October’s Message from the Director

SOSTA-Sue CroppedDear Step One Friends and Family,

As we head into a new school year, it feels a bit like we’re all taking a deep breath together: with excitement and a little apprehension, too. Teachers are building new classroom communities. Parents and children are experiencing a new school, classroom, or role, wondering whom they’ll meet and how the year will take shape.

How will 2016-17 unfold? Each year at Step One is slightly different, but there’s also continuity shaped by our school’s values and our teachers’ care. Articles in this issue of Step One Connect brought home to me how central friendship is to Step One’s story.

Reading about Marcus Parr and Sasha Stiles, two five-year-old best friends who met at Step One, I was proud to learn how their experience here nurtured their connection and brought their families together. If the example of alumnae Annalise Blum and Amy Strauss holds true, Marcus and Sasha could have a long and fruitful friendship ahead. In their interview, Annalise and Amy describe a meaningful twenty-year-plus relationship that started in Room 4.

This edition of our newsletter also compiles some of our teachers’ proudest moments from the past year. It’s not surprising that many of the teachers mentioned examples of social-emotional growth: kids learning how to have a friend and be a friend. Our motto is “starting from the heart” because those social-emotional skills are at the core of Step One’s practice year after year.

Like the growth rings of a tree, each Step One season builds on the next, adding to our 35-year history. When families move on to new schools, we don’t say goodbye, but instead welcome you to our close-knit alumni community. (Many of our alumni families form cohorts of friends that stay in touch for years, just like our students!)

Though no one knows exactly what the future holds, I am certain that this school year, like the 34 before it, will be focused on love, connection, and community. Whether your child attended in 1981 or you joined us this September, thank you for being part of the Step One family.

With Warm Friendship,

Sue Britson