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Turning the Corner

by Marc J. Smith, Principal – Forestdale School

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It is common for many of us to see the winter vacation that occurs at the end of December as the marking of the mid-point in the year. However, our 90th day of school does not usually fall until one of the last few days of January (a bit later with this unexpected snow storm we experienced this year).  Once we pass the 90th day, there are always fewer days left in the school year than we have already experienced.As I sit here staring out at snowdrifts in my backyard, I found myself struck by how quickly this year is moving.  I think back to my first day at Forestdale and the feeling of having to “start all over again” with a new student body, a new group of teachers and introduce myself to a whole new community of parents.  I remember the feeling that I can only describe as similar to the feeling you get when you borrow a friends car… you still know how to drive, but it just doesn’t feel as comfortable as your own car; you have to think more deliberately about where everything is located and a simple act of using the turn signal requires more thought and concentration.It is funny what a few months can do, because now I feel like I have been here all my life and I give all the credit to the warm welcome that I have received from everyone in an out of the building.  I am truly blessed to be a part of this community.As we look towards the second half of the year, it is a great time to have a conversation with your children about the importance of their time in school.  While it is easy to assume that all the classroom rules and expectations are firmly engraved in our children, now is a good time to review them with your children and remind them that you too expect that they will positively contribute to the school and classroom community at Forestdale.We have spent January discussing the character trait respect.  Take a few moments to ask your child(ren) what they think respect means and ways that they can show respect at home and at school.Lastly, as we move towards the end of the year, your questions regarding the upcoming district reorganization are likely to increase. Please know that I have deliberately not used this platform to discuss this process in too much detail, as I wanted to ensure that this newsletter is dedicated to this school year (it deserves its own special attention).  There is a lot of information about the process being published on Sandwich Learns Together (click to see).  One section in particular, Moving Forward, is dedicated to the reorganization.Also, please know that if you have a question about the process or want to verify any information you are hearing in another setting, please feel free to email me (mjsmith@sandwich.k12.ma.us), call me at the school (508 477-6600) or stop by.