From the Director's Chair
Dear Lower School Families,
While the month of May is always such a full and busy time in the Lower School, this May is proving quite special for me. Last week my son, Derek, graduated from the College of Charleston; this week the Lower School honored all of the Penn Charter staff at Meeting for Worship; last week we navigated the lockdown incident; on Thursday I was honored by a wonderful Drop and Stop on the occasion of my retirement. Both on a personal and professional level, this has been an amazing few weeks! And while all these events are quite different in nature, they are held together by the good fortune of being in, or touched by, a Friends school education.
My son’s graduation had many wonderful moments, but one highlight involved integrity. The first core value listed in the graduation program by the College of Charleston was integrity. After graduation, Derek and I got into a thoughtful conversation about integrity. From his roots in Friends education, he spoke about how his understanding of integrity has grown over the years, as has his sense of his own integrity. I shared similar ideas. The notion of Friends education creating lifelong learners is a living blessing for both of us.
The Lower School Meeting for Worship to honor Penn Charter staff is an example of the Lower School at its best. For several weeks before the Meeting, all of the Lower School faculty and students were engaged in preparing invitations and thank you posters for our staff. On the day of Meeting, many staff were able to attend Meeting with us. One piece of student ministry at Meeting was (and I paraphrase, but only slightly): “You (the staff) are not ordinary people—you help put us on track to realize our goals.” This wonderful process that helps our students think first of others, and then gives them a chance to articulate their feelings of gratitude directly in Meeting, is gift that helps bind us more deeply as a community of learners.
The lockdown was an unforeseen challenge for us all. I was so proud of our school for the manner in which the incident was handled. I was also proud of how the Lower School, students and faculty alike, acted as one big team to make sure we were all safe and properly cared for. In a moment like this, we are all tested to see that of God in each person, to be thinking of one’s self and others simultaneously, and to move forward with trust and sensitivity. Every moment of every day we work to instill such ideas and values in each of us. Yesterday, during the lockdown, we all got to see them in action.
Thursday’s Drop and Stop was a gift beyond words for me. As I mentioned today, one of our greatest strengths in the Lower School is parents and school working as a team on behalf of the children. We do this well, and it is what elevates our good school to become a great school. Thank you for your support and caring. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to lead the Lower School these past seven years. I’m also so excited for Kate McCallum to continue the great progress of the Lower School.
The thread that binds these slices from my recent life is the deep and lasting guidance that Friends education offers all of us at Penn Charter. It helps bind our families, it helps lead us in school, and it gives us tools to navigate emergencies and new situations. I am so grateful to have been a part of Quaker education for more than 24 years and so grateful to Penn Charter for allowing me to be part of the PC team.
I will be on campus through June, wrapping up this year and helping plan for next. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns if I can be helpful in any way.
All the best,
Director of Lower School
News You Can Use
Thursday, May 25
Grades 3 to 5 at 8:30 am, Grades Pre-K to 2 at 9:45 am; Kurtz Center
We invite you to enjoy the performances on which your children have been working hard. Concerts are special dress days for all students, pre-K to 5. The attire for girls is: blouses or shirts with collars (tucked in), nice pants, skirt or dresses, no jeans and no sneakers. The attire for boys is: shirts with collars (tucked in), long pants, no jeans and no sneakers.
Each concert will last approximately 45 minutes. After the concert, the children will be dismissed to their classrooms. Grades 3-5 parents are invited to a reception in the Lower School immediately following the concert. Lower School classes will resume at 10:40.
Friday, May 26, 1 pm; Maguire Field
We look forward to seeing you on Color Day. Bring your blue or your yellow, but most of all, bring your school spirit and cheer for our students!
Exhibit of Lower School Art at Woodmere Art Museum
Art created by our own PC students in grades K-5 will be on exhibit in Woodmere's Helen Millard Children's Gallery June 3 through Aug. 13. The artwork will demonstrate invention, exploration, observation and imagination. Enjoy a reception at Woodmere on June 4, 2-4 pm.
Photos on Flickr
More photos of the fifth grade Egg Drop.