The Friday Focus

September 19, 2014

Happy Friday!

Dear Staff,

Wednesday night’s Back to School Night gave me enough to think about and to share to fill five Friday Focuses (but, I’ll keep it to only one!).

We have talked about perseverance, teamwork and problem solving being critical skills for our students to have. We can talk about those things and tell our students about them all we want, but showing them and modeling them is so much more powerful. Wednesday night, each of those skills were on full display across the whole school and I can’t imagine being much more proud of our staff than I was. I’m not sure that George Lucas could have written up a script with more drama and tension as we saw between 6:30 and 7 pm. It does go to show that no matter how much you plan, and even if you do a ‘dry run,’ things can and will go wrong. IT IS HOW YOU RESPOND THAT MATTERS. The number of calls to the office asking what individuals could do to help and the amount of people helping others to trouble shoot and design possible solutions, going from room to room and across the building was astounding.

The best part of the night was that at 7:01 pm, parents could have no idea that there was even one glitch. Everyone carried themselves with grace and poise and we were able to include parents on business trips and home with children, into our Back to School Night and to broadcast on our Smartboards, rather the much smaller TVs. Your flexibility, persistence and positivity made all of the difference and your enthusiasm and passion were so evident as I circulated around the building! We pulled off something special. Thank you.

To that end, I want to issue a challenge: Attack this year the way that you did Back to School Night: make your class a place that students can’t wait to get back to at the end of each day and a place that parents can’t wait to see and hear about. As we read and talk about “Teach Like a Pirate,” we will see Dave Burgess ask, ‘would students come to your class if they didn’t have to?’ and ‘could you charge admission to your class?’ A goal of mine is to make Ben Franklin a place that people would pay to come to (beyond paying taxes) a place in which students couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. It is a powerful motivation to truly ask myself every day if I could sell tickets to attend Ben Franklin and it will create a lot of hard work. But in the end it will all be worth it as, we have the power to create life changing experiences for our students and their families.

Take Care,



Week of 9/22: Group 3 AM car line (Rief, Offery, Livecchi)

Monday 9/22 - Faculty Meeting

Thursday 9/25 - School Closed - Rosh Hashanah

Friday 9/26 - Spirit Day Assembly/Clap in (time to be discussed at faculty mtg)

Week of 9/29: Group 4 AM car line (Rigby, Rosser, Simon, Urizar)

Monday 9/29 - Grade Level Mtgs. / LML / ESL / Library

Monday 9/29 - PTO meeting 7 pm

Tuesday 9/30 - School Pictures

Tuesday 9/30 - Fall PTO clubs start

Wednesday 10/1 - Pirate Wednesday coverage (TBA)

Thursday 10/2 - 2nd Grade meeting 8:40 am

Thursday 10/2 - Newsletter items due from staff

Thursday 10/2 - Bus evacuation drills* (now happening at arrival on actual bus) 8:10 am

Friday 10/3 - BF EPA meeting (optional) 7:45 am conference room

Friday 10/3 - 3rd grade meeting 8:40 am

Quote of the Week:

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Article of the Week (School Goal Related? You bet!) - if the links in the article don't take you directly to the sites, just google them and it works that way!