Principals Message

Welcome Back for the 2019-2020 School Year at École Parkside School

Summers are whizzing by me faster than I can blink and I can’t believe we are already back at school for the start of another new school year.

I love the first day of school when our students arrive.  There is a frenzy and a buzz that is filled with energy and curious, wide-opened eyes and a sense of uncertainty that churns throughout the building.

Not only are our students feeling this energy, so are our staff.  Our new staff are in awe of the pace and filled with questions about routines that are well embedded in the culture of our school community. 

The churning, fast, energetic pace reminds me of watching our grandson, William.  At 16 months, he is filled with an endless curiosity and wonder for the world around him.

This summer, I watched him often and mostly sat back to observe all of the effort and perseverance he invests as he is learning something new.

In July, at 15 months, this energy was consistently put to climbing everything in sight.  He would push a small stool or chair next to the couch.  Then, he would climb onto the chair, up and over the top of the chair and onto the couch.  If my husband happened to be on the couch, then it was an additional climb onto his “Pops” and a big grin at his own success and accomplishment.

In August, the climbing pursuits continued and there was a morning when his mother discovered him standing on their dining room table.  He managed to conquer the chair, then maneuver his way onto the table until he was standing—both arms waving high above his head and a grin proudly claiming his stake on the new levels he had a achieved.

No one has told him, “William, today, we are going to practice climbing”.  No one has shown him how to climb.  No one has established a schedule whereby, he will spend 15 minutes daily practicing climbing so he can improve.  The motivation to climb has been driven solely by his own wonder with the world and his desire to discover what he can do, what he can see and what he can learn as he tries over and over and over.

This is intellectual and physical engagement with learning that I want all of our students to remember from their early days of life. 

I want our students to look at the world with wonder and curiosity just like William does—bright eyed, a smile and laughter following and movement, constant movement, to take in and be a part of the world growing around him.

I want our students to try with the effort, persistence and determination that they practiced as toddlers as they learned to walk, ride a bike and learned to read. 

I want our students to view mistakes as information to help them master something new.  When William can’t figure out how to get his foot high enough to be on the seat of the chair, he finds a work around.  He looks under the chair to see if there is a bar to put his foot on in order to give himself a boost.  He looks at me and grunts and points to what he wants so that I can put a hand just below the seat of the chair and he can use it to push up onto the chair he so desperately wants to be on. If he cries in frustration, all he needs is a calm voice to reassure him that another attempt could get him what he needs.

I encourage you as parents, to help you child re-discover this innate curiosity and wonder with the world they had as toddlers.  Encourage them to be open to learn, see the world with wonder and put effort in to try something new and different.  Remind them that making mistakes helps us to figure things out and learn.  Remind them that we only get good at something when we practice—over and over and over.

I hope your child has a great year at Parkside.  We are excited as a staff to learn alongside them and work together with you to help them re-discover their passion for learning and their desire to achieve great expectations.


Leanne Braun