Greetings from Julie Craven: June 19, 2018

Greetings from Julie Craven: June 19, 2018
Posted on 06/19/2018
Dear RAUC Families,

The final week of school is here! We started the year asking you to name your hopes and dreams for your student. We hope you have seen evidence that they were attained!

Teachers have wrapped up the year with reflections in classes as well as community celebrations. 6th grade had a ball at Kimball Farms together last Friday (even the teachers, as you can see from the photos!). The previous week 7th graders enjoyed Canobie Lake and 8th graders had adventures in Washington DC. This week, 8th graders graduate on Tuesday at 1pm, and we have our first ever Fun Day on Thursday afternoon, the final full day of classes before early release day on Friday’s last day of school.

There is a lot to be proud of this year. Training in Developmental Design last June helped us reinvigorate our advisory program. This June more staff will get trained as we continue to work toward our goal of each student starting the day feeling welcomed and connected. We also deepened our understanding of how our core values, Reflect, Aim high, seek Unity, have Compassion, can guide our work as a learning community. There were more advisory lessons to help students dig into those values, and we further aligned our structures to them. One visible example was our intentionally designed “First Four Days” of school, when we adjusted our schedule to support community building through advisory activities and a series of grade level and whole school assemblies. Those opening days are now part of RAUC yearly practice. We also have a student-designed core values logo to grace our agendas, newsletters, stationary, and signs. And our work continues! As with last year, staff will return to school for one more day after students leave to work on our big initiative for next year, portfolios, or work chosen by students to show who they are as learners. We look forward to presenting more about this initiative next fall.

I want to use this final communication of the year to introduce new staff members joining our RAUC team. Chris Devlin, in 7th grade math, is moving on. We thank him for all he did for students and the school. Alyssa Damiana will take over this position. Ms. Damiani has experience teaching 7th grade in Framingham as well as familiarity with the new math curriculum. Additionally, she will be participating in end of the year math professional development. The 7th grade team will have a new Special Education team member, Kathryn Kupchunos, who comes to us from Putnam Avenue and so is very familiar with Cambridge Public Schools policies and processes. Ms. Kupchunos is replacing Dawn Dunleavey, who is also moving on. We are grateful for Ms. Dunleavey’s work ethic and advocacy for her students. As part of the school budget, we were given two new part time positions. Stephanie Sklar will be the math interventionist shared with Vassal Lane Upper School. She has seven years experience working in middle school math, most recently in the Boston Public Schools, as well as instructional leadership training as part of her Master’s degree. Ms. Sklar will also participate in June math professional development. Finally, Taraneh Ahmadi will be our first ever Family Partnership Coordinator. Ms. Ahmadi brings exciting expertise--she has a Masters in Public Health and a range of advocacy experiences for families and at risk youths, with particular emphasis on supporting immigrant families in navigating the American education system. She is fluent in four languages, English, Hindi, Dari, and Farsi, and has two children in the Cambridge Public Schools.

Thank you for another wonderful year as Head of School at Rindge Avenue. I can’t wait to welcome students and families back next year. You will get a welcome back letter in mid-August, but in the meantime mark your calendars for the traditional Welcome Back Potluck on Wednesday, August 29 at 5pm.

May everyone have a safe and fun-filled summer!

Julie Craven, Head of School