Along with all-school activities we we have these regularly scheduled throughout the year including Thanksgiving and the annual Peacemakers Assembly every winter.
The welcome back assembly last week did not include our very youngest children in the pre-k.They were still getting used to school and settling into their classroom. They will join the whole school later in the year as they gain in confidence and understand that their world is part of a bigger whole school universe.
There was a real buzz of excitement as students gathered and found their assigned seats. Old friends greeted each other, new friends were met and introduced and there was just so much to talk about and catch up on.
After welcoming everyone back to school we officially opened the new year with three topics. The first concerns the community wide effort to re-imagine spaces in Gilkeson to serve the needs of our students now and in the future. When PDS was on the Vassar campus at 39 New Hackensack Road there was the fabled “Big Room” where anything could happen and usually did. This is our chance to build such a space for our time.
The second topic was the painful news about middle school director George Swain. George was hit by a car while on the first leg of the 1000k Endless Mountains bike race in Pennsylvania in August. The good news is the progress. George is now out of hospital and in rehab closer to home. We surely do miss him. We also learned that 1000 kilometers is 621 miles and that’s a very long way to ride on your bike. In the video you can see students cheering him on and sending good wishes. You can also see 7th and 8th graders making “Get well George” cards.
And then the traditional opening year story. This year is was Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham – a great story and introduction to linguistics for any age. And thank you older students for indulging the rest of us.
And so another year of adventure begins. I am looking forward to it. And I can’t wait to have George back with us again. So George – if you read this – please know you are very much missed by your PDS family and we are rooting for you.