Dear Step One Friends,
As the air starts to feel like fall and the holiday season approaches, we can truly say the school year is underway. Kids are getting established, making new friends; parents are getting used to the routine, too! Step One at this season feels like a mix of old and new: we enjoy school traditions such as Back to School Night and the upcoming Grandparents, Family and Friends Day, while welcoming new families and bringing new energy, activity, and approaches into the classroom.
Appropriately, this newsletter offers a mix of new and tried-and-true. The Jennifer Maxwell Nature Trail is an exciting new development up on the hillside, and Amalie and Aubrie gave us a “sneak peek” at the new stations-in-progress.
We also heard from members of Step One’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, past and present. This Committee has developed resources for school, made a space for parent-to-parent connection, and connected families to opportunities for activism. It has always been crucial for Step One, helping us live up to our values. I’m proud that I was part of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee 30+ years ago and that it’s still going strong!
This issue of Step One Connect also features a useful article about how subtle shifts in your kids’ habits now can fend off future orthodontia, by Step One alum parent Dr. Claire Ferrari. We’re also profiling how the visual arts and dance practices of two of our teachers, Aubrie Sell Williams and Ika, impact their classroom teaching. Step One Connect concludes with some fun pictures of Step One parents and caregivers exploring their children’s classrooms to the fullest and enjoying each others’ company on Back to School Night.
This hasn’t been an easy fall: it will be a long recovery for many of our neighbors and friends in the Wine Country and points north, and they will need our support. At the same time, challenges and how we meet them remind us of our resilience, and I’m grateful to be facing them with all of you. For our creative, courageous, adaptable teaching staff; for our loving, giving community; and for the bountiful harvest of joy we find each day at Step One, I am deeply thankful.