ES: A Learning Journey


imagesAs the students entered the auditorium on Friday, they heard the sounds of the ocean.  As they sat down by class, they looked up at a screen showing a video of waves crashing on a beach.

I introduced a signal we will use for getting students’ attention: raising my hand in the air.  We practiced the signal until it met my expectation: quieting 500 audience members in less than 5 seconds.

I then asked the students to imagine with me.  Image we are on the ocean.  Imagine we are on a boat.  Not a small boat but a huge ship: a schooner.  Now imagine we are all going on a voyage of learning this year.

We met the captain (me) and 1st mate (Mrs. Reynolds), as well as other officers (all the adult staff).  I asked the students to imagine that they were NOT passengers who sit around and watch others work all day.  Rather, they will be crew members on this ship.  Their hard work will help make our ship sail.  We introduced each grade level, one at a time, and each ‘crew’ shouted “Go Dragons!”

The students then saw a picture of a treasure map and I informed them that we will be sailing this year to follow this map.  They then saw a picture of a treasure chest and I told them that our voyage will lead to a chest filled with five treasures.  The five treasure are highly VALUED: the SSIS five core values.  They include:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Sense of Self
  • Balance in Life
  • Dedicated Service
  • Respect for Others.

We then got ready, navigated, and set sail.

Over 400 students cheered “Go Dragons!”

Our first assembly wrapped up our first week of school and launched the rest of the year.  At Curriculum Night (for parents only), we will go into more detail about instructional initiatives to teach our balanced curriculum.  This presentation will focus on our first core value: Academic Excellence.  We look forward to ‘welcoming you onboard’ as we set sail for the 2014-2015 learning journey.


Dan Keller

EC/ES Principal