Principal's Message, 12/16/2018

Monday, December 17, 2018 - 2:53pm

Hello Addison Families,

This past week we celebrated Inclusion Week. Thanks to Shira Mowlem for organizing different events. As a parent of a child with a hearing loss, this week is personally important to me. As both a parent and educator, I've heard students being called "weird", "strange", or "slow" because of their differences. I know and understand that these comments come from a lack of understanding, but I believe we have the collective responsibility as parents and educators to continue the conversations regarding the appreciation and tolerance for our differences. A few teachers shared videos with students to discuss during Inclusion Week. I encourage you to watch The Hedgehog or Ian with your children and discuss their observations, emotions, and connections to students at Addison.

The Addison Community demonstrated tremendous generosity this past month as part of our Life skills program. We collected over one hundred gifts as part of the Giving Tree Drive and many of our staff members have signed up to wrap the gifts at the warehouse during the weekends. Also, the Camp Fire collection fund raised approximately $2500 through cash and gift cards. I was so eager to share these updates with students at our last Monday assembly knowing we all felt proud of our efforts to help others.

This time of year gives me both pause and celebration as I reflect on the joys and hardships of 2018. One of the greatest highlights was that after four years of conversation and planning, it was very exciting to finally start our multi-phase construction project thanks to a generous donation. This experience has been a tremendous growing experience for me personally as I feel grateful to help contribute to the vision of a multi-functional, 21st century, flexible and innovate learning environment. In approximately a year, we should have a new office, library, and multi-purpose room!

This past year also brought tremendous grief as we lost our dear friend, Nathan Carlsen, 5th grader, in March. As many of you know, I had a close, personal relationship with the family long before his diagnosis and passing. This made my role as both Principal and parent especially difficult, but I appreciated the opportunity to closely support the Carlsens and Addison School during this very hard time. A positive memorial of this tragic event is the creation of "Nathan's Cart", a Lego cart that will be made available for all Addison students in 2019 is in the final stages of production. You will hear more about "Nathan's Cart" next year as we launch it and provide a creative building opportunity and outlet for all students.

As I look ahead to 2019, I look forward to our continued partnership in supporting our student's social, emotional, and academic growth. Although sometimes said sarcastically, I am feeling like "the more things change, the more they stay the same". Despite new programs and District/Board management, Addison is still committed to finding the balance between teaching curriculum and life skills.  I've been grateful for the new leadership at the District Office who have been very supportive of the Addison goals and initiatives but also bring forth new ideas to make sure all students are reaching their greatest potential. We had our Management Team Holiday Party this past week, and many photos were taken of me with our new Superintendent, Don Austin, as we looked like twins by the end of the night after opening our white elephant gifts! He has got great vision, and I am looking forward to his visit at our Staff Meeting in January. I also plan to schedule a time for Don to meet the Addison families at a Principal's Coffee later in the year.

This holiday season, I wish you peace and goodwill as you reflect on 2018 and anticipate new experiences in 2019. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your families' lives.

Fondly,
Amanda Boyce
Addison Principal

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