Dear SPS Families,
It was great to see so many of you at the recent parent coffee meeting. I want to thank those of you who were able to attend for your thoughtful questions. Our team was excited to share the new model we’ve developed to better integrate design thinking and provide our students with deeper learning opportunities. If you haven’t had the chance to read about the new model or attend the coffee, the conversation is still going on. The 5/6 teaching team is hosting a parent meeting on Wednesday, May 17th from 11:30-12:00 in the 4th grade classroom to share their excitement, answer questions and hear from you.
Since the meeting, we’ve received some incredible emails from parents who have shared their excitement and enthusiasm as well as comments from their kids who can’t wait to be part of next year’s program. Read comments and thoughts of what parents and student are saying about SPS program improvements for the 2017/2018 school year. I have to say, that the kids’ comments were really powerful for us because student engagement is truly a guiding force for everything we do at our school.
Program enhancements for 2017/2018
Teacher Teams Grades 5 – 8
- Longer learning blocks (90 vs. 50 minutes) for core subjects to provide more time for deeper exploration, design thinking and hands-on learning;
- Deeper relationship building between students and teachers and within student peer groups;
- Opportunities for teachers to specialize in content areas;
- Opportunities for 5th grade students to participate in electives; and
- Greater academic continuity from one year to the next.
Acknowledging our teaching team
Alongside these improvements, I want to acknowledge the implications for some of our other valued team members. While we have been able to offer positions to all of our current staff, not all of these positions are full-time. As a result, some of our teachers are in the process of deciding if the positions offered will meet their personal and professional needs. To see the full structure for our 2017-2018 teaching team along with other staffing updates, we encourage you to visit our website which will stay updated with staffing announcements.
Because we are part of such a close-knit community, this has been the most challenging part of the process for all of us. As we strive to enhance instruction, I’ve been inspired by the team’s extraordinary commitment and professionalism. They have made student needs their first priority. I’d like to take a moment to thank our teaching team for their dedicated involvement in the process to enhance our instructional model, which is the result of the last few months working together with student success as the ultimate goal.
Staffing updates: farewell & welcome announcements
We are saying goodbye at the end of this year to four of our special faculty. Jenny Leogrande, who is currently our 1st grade teacher, Matt Gylling, our school 6th grade math/science teacher, Pilar Davami, our elementary Spanish teacher, and Hazel Chapple, our 3rd grade instructional assistant. Please take the time to read the personal messages from these staff members. It goes without saying that there is no doubt the lasting impact these teachers have made on the lives of our students and families will be deeply missed.
Jenny Leogrande, 1st Grade Teacher
It is with great sadness that I announce that I will be leaving Seven Peaks at the end of this school year. An incredible job opportunity opened up for my husband in Austin Texas and although I am sad to leave, I am excited for the adventure that awaits our family in Texas. I am excited about the direction that Seven Peaks is headed and I am disappointed to be missing out on the exciting year ahead but I know that I will always be back to visit. The Seven Peaks community is an amazing, unique community that I will miss. The last 5 years have quite honestly been the best in my career and I have loved getting to know the staff and families at Seven Peaks! Thanks for everything!
Matt Gylling, 6th Grade Math & Science Teacher
I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Seven Peaks School staff, families and students. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you over the past three years. Middle school students are great and it has been a wonderful ride. It is hard to say goodbye but new adventures await me at Mt. View High School. I will be teaching math and will have opportunities to get back into coaching. I will continue my after school tutoring and summer math programs, so please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you for sharing your children with me and I look forward to seeing you around Bend.
Hazel Chapple, 3rd Grade Instructional Assistant
Pilar Davami, PK – 5th Grade Spanish Teacher
Pilar in the process of considering some exciting future opportunities. Look for updates in the coming weeks as we are able to share more details.
Kayla Collins, Incoming 1st Grade Teacher
I leave work each day with a heart that is full, because I get to spend my day laughing, learning, and creating memories with my students. The community that is found within the classroom is my favorite part of being a teacher. It’s my passion to create a safe, loving environment where the students focus on individual growth and take ownership in their learning. When I sit down to plan and create lessons, it brings a smile to my face to envision the laughter and engagement that my student will have while learning. I have spent the last few years teaching 5th grade, and before that, I taught Kindergarten and 1st grade. I love aspects of both ends of the primary grades, and have developed curriculum and resources for grades K-6. I am so excited to be joining Seven Peaks School, and look forward to getting to know each one of my students and their passions, talents, and needs, as well as, collaborating with the parents and staff to see each child grow to their full potential.We’re proud to present our new model and excited about what these improvements will mean for our kids. We thank you for your support and invite you to get in touch with questions. We look forward to hearing from you.