The Thursday Letter




The Thursday Letter


June 1, 2017


Dear PCS,

We have reached the end of another successful year at PCS.  Thank you to everyone for all that you invest to ensure that PCS continues to be an inspiring place for our children to learn.  I know we are all looking forward to a summer break to rest, recharge, connect with family, and seek out some non-classroom based learning opportunities. 


As this is my last letter for the school year, I wanted to leave you with a few things to look forward to going into next school year.  Some of us will be hard at work over the summer!


New school website:  Before school starts, our new website will go live!  I hope that everyone finds this to be easier to navigate and find the information you are looking for.  It is pretty intuitive, and we will also have some tutorials to go with it as we head into the start of the school year.


Canvas:  Starting next year, we will be adopting Canvas as our schoolwide learning management system (LMS) platform.  The purpose of this adoption is so that students will access information for all of their courses in one place.  Some students have already been using Canvas while our teachers have been piloting it this year.  There will be a slight learning curve for everyone involved as we get used to this new program and how it will be used in conjunction with Infinite Campus. 


Lunch activity:  As we settle in more completely to our new campus, one glaring need is for more opportunities (both structured and unstructured) for students to be active during lunch.  This is particularly an area of need for 7th and 8th grade students who do not have the chance to leave campus during lunch.  Our goal will be to provide as many opportunities as we can, but we will need to rely heavily on volunteer help.  I am putting the call out now for anyone who is interested in coordinating these activities, or in leading anything specific during lunch time.  A small sample of ideas include:  managing a check out system for play equipment, leading a daily off campus walk or picnic,  or overseeing a game room.  If you have creative ideas and are willing to lead, we would love to hear them.  If this sounds like a great way to contribute your volunteer hours, please contact me to talk more.


Cell phones and technology:  Our faculty and staff have been putting a great deal of thought into how we can balance the use of technology at school, particularly in regards to personal devices such as cell phones.  Next year you can expect a more consistent approach from teachers in terms of how cell phones are used (or not used) during instructional time, as well as a general expectation that students only use these devices for school related purposes.  We have a committee of teachers and students that have begun to meet this year, and will continue next year, to review our current policies and make recommendations on best practice for PCS.  Our overall goal is to minimize the use of technology as a replacement for genuine human interaction, so you can also expect that your child will be encouraged (in many cases expected) to keep their phone stowed away except for important personal business.



Again, I wish everyone an amazing summer, and I look forward to connecting again in August.





Simon Fletcher