Monday, March 25, 2013

Letter to Ms. Rose, Principal at Kurwongbah State School

I love this school.

First Day!

I love that over half the parents show up for Parent Night.  I love that half the class parents volunteer in the classroom.

I love that the children are respectful and prepared to learn.  I love the school discipline, the high behavioural expectations, because they lead to high academics standards as a direct result.

My kids are happy here.  They know what is expected of them and they know there are consequences if they don't follow what is expected of them.

Watch out Kurwongbah, here come the Connors!

I was not thrilled two of my boys were caught throwing rocks on the school grounds after school a few weeks ago.  But I was thrilled at the immediate disciplinary action - tough but fair and prompt.  I was also thrilled that I received notice of that action from the school, even though I had witnessed it myself and was in wholehearted agreement with the detention meted out.

That was the biggest lesson my boys have learned since they have been in school.  And they won't forget it.
Who us?!

Today I had my last parent-teacher interview.  Academic standards here are about one year ahead of other schools in the area that I know.  The teachers had fully prepared for all interviews - even separately for the twins - and could not only tell me that they were fine, go home and don't waste my time,. but exactly what they were doing in class, what levels they were testing at, and where they were working on extending them laterally.

The teachers acted as if the parent-teacher interviews were important and that mattered a great deal to me.  Because they are important to me too.  Even if my boys are doing fine.  Especially if my boys are doing fine, I like to know that they are being extended and worked with as well, and not left to play idly on computers while the others play catchup.  I like that they still get readers at our school when so many other schools don't bother after a certain point, saying the kids are reading well enough without them.  Huh? 

Andrew shows us his Japanese

I also love the way you communicate with the parents.  I love those letters home.  You aren't afraid to say when there is a problem, or that there has been a problem, and then inform us what is being done to correct it.  You tackle a problem head-on instead of hiding it and hoping it goes away on its own.  Thank you. 

Matthew as The Last Connor Standing, during last months flu

We chose Kurwongbah for its great reputation; for the high academic and behavioural standards, because they are similar to the values we have at home.

But we are also thrilled with the sports and extracurricular activities.  My boys have such a pride in their school and in taking part in its activities.  I love to hear them crooning their choir songs on the way home in the car.  And when Andrew leads the Australian soccer team to World Cup glory there will be a special thank-you to Mr. Scharach for guiding him on his way.  Look, I changed schools for the behaviour and academics.  Andrew just wants to play ball and run around the field!  The sports are an important part of school for Andrew and we are choosing his highschool accordingly.

Andrew got to hold the flag at parade

We only came to this country a little over two years ago and what we saw of academic standards were very mixed. 

I am so happy we have found the school that not only meets all of the behavioural expectations we have for our children, but also encourages them academically and allows them to have pride in their school community and in themselves.

And hey, we all really like it there too!

First day!

I know you generally only get to hear the bad stuff, the problems, the whinges.  Which is why I wanted to take the time to tell you about the good stuff.

We love this school.  We are very happy here.

Thank you.

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