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Head's Corner - January 16, 2018

Dear Summit Parents and Friends,
Hopefully you enjoyed the long weekend and were able to find some time to celebrate and honor the contributions that Dr. King (and many others) have made and continue to make in our nation’s striving for deep respect and equality among us all.  One of my favorite children’s picture books is entitled Martin’s Big Words (Doreen Rappaport, Hyperion Books for Children).  The book tells the story of Dr. King’s life in pictures and text, interspersed with many of his stirring quotes.  Here are a few examples: “Everyone can be great”.  “Sooner or later, all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together”.  And “Love is the key to the problems of the world” which I consistently link to a quote from one of my other favorite doctors, Dr. Maria Montessori, who wrote:  “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.

At Summit we as educators are dedicated not just to the immediate learning that children are undertaking, but also to our students’ broader eventual roles as educated citizens of the world and advocates for peace as they move into their lives beyond these walls.

Speaking of “lives beyond these walls”, our Next Steps event last Wednesday evening, during which several Admissions Directors from area independent schools and two of our Summit alum parents shared their perspectives of life beyond Summit, was a great success! Our panel discussed ways to support students who are preparing to make the leap to their next schools, which are almost certain to be larger and to have a different organizational structure than does Summit.   All shared very helpful information, perhaps the most salient point being that it is critical to choose a next school for and with your elementary-aged student that “makes them happy” and to be careful to closely examine the match between each child’s needs and the school.  What works well for one child may or may not be right for his or her friends.   Our panelists agreed the transition from any setting to another takes time (generally 90 days), a reality that must be recognized and supported by parents. That having been said, our panel felt that students from Montessori programs have great tools to navigate those next steps, including self-knowledge as learners, initiative, strong social and academic skills, and an innate love of learning.

We have been asked if we will hold such an event again, and we certainly plan to do so. Each year we will mix up the schools that we invite and also invite either alum parents or former students (or both) to be a part of our panel. To those of you who attended, thank you!  And…there will be more to come.

Kind regards,
Martha Torrence
Head of School