Letters to the Community: June 2, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009 10:20 PM

Dear Families:

It is hard to believe that it is the end of the year! Thank you for all your support during my first year as principal. I have enjoyed the creativity, humor and growth of your children. We are already preparing for next fall. We are eagerly looking forward to meeting our new kindergartners, anticipating the needs of our second graders moving to Upper, and also those of our fifth graders moving into middle school. Our teachers will spend their summer in various training sessions. Next year will be the beginning of our second year with the “Investigations” math curriculum and with the balanced literacy approach to reading and writing. We will hold a parent evening in the fall that will give an overview of this approach’s scope and sequence, learning goals and standards placement.

We are moving forward in our three-year school improvement plan of more rigorous math and literacy plus attention to issues of bullying. Our staff is incorporating technology; we are using more electronic communication, rather than paper or the intercom system, and integrating Promethean boards into lesson delivery. We have a new fifth grade teacher and some new members on our teaching teams. We have a male teacher on each team now, except first and third. Our number-one goal for next year is to increase the level of academic challenge for the top third of our students. Parents and students are asking for more meaningful homework as well.

This has been a year of great teamwork, and our successes are due to the efforts of many. Thank you to the PTA and Ed. Council for all their service and teamwork to keep Lake Harriet a high-quality program. Thank you to our “Green Team” parent volunteers and to Keren Price for our very successful organics recycling. Thank you to all the parent volunteers helping in classrooms, on project presentations, and field trips. Thank you to the Fulton Neighborhood Assoc. and our community partners for financial support. Thank you to our teachers and support staff for their dedication to the children. Thank you to Ellen Murphy and Jay Alexander for their excellent leadership and communication with families. Finally, thank you to Marsha Seltz for her guidance and accessibility.

We look forward to the 2009-10 Kindergarten Pot Luck, Ice Cream Social and Middle Grades Orientation. We will miss our wonderful eighth grade class and wish them a great start to high school. Enjoy your summer and please come take your children’s clothes home from the lost and found box before we donate the items on June 26th.

Sincerely,

Mary Rynchek, Principal, mary.rynchek@mpls.k12.mn.us