The Prep Update - September 26
Aloha Prep parents and friends,
It was great to see all of you at Lunch with Your Son and Back to School Night. The Prep has evolved a great deal since opening in 2014. With grades K-5 on campus, we now have a critical mass of boys and can rightly say we have a true coordinate school program at St. Andrew’s Schools. Celebrating the strengths of our boys and tailoring the curriculum so that each boy thrives in school is our promise to you.
In elementary school, the developmental differences between boys and girls are significant, yet as adults these differences are quite small. For example, there is no difference between how long women and men in their 40’s can sit still, be quiet and pay attention. This is not so for the average 6 year old. It turns out that the average 6 year old boy can sit still, be quiet and pay attention for only about half as long as the average 6 year old girl. Young boys need a lively and engaging classroom, vigorous physical activity and planned resting stages between activities to best learn.
Other fun facts:
- Boys tend to develop friendships best when they are focused on a shared activity;
- Boys have an emotional sensitive side, however, they may not be as verbal about what they are feeling;
- Boys would rather walk and talk than have a sit down conversation;
- Boys develop targeting and spatial memory about four years earlier than girls;
- Boys develop language and fine motor skills approximately six years later than girls;
- Boys have 35% less hearing than girls simply due to the length of their cochlea in the ear;
- Boys produce less serotonin and less oxytocin in their brains than girls, which makes them more impulsive and less likely to sit still to talk to someone; and as you know,
- Boys prefer to read nonfiction over fiction.
Our teachers at The Prep understand these developmental differences and work to empower our boys to excel in the classroom. We tailor our educational program to meet the developmental needs of boys so they can gain confidence in their ability to learn without being compared to girls who mature more quickly. What is remarkable is that our boys absolutely love to read and are focused on becoming strong, good and capable young men. The boys take center stage at The Prep, occupying every leadership role. Through our implementation of Yale’s RULER program, they are learning how to articulate their emotions.
One of the tools of The RULER program is called The Charter. It is a collaborative document that helps students outline how they wish to treat each other. Our boys have worked with their teachers to create a class charter – identifying how they want to feel at school and how to foster behaviors and guidelines to create that environment. We do this so we can help our students better Recognize, Understand, Label, Express, and Regulate their emotions. Some families have even created a charter to use at home!
Your sons are developing great relationships with their teachers and each other. We are so proud of their academic growth and kindhearted nature. Together our boys are learning how to learn, all while building lifelong friendships.
Have a wonderful week! And, look for an announcement early next week regarding early morning Basketball Fun in the gym. In the interim, please feel free to contact the Lower School Office (532-2444) or stop by if you have any questions or need information.
Thank you for your continued commitment to your son’s education at The Prep.
E mālama pono,
Ruth R. Fletcher
Acting Principal of The Prep
Literature of Interest:
- Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon, Ph.D. and Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
- It’s a Boy! Your Son’s Development from Birth to Age 18 by Michael Thompson, Ph.D. and Teresa H. Barker
- Real Boys by William Pollack, Ph.D.
- Permission To Feel, Unlocking the Power of Emotion to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive by Mark Brackett, Ph.D., Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and founder of Yale’s RULER program
Announcements and Reminders:
Parent Teacher Conference (PTC): We are looking forward to seeing you at our Parent Teacher Conference on Thursday, October 10. If you have not scheduled an appointment with your son’s teacher, please do so as soon as possible. Childcare will be provided on campus in the Lower School library.
CTP 5 TESTING: St. Andrew’s Schools will administer the Educational Records Bureau’s Comprehensive Testing Program to Grades 3, 5 and 7 from October 1 to 9. Your child’s teacher will provide a testing schedule. We recommend that students get a good night’s sleep and eat a protein-rich breakfast each day during the testing period. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher or Ms. Kaʻipo Bailey-Walsh.
Chorus LOVE: Our Lower School music teacher, Nora Oyama-Haugen is offering an enrichment chorus program on Mondays and Fridays from 3-4 p.m. for boys and girls in grades K-5. If parents are interested, please sign up your child at our St. Andrew’s Schools’ website. Open enrollment will continue through next week.
The Prep Update - September 12
The boys at The Prep are having a great start to the school year. Each Friday, we join together as the Student Council Officers guide our morning ceremony. This includes the Pledge of Allegiance, chanting our school oli (Eō Ke Kuini ʻEmalani), shouting our school motto (Kūlia i ka Nuʻu or “Strive for the highest”), listening to special announcements and the joke of the day and ending with a short prayer. It is a joy to see the boys take ownership of this weekly event. They are building a caring and inclusive community that radiates kindness; the boys are working together to create and cultivate a sense of belonging and trust with each other.
This past Tuesday, The Prep celebrated its 2nd annual Lego Chapel with The Right Reverend Robert Fitzpatrick (aka Bishop Bob) as the celebrant. This special service gives our boys the opportunity to reflect on the importance of community and our fundamental values of love, care, respect and kindness. With the boys gathered on the floor around him, Bishop Bob spoke about building a strong foundation for our Lego house with each Lego brick representing a member of The Prep community. The boys were delighted to share their thoughts on what actions they can take to build strong community, such as trusting each other and being a good friend.
It was great to see so many of our families at Back to School Night this past Wednesday! This event is always an excellent way to find out what your child will learn this year and to learn more about our teachers and why they are so passionate about being educators. I trust you saw that your son spends his day with teachers who understand what is special about him and strive to nurture his strengths.
We are always glad to strengthen the circle of support that surrounds your son here at St. Andrew’s, so please welcome Austin Hachemeister to our school ‘ohana! Austin is our new After School Care/Camp Coordinator. She holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Studies and has expertise working with children for more than 10 years in after school and camp programs in Denver Public School’s Douglas County School District.
During the year, Austin will be responsible for developing our after school and camp programs. She is currently working closely with Alethia Donathan, Director of Ancillary Programs, to monitor and manage the playground safety rules and supervision that keep our students safe during recess and other organized programs, both on and off campus. We are committed to providing a positive environment for our students and their families in which safety is a top priority.
As we close out a week that has been especially focused on community, we encourage you to talk to your sons about how special it is to belong to a caring community like The Prep. They are valued for their unique gifts and talents and we are here to help them on their journey to become outstanding young men.
Me ke aloha pumehana,
Principal (Acting), The Prep
The Prep Update - August 29
Aloha Prep Families,
It is so energizing to have our wonderful students back on campus. Each classroom is buzzing with activity as everyone gets into the rhythm of their learning journey together. Our teachers are rock stars and I am excited for all that is in store for your sons this year.
Speaking of rock stars, I am happy to share that Kaʻipo Bailey-Walsh, Principal of The Priory Lower School, has graciously agreed to serve as the Assistant Principal of The Prep this year. Ms. Bailey-Walsh and I are working closely together to provide leadership and support to the faculty at The Prep. She will also be able to assist parents with any immediate concerns when my attention is needed for my duties as the Head of School. Please feel free to contact either of us with any questions that arise.
We are eager to continue building strong traditions for The Prep. On September 10, we will celebrate our 2nd annual Lego Chapel and are blessed to have The Right Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick (“Bishop Bob”) as the presider for that special occasion.
Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 11 at 5:30 p.m. for our annual Back to School Night. This is a valuable opportunity to learn more about your son’s daily school life and to meet the faculty and staff who support his educational experience here at St. Andrew’s. I look forward to seeing you there!
Me ke aloha pumehana,
Principal (Acting), The Prep