A few weeks ago, a group of 6th graders enthusiastically encouraged me to read R.J. Palacio's novel Wonder. I was visiting their class while they were discussing one of the chapters and I asked them if they thought I should read it. Everyone around us immediately exclaimed, "Yes!"
Taking my assignment seriously, I borrowed one of the school copies and started reading it last weekend. It is a phenomenal story very well crafted and engaging. If you have not read it yourself, I highly recommend it and completely agree with the students' resounding, "Yes!"
We talk a lot within the building about the fact that everyone has a story. The more we seek to understand all of the individual unique stories, the more we are in a better place to support all of the wonderfully unique individuals coming to Stony Brook everyday. The multiple perspectives and different voices embedded within Palacio's novel demands that we reflect on our individual and collective capacity for empathy which we are seeing fewer and fewer examples of in today's news reports.
Getting different perspectives is also beneficial in supporting the development of all of our students here at Stony Brook. As students get older and work with more and more adults throughout the day, the responsibility of regular communication begins to shift more to the students as they develop more independence and take more ownership of their learning. While the majority of our students handle this transition well, it is still important for us to provide opportunities for the adults at home to check-in with the adults at school even if just to calibrate the stories that students share between the two buildings. The team structure of middle school certainly helps to facilitate communication as the teams are able to know the individual students very well. Before the winter break, families will have the
opportunity to schedule conferences to meet with representatives from the teams for an overview of the student's current progress.
Conferences will be held on Monday, December 11th from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Tuesday, December 12th from 7:30 PM to 9:30 AM. There no school for students on December 11th and a 2 ½ hour delayed opening on December 12th in order to provide multiple options for scheduling conferences. In an effort to accommodate all families interested in attending a conference, we offer a choice between one of two teacher groups: Math/Social Studies or ELA/Science. Should you wish to schedule a conference we are asking families to sign up for one conference per student online as we have in the past via Sign Up Genius. In addition to one of the team of teachers time-slots, families can also sign-up for a conference with the Integrated Arts and the Foreign Language Teachers if they wish to do so through the Sign Up
Genius website. The website will be open for families to access starting on Monday, November 20 at 9:00AM and closing on Wednesday, December 6 at 8:00 AM. Changes can be made by calling the office after that time.
These ten-minute check-ins with two of your child's team teachers provide an opportunity for you to share important information, stay informed of your child's progress, and discuss the first trimester report card. Parent conferences are not required, and many parents find a phone call, email or one of our available weekly team conferences meet their needs. Our students are well supported both here and at home and these conferences are only one of the many processes that we have in place that help foster the home/school communication which we know to be one the most critical elements for overall student success. When the adults are all on the same page, the children are more likely to thrive.
Shortly following the Thanksgiving Break, the Stony Brook Theatre Arts will be producing their annual musical. Each year the students raise the bar and this year expectations are big!
Stony Brook Theatre Arts Proudly Presents: Big - The Musical TYA
Friday, December 8th @ 7:30pm
Saturday, December 9th @ 1:30pm and 7pm
The classic 1987 motion picture fantasy bursts onto the stage in the unforgettable Theatre for Young Audiences version of Big The Musical.
Josh Baskin is sick of being an awkward kid. At a carnival, he makes a wish to the Zoltar machine to become "big". To his shock, his wish is granted. After an understandably awkward beginning, Josh is forced to do "adult" things, like getting a job and a girlfriend. In the end, he discovers that there's much more to being an adult than he's bargained for and he learns that we must all grow up at our own pace and in our own time.
This is a Reserved Seating event.
Ticket prices are:
Over age 5 - $10 ea
Under age 5 - free
Online Public Sale begins Monday, November 20th at Noon (12:00 pm). Follow this link to buy tickets online: http://tinyurl.com/SBTABIG
Tickets will also be available to buy in person on Tuesday, November 21st, during lunch periods from 10:30am - 12:00pm in Stony Brook's Main lobby.
Additional Buy In Person ticket sales will take place on the following dates outside the Stony Brook Auditorium:
Tues, Nov 28th @ 3:30-4:30 pm
Thurs, Nov 30th @ 3:30-4:30 pm
Tues, Dec 5th @ 6:30-8:30 pm
Have a wonderful weekend,
Dr. Christopher Chew
Stony Brook School
Westford, MA 01886