Deer Families

Deer Hill School News . May 29, 2020

Hello Deer Hill Families,

In a couple of days we will turn the calendar to June. Before we know it, summer will be here and this chapter of remote learning will close. In the meantime, here is a little PEP to get you through.

Something Personal

Since remote learning began in earnest, I have included a video message in each grade level's weekly communication to students. Coupled with that has been the Question of the Week -- students reply to the question using a Google form, and I share several responses in the following week's video. For me, this has been the highlight of my remote learning routine. From the students, I've learned how they stay active, the best board games, what they're reading, and what songs are cool. One week I loved reading all of the good deeds they've accomplished and yet, I think that the question coming home today may be my favorite: What makes your heart grateful? With so much hardship and despair right now, there are absolutely times when I wallow freely. To be more specific, my preferred wallowing routine is a bag of spice drops, a show to binge on, and a refusal to do anything helpful like fold laundry or make dinner. But I digress, because what I really want to share today is the silver linings, the things that are okay right now, or even better than okay. For me there are many little things -- Del's and JJ's reopening, my weekly walk to Anchor & Sail for Hornstra chocolate milk and other must-haves, and the long drives my family takes to listen to an audio book and get out of the house. There are also big things, such as the continued health of loved ones and gratitude for a job I adore. So, while it is absolutely acceptable, and arguably healthy, to wallow now and then, there are many silver linings that sparkle against the clouds.

Something Educational

I have a few more logistical pieces for you this week. Additionally, to follow the thread of silver linings that I referenced above, here is an article, "6 Classroom Changes Teachers Will Make When Schools Reopen" by Gina Denny. I appreciate her perspective on how we can take our experiences and professional development from remote learning and use it to seed growth in our ongoing practices. Do better, be better. . . that's the name of the game.

On to the logistics:

For all students:

  • A reminder that on June 9th all families are strongly encouraged to return to school to collect student belongings. Please be careful to follow the schedule and clear safety protocols for the Deer Hill Clean Out 2020 that were shared with you previously in order to ensure a smooth and safe operation.

  • On June 15th (3rd and 4th graders) and June 16th (5th graders), families will have an opportunity, "drive through style" to return any school materials, leave an optional note for teachers, and wave goodbye. The 5th grade drive through will be a bit snazzier and will include picking up PSO promotion gifts. Please see the detailed schedule and clear safety protocols for what we are calling Deer Hill Many Happy Returns 2020.

  • While we continue to be available remotely during the workweek and are on site at varying times, CPS buildings have established hours of consistent open operation through the month of June. Deer Hill's office will be open from 9:00-3:00 on Wednesdays for any school business that you would like to conduct in person per appropriate safety guidelines. Osgood will be open on Tuesdays, also from 9:00-3:00. Central Office will be open Monday through Thursdays from 9:00-3:00 as well.

For current Deer Hill 5th graders:

  • Here are two communications that Principal Mills shared with you directly and that are important enough to bear repeating. The first is the process for Incoming 6th Grade Course Requests and the second offers insight into Performing Arts at CMS. Please note that course selection should be completed by June 1st.

  • Your future 6th grade teachers are thinking about you! Please see the plan they've shared for 6th Grade Summer Reading. This information can also be found on both the Deer Hill and CMS websites.

For incoming 3rd graders:

  • I'll be hosting a Parent Night for incoming Deer Hill 3rd graders on Tuesday, June 2nd at 6pm. Zoom information has been emailed directly to those families, and I'll send a reminder to them on Monday. The 3rd grade team and I have been working closely with Principal Farrell and the 2nd grade team to ensure a smooth transition. Our plan will include opportunities to connect virtually with teachers and our building in the hopes of in person options closer to the start of school.

Something Profound

This week I'm going back to one of my favorite wells, educator George Couros, for this section. In his recent blog post, Taking Care of the Adults, Mr. Couros (I read so much of his work, I really feel like I can call him George!), extends the importance of social emotional learning to include the needs of the adults who orbit around children. He states, "I have always tried to focus on doing “what is best for kids” in education, but what is truly best is making sure the adults who work with the kids have what they need to succeed and to feel whole." Yes. That. Perfectly said, George. That is an enormous part of how I see my role as a principal. Not only do I serve the students of Deer Hill, but their families and our staff as well. Building on the mindset of Joe Sanfelippo with whom he shares a great podcast, George identifies three questions to shape this work: "How are you doing? What do you need? What can I take off your plate?" George, you nailed it again. That is what I'm here to say and do. For staff, but also for you, the families of Deer Hill. To be truthful, after the last few months of remote learning, you ARE honorary staff. So feel free to always let me know . . . how you are doing, what you need, and what I can take off your plate.

All the best,

Alexandra L. Sullivan

Principal, Deer Hill School

Deer Sightings & Photo Opps

Teachers closing up shop for the year, Deer Sightings, and signs of how much we miss you!

The Flat Adventures of Mrs. Clark

It seems that over the past few weeks, our 3rd grade teachers have been ignoring quarantine and spending a LOT of time with their students. Case in point, take a peek at this video to see what Mrs.Clark has been up to!

Cohasset Cares Cards

It's not too late to participate in this community service project! We are so grateful to the Cohasset Fire Department for collecting our cards and to 5th grade teacher, Ms. Bradford, for organizing the drive. Once you'e donated some cards, go home and make some more!
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Flyers of Interest

Below are events and happenings that may be of interest to you.
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