July 29, 2019

Dear Parents,

I am excited to reach out to our FELP families, returning and new to update you on the wonderful things happening at FELP. Also included here are important upcoming events and some logistics to help the school year go well.

Tacy has ordered new supplies for the teachers and she is working to update classlists, complete billing and keep up with the many requests of parents and staff. Beth has ordered so many new books to expand our library and better represent the diverse world in which we live.

As I announced earlier this summer, we have made some administrative changes that will enhance the work that FELP can do. Amber Wilke will continue in her role each morning as the Seedlings and Buds teacher, but will take on an expanded role as Director of Development and Assistant Director in the afternoons. As such, she will work to grow our scholarship fund, continue to support our fundraising events, help with grant applications, and focus on growing our resources. She brings a development background to the role as well as an enthusiasm for this work. Amberis committed to helping FELP be more accessible to families while maintaining our small class size. This will allow me to give more time in the afternoons to work with Mariposa. Know that I remain committed to my role as Director and will be at FELP each day. I expect that Amber’s work will allow my time at FELP  to be best spent with teachers and children. Working with Mariposa has provided the research, skills, and support to help parents and teachers in our school build emotional resilience in children and has helped us to create a culture of compassion. In turn, FELP has become a model for other teachers and schools. In addition, Sharon Beach is adding the role of teacher mentor to her job title along with teacher, as she is committed and gifted in the space of supporting teachers as they try new things and work to reach each child.

The teachers are all spending time relaxing and being with friends and family, but they also are preparing for the year ahead, meeting with their teams, and thinking about their goals for the year. Once again, the teachersare readingbooks over the summer to continue to grow. We have been reading Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta L. Hammond.

This summer we also had 5 weeks of our Diversity  Book Club for kids. This was our third summer and has grown in participation from the first year. With the help of teachers, Vanessa and Sharon, we have been able to keep it going when I am away. This has been a wonderful way of sharing books representing the diverse and wonderful world in which we live but also connect over the summer.

We are thrilled that most of our staff is remaining at FELP and in their current position. As was announced, Susan Hibbs will not be returning as she cares for family. And Lizzy is also not returning as she makes a career change. We will miss them both and hope they will come in as classroom substitutes this year. We are attaching the list of staff. As you can see, we have some changes. Vanessa is moving from her role as assistant in the River Rocks to lead teacher in the Dewdrops and Pebblesalongside Stephanie. They are excited to work together with our three year olds. In addition, Marcie is moving from her role as assistant in the Sprouts to lead teacher in the Raindrops alongside Lisa. Ali Turner is joining Sharon in the Sprouts and Katja Ehrhardt is joining Beth in the River Rocks. We are really thankful to have them join our team.

Once again, we are ordering the blue FELP tote bags for the fall.  We are asking that every child have one again this year. Our experience has taught us that these bags are the easiest and safest to handle, and make for easy transitions. Each child, new to the school, will get their bag at orientation. The cost will be $15.  This is not a mandatory fee but strongly encouraged to recoup the cost.  While it may be tempting to go out and pick out the first backpack this summer, we ask that you save that experience for elementary school and wait for the new tote bag (or use the one you have from last year)!

Warm Regards,

Jenny Barrett, Director