I am pleased to be serving as your new principal. I have been working for the past five weeks to get a variety of tasks completed so that we are all set for a dynamic new year. I have gotten to know the staff, the Board, and many helpful parents. I am grateful for their support and feel very fortunate to be joining Arco Iris. I can’t even count the number of hours that have been given to me from so many of you to help us gear up for the 2012 – 2013 year.
I want to start by apologizing to you for such a late letter. My plan was to get a letter out to parents at least two weeks ahead of school starting. All I can say is forgive me and know that next year will be different. We have completed class lists and they will be available on Thursday when you come for supply drop off. For students who were in a blend last year, unless there was a request for change, your student will be with the same teacher. However, we do have one teacher that will not be returning. Maestra Stephanie has accepted a position in the Salem-Kaiser School District. I had the pleasure of meeting her in my interview process and then later during the PTO sponsored movie night. She is delightful and I wish her all the best. Filling that position is Maestra Cassie. Maestra Cassie is very familiar with our school since she was the preferred sub for staff last year. She has been working closely with Maestra Maria to get all set for school. I am impressed with her warmth and calm demeanor and think she is a perfect 1/2 teacher. Please let your students know that Maestra Stephanie cared for them very much and Maestra Cassie is very much like her.
We welcome the other new staff:
Grade 3/4 teacher: Maestra Hayley. Hayley was highly recommended to me by a colleague and I can see why. She is hard working, collaborative, and nurturing. Maestra Rosa and Maestra Mercy are happy to have her join the 3/4 team.
English teacher: Maestra Stacy. Stacy served as a mentor teacher to others in her former school and brings solid literacy skills to us. She and Maestra Nikki are working together to plan a comprehensive plan for instruction for our students. She will be teaching the 1/2 English classes, as well as English for Maestra Rosa and Maestra Hayley.
Grade 5/6 teacher: Maestra Amy. Amy left her school in Bend to join us. She will job-share with Maestra Nikki. When we interviewed her, we were impressed with her positive attitude, focus on building relationships, and desire to meet the needs of every student. Right now she is in transit from Bend, and will be all set to go by next Tuesday.
Counselor/School Psychologist: Elaine Larsen. Elaine will be with us six hours per week. We are still finalizing her schedule. Once that is set, I will pass that on to you. Since retiring six years ago, she has been working steadily for a variety of districts and ESDs. She is here to support teachers in helping students when it comes to the social/emotional aspects of school. She will be available to parents by appointment.
I believe that parents were aware that Stacy is heading back to college. She will be here assisting us for the first week and has been in the office for the past weeks helping us get everything in order in our office. Janell will be our new Administrative Assistant and she brings a “can do” attitude to the job. I am sure that you will find her helpful and enjoy getting to know her.
For those of you who are returning, I know the changes might be hard. It is only normal to miss people. However, change does bring opportunity. The new staff members have enriched the dynamic staff and will help us continue to get better every year. For those of you who are new to our school, I want you to know that all staff members are going to be intentional in their efforts to welcome your students. We all want every student to come home after the first day happy and excited to come back for day two.
Enjoy the last few days and know that we are anxiously awaiting the sounds of students in their classrooms!
Sincerely – Jan