News from Alfonso - 12/6

Dear Friends,
First off, warm holiday wishes to our friends who, in celebration of Chanukah, will light 6 candles on the menorah this evening.

Next up, a crucial reminder: when you park on the hill, secure the gear and the brake and turn your wheels toward the curb. Please, this is crucial. Gear, brake, curb. Gear brake curb.

If everyone used Scrip for shopping, TIS would have vast sums of added revenue! For anything you spend using a Scrip card, the school gets 5% on average. If you bring your checkbook or some cash this Thursday afternoon to Stearns Hall between 3:00 and 3:30 you will be able to buy, right on the spot, lots of holiday gift cards or just cards for shopping at places like Fred Meyer, Safeway, New Seasons, Starbucks, and iTunes. This Friday, December 10th will be your last opportunity to place in order in time to pick it up by December 17th before the long holiday. We’re thinking about slogans, maybe something like Be hip: buy scrip or perhaps Don’t be a drip; buy Scrip, or even Buy Scrip; it’s a trip. Maybe they’ll flip when you give them Scrip! Or maybe not. But this is a sure way to raise money for TIS by just spending what you normally spend.

The grade 4 students seemed to have a very enjoyable evening at their fun event last Friday, thanks in large part to the chaperons: Maria, Teresa, Cassie, and Jhoanna. Special thanks are also due to parent chaperons Rupert Prince and Jennifer Kirlin who wowed us with their dodge ball skills.

The entire staff joins me in saying THANK YOU to the parents who ushered us into the holiday season with a lovely staff appreciation party last Saturday evening at the home of Toree and Alan O’Kain. So many parents worked on supplying lovely food and wine and serving the staff regally. I must give particular thanks to the event organizers Karla Nutt and Lori Schallich. Thank you all very much for your contributions and good wishes.

‘Tis the season for classroom observations and I am so encouraged by what I see. Picture Kindergartners discussing and working on color, line, shade, form, and the characteristics evident in the work of Picasso or Miro. Picture a second grade class conducting experiments on the amount of work/force saved by using simple machines to perform tasks. Or imagine fifth graders presenting on the key people and events in the historical development of governments. Did you know that there had already been a tea party in America’s past? Or that in the very first election fight between Adams and Jefferson the smear campaign was born. Such lessons beautifully incorporate language, mathematics, and science. Like any school, we always have work to do on curriculum and teaching, but I feel we are making great strides each day.

Last week Frank and Jhoanna obtained the first level of certification in the FEMA Incident Command System. As Frank says, by participating in the program we will have access to teaching aids and training materials for the staff. Our voluntary participation is part of our overall goal to make the TIS campus the safest place for a child to be. We have moved miles forward in emergency preparedness, and we continue to improve.

See you Friday at the Winter Holiday show at the lovely Gerding Theater!

Alfonso, 503-226-2496 x109