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Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future


Letter from the Principal: Nov. 2, 2018

Spectrum Family and Friends,

Thank you to the parents, staff, and family members who decorated vehicles for Trunk or Treat this past Wednesday. Rockford and Spectrum sure know how to do Halloween! In many schools, Halloween is nothing but a staff grumble. I experienced a little culture shock with the importance of the day, but have to admit it was a lot of fun to see even teachers fully in. We are so lucky!

I just spent some time this past week in Early Elementary doing karaoke with them. The teachers are using it to build reading fluency. Three of our teachers participated in the Illinois Reading Council annual conference in October and brought back many ideas and strategies to share. I am noticing a focus on fluency with song and poetry happening throughout the school. I would encourage you all to find a favorite song or poem and read/sing along with your children. It is fun, but it also helps them appreciate words and language in fun ways.

Once again, I have committed to Spectrum singing songs at a public event at Rockford University’s Holiday Market on Saturday, December 1 at 1:00pm. I am leading a sing along for various holiday songs from around the world on Tuesdays from 3:30PM -4:30PM and will be having two evening practices on Monday, Nov. 19 and Monday, Nov 26. at 6:00pm for anyone who wants to participate on December 1. I really do want to do a multi-generational choir that includes children, parents, grandparents, ANYONE who loves to sing and wants to represent Spectrum. Please let me know if you are interested via email. I am crossing my fingers we have at least ten more who will commit as well as my after school students who love to sing.

During my professional sessions with teachers this week, I interviewed them on the first two months of school and what have been some of the curricular and instructional highlights. I heard many impressive stories which I plan to share with the Education Committee. Some general comments from teachers merit repeating here:

  • We are interdisciplinary, and we go into the direction of the interest of the class and the temperament of the students. It changes in directions you don’t expect at times. At Spectrum, you go with it and maximize learning opportunities.
  • Assessment – the root word traces back to “sit” – sitting alongside, sitting with. Well, that is certainly how we approach our assessment and it happens ALL THE TIME at Spectrum. We assess our learners continually.
  • In Middle School, our goal is to get these students to the point where they don’t need constant adult direction. They have learned how to learn, how to ask questions, how to set goals and follow through. By the time they are in Middle School, their day is pretty individualized based on their interests and what they need to learn and do. At this point in the year, as students, they consider and reflect on success in three ways: 1) making outside connections to support their interests and areas of study, 2) how they manage independent work time, and 3) the dynamics of room relationships.

Pretty powerful stuff.

Dr. Mary Beth Cunat

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