Team Effort – October 9, 2013

This morning Beechwood was represented at a benefit breakfast for a summer program known as Peninsula Bridge. I had the opportunity to give a testimonial speech and three of our sixth graders who attended Bridge did a demonstration lesson, with one of the Bridge teachers, for the audience. We were so flattered to be asked to participate in this event. It was a great opportunity to promote our school, to show off our amazing kids and to say thank you to one of our most important partners.

Each summer, Peninsula Bridge hosts students from East Palo Alto and Bellehaven at private school campuses throughout the Peninsula. Their program is outstanding, in that, it provides high quality instruction in a fun and supportive environment. We have had the privilege of working with Bridge for 20 years now. Last summer Bridge served 43 out of our 72 5th-8th grade students. That is over 60%, a higher percentage than any of their feeder schools! We are so fortunate to have Bridge helping us to provide an outstanding education for Beechwood Students.

When you stop and think about it, we have many invaluable partners in the community that help our students to reach their potential and achieve their dreams. Acknowledge Alliance is another group whose partnership has proven to be an integral part of our program. Primarily, they provide individual and group counseling for our students who are in need of emotional support. In addition, they are available to meet with parents and teachers who are looking for strategies that will allow them to have better relationships with their children/students. I can personally say that working with Acknowledge Alliance has made me a better administrator who is much more sensitive to the Social and Emotional needs of teachers, parents and students.

We are also blessed to receive assistance from the Morrissey-Compton Educational Center. The educational specialists and psychologists at Morrissey-Compton serve students who have learning differences including: ADD/ADHD, dyslexia and language-based learning challenges. They also provide consultation for students with Social and Emotional difficulties. In addition to providing testing services on multiple occasions at very low cost, Morrissey-Compton has an outstanding summer program of their own called the Challenge School. Over the last 10 years, dozens of Beechwood students have attended Challenge, and have shown amazing improvement as a result. I had the opportunity to visit Challenge this summer and it was quite clear to me that the students who attended were receiving an invaluable gift.

We highlight these three partners today but there are so many others that are part of the team: Onetta Harris Community Center, Menlo Sport and Swim, Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, the list goes on and on. The job of providing an outstanding education to our students has to be a team effort. The main players are the parents, the students and the staff at Beechwood. However, the fact of the matter is, that we would not be where we are today without the help we receive from our community partners. Go Team!

– Mr. Laurance