Welcome to the 2021-22 school year! The energy in the buildings has been tremendous the past few days. Students are engaged and learning routines, and we can already see relationships forming. We are all excited for the year.
This year, our weekly newsletter will look a bit different. We are going to try to limit what goes out every Friday to announcements and special updates. This will keep your weekly reading down a bit! However, once a month, this space will be filled more with information about our initiatives, deeper dives on faculty members and projects, and broader community updates. We hope to balance giving you what you need to know weekly with everyone's limited time and busy lives. A monthly newsletter supplemented by weekly updates should better reach this balance.
I know you have heard from me about staffing challenges in education and how they are affecting us. I am very pleased to let you know that all but one of our staff openings have been filled with excellent additions to the Learning Prep team! Please join me in welcoming William Sheppard, Matt Ferrara, and Arianna Drummy to our community. All three were moved by our mission, our students, and our community. They will be great resources for you and your students.
William has his Bachelor's in English from Northeastern University, and M.Ed. in Education from Boston College. He has been teaching English at Brown Middle School in Newton for the last 25 years. He will be joining our ELA department next week.
Matt has his BA and MFA from New England College. He has taught science, English, and ESL to high school students and adult learners and taught at an English-speaking school in Korea. Matt will be joining our science department next week. We love his background in English especially because at LPS we teach writing in the middle school through our science classes.
Arianna has been hired as our Transition Coordinator. She has a bachelor's in Youth Development from Rhode Island College and is currently pursuing a Master's in Higher Education Administration at SNHU. She comes to us from her position as an advisor at the College Internship Program (a transition program for young adults with learning differences). Before that, Arianna was providing in-home and private practice-based ABA support to children with ASD. She will start in two weeks.
Thank you for your patience as we have worked to put in place an outstanding team for our students. We hope to fill our final MS science position next week.
As we look to the opportunities of this year, we are focusing on 3 specific initiatives that we will explore in more detail in future newsletters: language-based teaching practices, Thinking Maps, and diversity/equity/inclusion. All 3 initiatives are crucial to who we are and who we want to be. We are investing teaching training and professional development hours to all three this year. We will keep you updated on all initiatives in future newsletters and opportunities for parent outreach.
Finally, next week you will get a waiver for on-campus Covid testing and more information about our testing policy. Please watch for that and thanks in advance for your attention.
Thank you for trusting us with your students. Please never hesitate to reach out to any member of the Learning Prep team if you have a question or a concern. I wish all of you a wonderful long weekend.
Kurt Moellering, Head of School