This morning, I dropped off a huge batch of granola for the staff and teachers at Van Asselt Elementary. This posting is dedicated to them and the beautiful old building being vacated as part of the district's school closure plan. The whole staff and program is moving to the former African American Academy down the street (a really long and political story), and it's sad to leave that building. Especially since it coincided with Van Asselt's Centennial, which we celebrated last week.
Even though Wyatt's only been there a year, I'm surprisingly nostalgic about that building, and wanted some photos of it before it's not part of our everyday lives anymore. I wish I could post photos of all the amazing staff and teachers, but I don't have time or permission. I've been around a lot of organizations, and they are one of the most dedicated, wise, and collaborative groups I've ever seen. I'm sure things aren't perfect, but I can tell they like each other, like their jobs, and really, really care about the kids.
I feel a little overcome with emotion, actually, writing this and ending the school year. So I'll try to be concise and facebooky about it and list a few things I've loved.
25 Things I Have Loved about the 2008-2009 School Year at Van Asselt Elementary:
(and please forgive that I don't know everyone's names)
- The vigilant, organized bus routine with Megaphone Man
- The peony blooming right now along the walkway
- The incredibly orderly lines of kindergartners every morning at 9:00 in the playcourt
- Ms. McPhail, Wyatt's Shout-it-from-the-Rooftops-Great teacher
- "Mr. J," who's been volunteering at Van Asselt since his kids were there (and that was awhile ago. He might not want me to say how long)
- Principal Turner, who seems to delight in her job,the children, and staff in her care
- End-of-the-year Field Day, where the Facilities Manager barbecues the smokiest, most tender ribs (pictured)
- Going to the aquarium with Room One
- Going to the Children's Museum with Room One
- Seeing Wyatt be TOTALLY SERIOUS about doing his homework thoroughly and on time
- Rita in the lunchroom--her kindness, cheerfulness, and connection with each child
- The AMAZING artwork everywhere, on every surface
- Witnessing the patience and deliberateness of the staff, even at the end of long and trying days
- Asking Wyatt every day on our way home, "What did you have for lunch?" (He details it perfectly. His mother's son)
- The fish tank near the main entrance. Perfect for wiggly toddlers.
- The beautiful field on the ridge, planes flying overhead into Boeing Field
- Students and families from every corner of the earth
- Friday assemblies--Cinco de Mayo, Lunar New Year, Christmas--more holidays than I ever knew existed
- Signs translated into innumerable languages
- Those cute little drinking fountains
- Ms. Mulder, who reads with enough expression to put any tired mother to shame
- Seeing Wyatt read like a champ--it's truly miraculous what has happened in 9 months
- All the emphasis teachers and staff put on social skills
- Music, art, and gym classes that keep the right brain strong
- Seeing Wyatt and Oscar walk through those big doors every day, knowing they will be loved, challenged, and nurtured
P.S. I left a stack of business cards with the granola, hoping they'd come here and read about themselves. If you're one of those, thank you. Thank you, thank you. Your work is not unnoticed. Have a rejuvenating summer.