Good Things are Happening – November 7, 2012

This morning I arrived at Beechwood and was struck, as I often am, by how fortunate we are to be a part of this community. The sun was shining, the children were smiling and the staff looked energetic and ready to teach. And, as an awesome bonus, Board Member Katie Fields had provided pastries and juice as a token of gratitude to our teachers. Nothing like a sweet treat to make you feel appreciated!

Here are some other good things that are happening at Beechwood:

  1. Mr. John Laurance has started a new and improved recycling program at Beechwood. I love the way he went about installing the program. First, he taught his 4th graders what types of waste go in which containers, and then, he had those kids go out and teach it to the rest of the lower school. It gives me great pleasure to see our 4th grade “educators” explaining to their schoolmates what is compost and what is not. Nice job Mr. L!
  2. Jordan Palacios, Beechwood Class of 2011, is a second year student at Junipero Serra High School. Jordan recently shared with us that he has a 3.0 grade point average We are all so proud of him because we know that Jordan had his struggles when he was here at Beechwood. But we never gave up on him and he never gave up on himself. It was a true team effort getting Jordan ready to succeed at the next level. To see him thriving in a challenging environment makes all the hard work, by Jordan and Beechwood, well worth it.
  3. Each year Fright Night is more successful than the year before. The party was so much fun and we raised a lot of money for the school. The best part of Fright Night is that it is completely the responsibility of the parents to make it happen. The Parent Advisory Board did an extraordinary job this year. They exhibited outstanding effort and teamwork. We so appreciate our parent leaders: Xio, Michele, Fay, Merced, Benita, LaTreece, Rosa and Brienda. Much gratitude to Rachel for arranging for us to use the Bohannon building. We even have parents of alumni who volunteer!
  4. Technology is really taking off here at Beechwood. We now have a laptop cart with 20 machines up and running. The computers were a donation from our neighbors at Facebook. Teachers are taking advantage of this new resource and the kids are excited to learn this way. Soon we will re-deploy our desktops in our new space at 243 Terminal. In addition we are starting to employ iPads, Google Docs (for report cards) and automated ordering for yearbooks. Thanks to the teachers that are providing leadership on this and to the staff that are willing to stretch into an area that may be challenging. Technology is more than bells and whistles: all of this makes us more efficient and effective in the classroom.

These are just a few highlights but I could go on and on! Flashmob Thriller Dance, 7th grade cake decorating, 8th grade Colonial Fair, 6th grade trip to Safari West, “Beechwood Friends for Change”, students raising money for fire recovery, 2nd grade pumpkin project and probably a bunch of other stuff that I am forgetting. Is everything perfect? No, and it never will be. But, at Beechwood, you don’t have to look to far to see that good things are happening every day.

– Mr. Laurance