August 7, 2023
Whether you are new to the Webster community or a returning family, I hope the summer finds you refreshed and ready for the coming year. For students, returning to school can inspire a spectrum of emotions. We hope the idea of returning to Webster on Thursday, August 24, is met with excitement, wonder, and anticipation. As a staff, we certainly feel this way and will work hard to help your kids maintain a positive association with school.
Most letters of this sort tend to be focused on rules, regulations, and procedures for the start of the year. I know there’s a need for these things and I promise to provide them as needed. In the meantime, I’d like to start with a reflection.
On my way to Indonesia this summer, I spent roughly eighteen hours sitting on flights. The first of which was thirteen hours and gave me the mental freedom to continue to reflect on the state of education. I am a big believer in the importance of making good observations and taking stock of where we are and where we’re headed. Throughout the journey, both the captain and the flight attendants periodically spoke over the intercom to remind us about seat belts, turbulence, safety procedures, and not smoking in the lavatories. As a lover of travel, I’ve been on many flights in my lifetime. For the first time, it struck me that none of these interruptions included a description of my destination. They were devoid of any commentary around Bali’s natural beauty, its culture, the indescribable smell of durian, the geographical significance of the temple in Balinese houses, the overwhelming number of motorbikes in Denpasar, the cultural impact of the people’s tightly-held belief in karma, or how to say “Where is the bathroom?” in Indonesian.
In the airline business, these things don’t matter a whole lot to those charged with getting you from one place to another. There is the courtesy weather report and accounting of the local time upon arrival, but that’s about all you get. There is little to no description of the world you are about to step into once you leave the aircraft. Fair enough. I get it. As a traveler, it was my job to research these things. In fact, a flight to anywhere in the world is remarkably similar. There are snacks, maybe a meal, a variety of drinks, pillows, blankets, and perhaps some digital entertainment. Whether you’re in route to Philly or the Philippines, sitting in first class or coach, the destination is rather meaningless for those involved in your in-flight experience. They are charged with getting you there safely and as comfortably as possible…period.
Education is not the same. Thirteen hours on a flight translates into thirteen years on K-12 campuses. And unlike air travel, when it comes to education, the passenger experience MUST be reflective of the destination. It’s a preparatory experience, not a passive one. The journey itself must adapt and flex to the shifting demands of the world you will step into once you leave the plane. Where and when you plan to arrive should determine everything about how you spend your time during the flight. We are in fact preparing humans for a very specific time and place…not just safe passage.
With this in mind, educational communities like ours must be acutely aware of the world around us…as that is the destination for our students. As we look around, what do we notice that might influence the manner in which we prepare students during this all-important introductory stage of the flight? Digital innovation is on the rise. We communicate through a vast array of mediums all requiring unique skills and understanding. Eighty percent of U.S. colleges no longer require standardized tests for entry. Generative A.I., in its infant stage, is already impacting human capacity for production and communication. Our ability to sustain life on the planet is being threatened on several fronts. Information is ubiquitous, but its reliability has never been more in question. The world is more connected than ever and remains in constant flux.
We cannot afford to ignore these things and treat our students’ education the same way we did forty or fifty years ago. Our understanding has changed, we have developed transformative technologies. They will not recognize the airport upon arrival. What skills, knowledge, and mindsets will be needed for them to find joy and thrive in the world they will encounter?
Let’s start with a question, “What is needed to develop good humans?” I know it’s broad. We could spend days debating the definition of “good.” And are we talking about knowledge and character, or the processes used to get them to think and learn? Yes. We’re talking about all of it. As the world has evolved, so must our content and approach.
I’d like to pursue the development of humans who know how to slow down, make good observations, ask good questions, utilize resources and solicit collaborators, and then design innovative solutions that benefit humans and are good for the planet.
I’d like to propose we start by developing a foundation for empathy, a respect for diversity in all its forms. Then add a heavy dose of critical thinking and problem solving. Let’s shape them into good listeners and questioners who are driven by their own curiosity and a desire to have an impact. Let’s help them understand the power of communication and collaboration. We should embed growth mindsets along the way. Let’s foster adaptability and creativity while we’re at it. Allow productive struggle and a bit of discomfort to build grit and resilience. I want them to be interesting, kind, and humble. Let this all come together around a deep sense of wonder about the world around them.
Let’s mold them to be as wonderfully human as humanly possible. It’s likely to be an irreplaceable asset down the road.
Funny enough, these are the same characteristics the world beyond the walls of K-12 is pleading with us to deliver. For too long, we have focused on “just in case” learning, attempting to stuff a laundry list of facts into students’ brains at a time when so much of that information is not relevant, connected, or even interesting to them. Our task, rather, is to establish a foundation for all future learning. We must give them interesting problems to wrestle with, complicated ideas to sort out. We must create a safe place for kids to take risks and experience failure while providing room for imperfection and quirkiness. If we can build a love of learning in children and a safe space to work things out, they will be ready to create a joyful existence as they face the challenges that come their way.
The world our students will inherit is becoming more connected and complex by the day. Who they are and how they think when they leave Webster will vastly outweigh the importance of what they might have memorized along the way.
To this end, our incredible team of educators and support staff here on campus will be focused this year on doing everything we can to develop good humans. We hope that you will take advantage of opportunities to support us in this endeavor.
Here's to an amazing year of growth for our students and community!
Information for NEW and Returning Families
NEW FAMILY ORIENTATION
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
1:00 – 2:30pm
We’d like to welcome new families to our Webster campus on the day before school starts for a brief orientation and a chance to meet the teachers. During this time, you will get a chance to meet the teachers and hear a bit about who we are and what to expect from the year. There will be a session for TK and K families hosted by the TK/K teachers and a session for families in grades 1st-5th hosted by Tedd and the 1st-5th grade teachers.
TK and K: Rooms 12, 9, & 10 respectively
Grades 1-5: Cafetorium
At 2:00 pm, we will ask all families to join us in Poet’s Park, near our cafeteria, for an informal reception where you can meet other new students and families and some of the fabulous members of our PTA. We will have coffee, drinks, and light snacks. This experience allows our young students to feel comfortable walking in on the first day of school and gives new families a chance to meet and connect. In addition, the playground will be available for exploration.
*If you would like to join us for this event, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, August 18, 2023, so we can plan refreshments accordingly.
Please park in the lower lot on the Webster side of the street. Walk up the street along the field gate and enter campus using the front gate. At no time, and for no events, can we use the parking lot across the street. This lot belongs to OLM, the private school next door. Thanks for your help with this as we continue our efforts to maintain a respectful and friendly relationship with our neighbors.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Thursday, August 24, 2023
We are super excited to be back on campus for the first day of school and an exciting beginning to a new school year. This will be a minimum day for all students. Please drop off your child between 8:15 - 8:30am. PreK and TK will enter using the curbside valet adjacent to the PreK/TK yard.
Grades K- 5th may elect to either
1) Park in our lower lot and walk-up (accompanied by an adult)
2) Use the curbside valet and front gate entrance by moving through the drop-off line. Our PTA coordinates valets who open car doors and welcome your students to campus with a smile.
PLEASE DO NOT PARK OR STOP ABOVE CAMPUS IN THE FIRE LANE!
*Parents WILL BE permitted on campus in the morning for the first two days of school should you wish to accompany your child to class. ALL PARENTS MUST MOVE OFF CAMPUS no later than 8:30 so teachers can begin the day and establish valuable and engaging morning routines. We appreciate your support with this.
*Dismissal on the first day of school for grades TK and K is at 12:30 p.m. and 1st-5th at 1:15 p.m. Friday, August 25th is an early release day. Grades TK-5th will be dismissed at 1:15 p.m. every Friday.
BACK TO SCHOOL BEACH DAY
Friday, August 25, 2023
This annual Webster event sees our community gather at the beach in Zuma for an afternoon of sea, sun, and sand. Meet new and returning families and build community with those who make Webster such an amazing place for kids and parents. We will be sending more detailed information about this event in the coming weeks.
Class assignments will be emailed Friday, August 18th. Please help us embrace the new year with enthusiasm and positivity. We want your child’s return to school to be met with joy, curiosity, and wonder. Children look to you for guidance and if they see you are excited about the new school year, they too will feel good about the year to come. We believe deeply in all our educators here at Webster. No changes to class assignments will be made during the first month of school and we prefer not to make changes at all. A class change request form can be requested in the office and clearly lays out the process for change should you feel strongly that one is needed after the first month. These forms will be available on October 1, 2023.
Please see Webster’s Bell Schedule for 23/24
We are pleased to once again offer free meals at Webster this year. Ms. Neci, our exceptional coordinator of all things culinary, will offer breakfast from 8:15-8:30am each morning. In addition, she will provide snacks during recess and lunch during lunchtime. We will continue to infuse our salad bar with fresh fruits and vegetables from our garden whenever possible. You are always welcome to participate in the meal program or send your child with food of their own.
Students will be dismissed early on the First Day of School (8/24), and for Back to School Nights (8/29 and 9/5). Additional minimum days are: 11/7, 11/8, 11/9, 11/21, 3/21, and 6/12.
EARLY RELEASE FRIDAYS
Every Friday, beginning August 25th, students in grades TK and K are dismissed at 12:30pm. Students in grades 1st-5th are dismissed at 1:15pm. The remainder of the school day is reserved for teacher and staff development meetings and trainings. (This information is also in our Bell Schedule)
BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHTS:
Tuesday, August 29th - grades TK-2nd
Tuesday September 5th - grades 3rd- 5th.
These events will be held on campus this year. We will provide further details/schedules as the dates approach.
Webster's PTA is the backbone of the school in a variety of ways. In addition to raising the funds necessary to provide our staff with the tools and resources they need to best serve our students, the PTA also creates joy all over campus through engaging events and exciting volunteer opportunities for parents. This is a thriving organization of enthusiastic and dedicated families wanting to make a difference in the lives of our staff and students. We hope that you will take this opportunity to be a part of the team.
Please join!!!! Click the link for membership information:
We are also excited to welcome our new and returning officers to the PTA Leadership Team. Please reach out to the following parents for information and support:
Executive Vice President
1st Vice President, Communications
Shannon Dunn (proposed)
Kate Pritchett-Skene (proposed)
REFLECT and RETHINK
My goal for this part of the newsletter will be to continue to keep you informed about the future of education, trends that effect our community, and ideas for how we might be a part of the force for change. If you've stopped by in the past year to read an article, check out a resource, or watch a video...thank you! As we return to your children's education this year, I hope you'll take some time to think deeply about the reality of the world we live in and the kind of person you'd like your kid to be when they inherit a world 10-15 years down the road. I know what I want for them and it begins with our five mindsets. I want your kids to THINK CRITICALLY, COLLABORATE, LIVE IMAGINATIVELY, TAKE ACTION, and BE ADAPTABLE. With these mindsets locked in, we can build the kind of gritty, empathetic problem solvers the world so needs right now. I look forward to a new year and more opportunities for us to keep digging in together.
EVENTS, REMINDERS, and DATES to REMEMBER
8/17 WEBSTER OFFICE OPENS
8/23 New family orientation (all grades) – 1:00-2:30pm
8/24 First Day of School (minimum day)
8/25 Back to School Beach Day (minimum day)
8/29 Back to School Night (K-2) – 6:00-7:30pm (minimum day)
8/30 Volunteer Training – 9:00a
9/1 Fridays on Campus begin
9/4 Labor Day Holiday (no school)
9/5 Back to School Night (3-5) - 6:00-7:30pm (minimum day)
9/6 Volunteer Training – 9:00a
9/14 School Site Council Meeting – 3:00-4:00p
9/25 Local Holiday (no school)
Webster Information - Week of August 7, 2023
MALIBU CHILI COOK OFF
The annual Malibu Chili Cook Off takes place Sept 1-4! A community inspired event on Labor Day weekend that EVERYONE attends! A weekend full of delicious food, drinks, music, carnival ride amusements, family and friends. All proceeds from the event support the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, helping to sustain year-round youth enrichment programs and community mental health and wellness services. Event admission tickets are available online ONLY and must be purchased in advance (no box office on-site). Carnival ride passes are sold separately...Looking to volunteer? Volunteering at the Cook-Off is an AWESOME opportunity with some pretty great perks! Please email email@example.com for more info.
Visit malibuchilicookoff.org to learn more and purchase event admission tickets!"
The annual Malibu Chili Cook Off is a beloved community tradition. All proceeds support the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, helping to sustain year-round programs and mental health and wellness services. The safety and well-being of all guests are paramount to us.
We aim to provide a safe, fun, family-friendly environment; thus, we have decided to enact a Chaperone Policy. The Chaperone Policy will include the following guidelines:
- Guests under the age of 18 will require a chaperone
- Guests 18 years of age and older do not require a chaperone
- Chaperones must be 21 years of age and older and may chaperone up to five guests
- Guests under 18 will NOT be allowed to enter the venue without a chaperone. No ticket refunds will be accommodated
- ID checks will be enforced upon entry. A valid government-issued ID is required for guests 18 and older (physical ID required, no photos). If you are unable to provide proof of your age, you may be denied admission
- It is HIGHLY recommended ALL tickets for chaperones be pre-purchased before arriving to the event (due to poor cell reception, and no public Wi-Fi, attempting to purchase tickets upon arrival is NOT recommended)
- Chaperones must accompany their party during entry, remain inside the venue during their visit, and be available by phone throughout their stay.
- Guests under the age of 18 who are found inside the venue unaccompanied by a chaperone will be subject to ejection. No refunds will be accommodated. This policy is in effect for all event days and hours, until further notice, and is subject to change
Event admission tickets are on sale NOW! Carnival tickets/passes are sold separately.
Please visit malibuchilicookoff.org to purchase and learn more.
PRE-PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS!
ADMISSION PRICING IS AS FOLLOWS:
Aug 1-Aug 14 $30
Aug 15-Sept 4 $40
July 15-Sept 4 $99
Monday, Sept 4 is Family Day!
July 1-Sept 4 $20 (Monday Only)
KEEP IN MIND:
***There are NO REFUNDS. Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable, and do NOT roll over from day to day***
***Parking is extremely limited & cash only $20-$60 (depending on lot), we recommend rideshare***
***Be sure to review our Prohibited Items list. NO BAGS/BACKPACKS OVER 14x14 ALLOWED. Items that are confiscated at the security checkpoint, will not be returned to you***
***NO smoking/vaping is allowed at the venue or in the parking lots***
***Children under 5 receive free admission***
***Lockers available on-site***
Developing strong character and valuable mindsets is essential. This remains a major focus at Webster. As we build community here on campus, at home, and across Malibu, we will continue to model the kind of behavior that promotes unity, kindness, and thoughtful problem solving. In addition, we will value these traits in others and recognize outstanding efforts.