Make the Most of the Year Ahead

As temperatures fall, the days grow shorter, and the leaves begin to change their color, we begin to sense autumn’s arrival. As sure as any of these other signs, the first week of school has now been tucked away behind us. We hope that you and your children enjoyed the trips this August and that the first week of classes has passed propitiously. We would like to suggest to our community five things that can be done to make the most of the year ahead.

First, bear in mind that our children are watching and will rise no higher than the example we set for them. As adults, we know well that we are not always what we would have our children be – it is one of the anxieties of parenthood that we should forever be watched and imitated. We prepare ourselves for what we regard as the significant moments, but we forget that in the business of modeling, we are not the determiners of significance. Young eyes and eager ears observe as much in the moments of our greatest preparedness as in our moments of greatest neglect. In years past, the parking lot has been home to some of the most neglectful moments. Please give this some thought and set aside your phone, show other parents not just civility, but charity, and treat the staff and faculty who are working to ensure your children’s safety the kind of respect you would have your children practice as a matter of habit.

Second, please register to volunteer. It is essential that we each contribute if we are to sustain Ridgeview as the kind of school we would all like for it to continue being. We need parents willing to join the elementary reading groups, to sew costumes, to chaperone field trips, to help prepare meals, and much, much else. Whatever your talent or disposition, there is an opportunity for you to lend a hand and likely gain a greater appreciation for the community to which you will ever after more fully belong.

Third, Mrs. Houdesheldt is a tremendous asset to our school. If you do not yet have access to PowerSchool and the LMS, please be sure to drop her a line and familiarize yourself with these two powerful tools. Please also acquaint yourself with your children’s teachers. They will often be your first points of contact, and you will each be more comfortable reaching out to one another as the year proceeds if you have touched base at the outset.

Fourth, reading the weekly notes and opening and reading e-mails from the school are the surest ways of staying informed about what is happening at the school. There is a tremendous amount happening at the school at any one time, and while not all of it will concern you, one cannot often predict what will and what won’t without knowing it all first. Additionally, if you have the time, please join us at the Principal’s Coffees, listen to the podcasts, and come to as many of the seasonal events as you are able.

Finally, in returning to the first point about modelling, it is important to lead the kind of life we are asking our students to lead. It is critical that they see the habits we are working to inculcate here not as things that fade in importance as one passes from adolescence into adulthood, but that adolescence is a period of habituation for the kinds of activities one ought to go about in adulthood. To that end, it behooves us all as parents to not only read, but as silly as it may sound, to be seen reading and to be heard conversing. If this is an aspect of your life that is already well established, you are well ahead of the curve; but, if you need a bit of encouragement, or some comradery in reading the sorts of things to which you might not naturally drift, please join us at one of the parent reading groups. You may find, as other parents have found, that the reading and discussion of these texts provides you with new topics to explore with your spouses, children, co-workers, and friends. At the risk of offering a most Ridgeviewian exhortation, reading changes lives.

We are excited to have you with us this year and we hope that you will see your children grow in a multitude of positive and encouraging ways. We are happy to count ourselves a part of their lives, and we look forward to seeing you in the school and at our events in the coming months.


D. Anderson


Mr. Anderson