Dear PAML Families,
Today is the final day of school for our students for the 2020-2021 school year. In just a few short minutes our students will walk out our doors into a summer that is safer and much more certain than last year. I’ve said it many times this year, but I will say it one last time. Thank you all so much for making this school year a success.
Our planning for next year has been well underway for quite some time now. One of the things we’re focused on is capitalizing on the skills we learned through our experience over the past year and a half to accelerate learning in the future. I am copying a portion of my address during our 8th grade celebration ceremony below because it describes this vision not just for 8th graders but for everyone.
Anyone who knows me well, would say that I have a positive outlook on life, my wife would probably tell you it’s nauseating. So it’s natural that rather than look at this year and think about what was lost, I am going to look back on this year and think about what was gained.
These 8th graders, as well as the rest of us, learned a completely new way to communicate and became quite good at it. In a short amount of time video conferencing has become so pervasive in our lives many of us, including myself are wondering how we’ll go back.
When these 8th graders were learning from home they learned valuable time management skills. They didn’t have a precious “bell schedule” telling them which work they had to complete and when. They planned, prioritized, and made it happen. Learning from home required a level of self-directedness that simply can’t exist when there is always an adult at arms reach to help at school. Our entire school community also found new ways to connect and enjoy each other’s company even from a distance.
These 8th graders were highly flexible upon returning to in person learning and learned new school routines easily. Their entire day was different, from not switching classrooms to no longer using the cafeteria, which a lot of us found out we actually liked. They learned how to adapt to the changes going on around them and continue to make progress toward their academic goals.
My challenge to you 8th graders is to look to the future and not ask yourselves how to catch up? But ask yourselves how do I make sure I take with me what I learned this year and apply it in high school.
I have included quite a lot in this final family slideshow of the 20-21 school year. You will find both our 8th grade celebration video and a video produced by 8th graders for this special occasion. I’ve also included some photos from our final days, which depict 7th grade students sharing their recreated Civil War correspondence and a rap about fossils from some 5th grade science students. Finally, I’ve included some information about our “Pro-Boost” summer academic program.
Thank you as always for your continued support in helping make this school year a success and have a great summer!
Matt Young, Principal