sustains student persistence but does not prematurely terminate productive struggle and learning.” Brad Ermeling, James Hiebert, and Ron Gallimore

“Independence of endeavor, and soon therefore of mind, should be one of the fundamental aims of education.” A.C. Grayling (ibid.)

“Instead of blaming our supposed Age of Distraction or turning the lecture hall into a digital playpen, we should think harder about how we can earn the attention of our students.” Frank Furedi

“Bruises heal and broken bones mend, but neuroscientific research shows that emotional abuse can leave permanent scars on the brain." Jennifer Fraser