Message from Mirko Chardin: June 15, 2020

Message from Mirko Chardin: June 15, 2020
Posted on 06/15/2020

Hello Putnam Ave. Family,

As this momentous school year comes to a close, I hope that you are continuing to find balance as well as prioritizing focusing on your families and doing things that bring you joy. Looking over the school year, I continue to be impressed with how we have worked as a community, have supported one another, and have demonstrated what it means to be a part of Putnam Ave. Throughout the year, we lived our core values of passion, pride, and ownership with balance and perseverance (I hope that you were singing that in your head as you read this!).

We have accomplished so much this school year -- both before and after the emergency closure. As a school, here is just some of what we have done:

  • 6th Grade District Flagway Champions,
  • Hosted NASA Aerospace Engineer Dr. Ericsson in the 6th grade,
  • Conducted math identity work at all 3 grade levels,
  • Planned and coordinated field trips to enhance learned classroom content, including a 6th Grade Field trip to a Harvard Women’s Basketball Game,
  • Held in person parent/team rolling conferences,
  • Planned and facilitated an 8th Grade Portfolio Breakfast information session 10/1/19 for parents, families and students,
  • Planned and facilitated weekly advisory circles,
  • Held 8th Grade before school assignment support along with breakfast (Breakfast & Brains),
  • Continued the tradition of awesome Specialist Awards assemblies,
  • Performed the School Musical and Winter Concert,
  • Completed almost 14 weeks of emergency learning and engagement,
  • Offered support and made contact with every student and/or family at Putnam Avenue, as well as returning hundreds of emails, phone calls, and text messages, in addition to presenting portfolios at all 3 grade levels and having close out meetings with every student,
  • Provided all students with access to technology,
  • Provided one-on-one assignment support to students during emergency school closure,
  • Hosted over 500 Google Meet sessions--including: advisory, ESL support, GSA, office hours in content areas, student check-ins and support, games, a Digital Literacy MeetUp, and special education services,
  • Designed and created over 1,050 emergency learning options for students--including specialties,
  • Offered over 1,365 hours of office hours to support students and families,
  • Created and maintained Google Classrooms and Google sites to keep our students engaged and learning,
  • Welcomed our rising 6th graders with virtual introductions and a live event,
  • Virtually graduated our 8th grade class,
  • Hosted a virtual Panther Playground for all grade levels, Debate Tournament, a Flagway Tournament, and supported our students in the YPP Math Playbook,
  • Provided all students with summer math and reading opportunities, including giving all of our students two books of their own,
  • Maintained counseling support and access to three counselors,
  • Built and shared a PAUS Family Website and an internal PAUS Staff Website to centralize information and provide support,
  • Participated in virtual grade level team meetings, staff meetings, district department meetings, leadership team meetings, and admin meetings,
  • Offered a staff and family wellness challenge, as well as
  • Cared for our own families and sought balance for ourselves.

It is important to pause and acknowledge how much we have accomplished as a school during this unprecedented time. Even though this is not a comprehensive list of all of our accomplishments, I look at all we have done with pride and with gratitude for all of the hard work and perseverance we have exhibited.

QuoteAs we get ready for summer, I also know that it is impossible not to think about what next year will look like and would like to offer a few thoughts about navigating the summer and fall. One thought is that we need to take this time to pause, reflect, recharge, and adapt. We have endured a year that has been mentally and emotionally exhausting as we have wrestled with a global pandemic, a heightened awareness of inequity and injustice, and the continued murder of innocent people of color. We need to take this time to prepare ourselves to co-create a future that is more just, more equitable, and worthy of our students. This means that we need to take time to rest, to do our own internal work, and to heal. The second thought is that because the ending of this school year was not “ideal” there is the potential to return in the fall with a hyperfocus on filling gaps and deficits--a perspective that limits and alienates students and is grounded in White Supremacy Culture--rather than focusing on building a community of learners and recognizing and embracing the diverse knowledge that students already hold. We have a unique opportunity this summer and next year to re-imagine school and our work with students, so I urge you to take time to pause and to think about how you will cultivate relationships, equity, and anti-racism in the fall--whether we are in the building or not. Here are some resources that may be helpful:

ChartPlease take care of yourself, spend time with and focus on your loved ones, embrace balance, do some self work, and enjoy the Summer!

Best,

Mirko Chardin
Founding Head of School

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