The Weekly Bulldog

November 8, 2018

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From Tim: Ongoing reflection is a cornerstone of learning

Dear Families,

We were pleased to share your student’s progress with you during our fall conferences last week. The conversations we have with you are designed to be collaborative assessments of where children are, academically and socially, and how we can help them progress. As with all forms of assessment, we believe that the purpose of the conferences should be less about evaluation and more about illuminating specific ways students can improve and grow. Towards this end, our assessment process begins with mechanisms for children to reflect upon their own learning, in age-appropriate ways.

In the earliest grades, children respond to such questions as What is your favorite thing about school? What is the hardest thing? At the 3-4-5 level, children identify areas of strength, areas to work on, and goals for themselves. In middle school, students complete self-evaluations in each area of study, again following a format that notes specific strengths and areas for improvement. Our goal is to help our students take ownership of their progress and discover that the habit of non-judgmental self-reflection is a powerful tool for learning.

The first of our 7 Goals for Learners focuses on “Self-Awareness – including self-advocacy and confidence in one’s beliefs and abilities.” We strive to find ways within our program for students to learn about themselves – their strengths, their challenges, their passions, and their hopes. The current conference and progress report cycle provides such an opportunity. We know that our students graduate from Stanley with a deep capacity for self-reflection and a heightened self-awareness. In high school, this translates into better decision-making, an ability to set formal and informal personal goals, and an enthusiasm for meeting those goals with confidence.

Ongoing reflection is a cornerstone of learning at Stanley. We know that when students, or any of us for that matter, are given time to reflect about what they’re doing or what they’re learning, they understand more fully why something is the way it is, not simply that it is, and I think this distinction is critical. For learning to progress beyond basic recall of information, or application of a rote procedure, to the level of true understanding, we must give our students chances to reflect upon how the learning connects with them or with our previous knowledge.

Two reminders:

Parent Association Meeting -- Tomorrow, Friday, the 9th at 8:30 a.m. in the lunchroom. Division Heads Joanna Hambidge, Stephanie Collins, and Greg Chalfin will lead a discussion on homework, including why it’s part of Stanley student experience and tips for helping children manage this responsibility.

Multicultural Feast – Saturday, November 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the ballroom. Hope to see you there!

All the best,


Top Five Things

1. Preparing for change and preparing for adulthood

In Greg's Learning Report, he examines the good impacts change has on our middle school ecosystem as we wind down the first trimester. Parents are invited to participate in this conversation as well as another important one for families coming up in December about navigating the pressures of technology. >>more

2. Let's all stay healthy together!

Please do not send your child to school when there is any indication of illness (fever, sore throat, vomiting, headache, deep cough, ear ache, etc.) If illness begins at school, every effort is made to contact parents so that the child may go home to rest comfortably. Your child should be free of symptoms for 24 hours before returning to the classroom. Your good judgment regarding your child’s health and well-being is important to your child, other children and the staff.

3. Coffee with our head of school

Tim hosts small parties of students in his office throughout the year. Won't you give him some adult conversation this Wednesday morning? Join Tim after drop off on the 14th for coffee and free-wheeling conversation.

4. Book fair scares up some great books!

The Stanley Scholastic book fair Halloween week was very successful, earning over $6,000 in new books for classrooms and our library - not to mention putting many new books into the hands of our students. Thanks to the community, our parent volunteers and to co-chairs Tina Dorn. We could not have done it without you!

5. All in for The Stanley Fund!

We're officially kicking off the season of annual giving at Stanley and rallying our community to reach 100% participation for The Stanley Fund. Your donation supports teachers, campus, financial aid, off-campus programs and much more. On December 4, Stanley will receive a pro-rated match from the Colorado Gives Day $1M incentive fund for each contribution made. Preschedule your Colorado Gives Day gift anytime, or donate today at

Remember to RSVP for Grand People Day!

Friday, Nov. 16th, 8:30am

350 Quebec Street

Denver, CO

Your student's loved ones (a.k.a. Grand People) are invited! Join us for student performances, followed by a breakfast for Grand People in the Ballroom (refreshments for parents in the Community Space), and classroom visits. RSVP for your grandpeople at