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November 11, 2022

Dear Parents,

The first quarter has ended and today you will receive your child’s first report card of the school year. With parent-teacher conferences set for the spring, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to a teacher with questions this fall/winter. Each of the teachers do well to communicate weekly events or individual items of interest but there may be cause for a conversation, which is always welcomed.

As a school, wrapping up the first quarter presents opportunity for reflection and trajectory toward new action items. Safety initiatives have been of primary importance during the first nine weeks. Between safety-driven visitors and presentations we have done well to attend to your child’s mental and physical well-being. Today provided a classic example with a guest from The Caring Place. Presenting the challenges of grief and ways in which to console friends, we learned much about what it means to serve one another and understand well what a community asset we have in Highmark’s Caring Place. Our speaker from the Attorney General’s Office also afforded families and students in Middle School much food for thought related to the dangers of social media. Each slide detailed information that directly correlated with our adolescent and teen’s decisions within social media and we are hopeful valuable take-aways occurred. To summarize the presentation, it is increasingly important that as parents we are monitoring our children’s screen time and presence. Mr. McGill also relayed illegal drug information new to most of us in the room. With the increasing number of overdoses and deaths due to drug use in Erie County, it is critical that our children are aware of the choices that will be presented in the years to come. Unfortunately, we could not ascertain copies of the presentations but we will see Mr. McGill return in the spring. He embraced our students, their thoughtful questions and remarked about his hopes to return as a result of the interest level in the education among our students, parents and faculty. Scientia potential est.

Our faculty, staff, Trustees and parents have been involved in our safety initiatives as well. The involvement of the City of Erie Police, the Safety Institute of Mercyhurst University, meetings of the school Safety Committee as well as our own research have led to updated procedures. On Tuesday of next week, we will rehearse our intruder on campus and in the school drills. Your child will be reminded of the procedures we follow when someone asks s/he to open a door, sets feet on campus when they look unfamiliar, or enters the school and threatens our safety. All of this will be accomplished with developmentally appropriate practices in mind. Toddlers, PS and PK learners will shelter in a locked, windowless area for a time period while reading a story to practice how we can hide if we need to; experiencing feelings of safety and care with our teachers. Lower School students will find comfort in asking questions and learning their role in making quick, successful decisions; and Middle School students will be reminded of their increasing orientation to dangerous situations and their role in solving bigger problems. As we rehearse our fire, severe weather and intruder drills, many of us are reminiscent of days in which we thought of our schools as the safe haven. Events occurring since 9/11 and Sandy Hook remind us otherwise, regrettably. As a school, we must continuously reassess our risks and measures to keep our students feeling a sense of control through our safety exposures and rehearsals. Again, knowledge is power.

As we set optics on the second quarter, we are looking forward to the re-visit of our Pennsylvania Association of Independent School (PAIS) accreditation team. Every ten years, Erie Day School receives a full-scale evaluation and this year we are on point for an interim visit. With the team’s arrival comes much preparation and polish to showcase our school and sustainability efforts. We also anticipate the revival of our school-wide traditions in the Thanksgiving feast, bags of gratitude (service initiative), the Erie Day School Playhouse production on December 16th and 17th, our winter sing-a-long and ever-beloved-classroom parties. Also in focus are the athletic opportunities and the elevation of our academic excellence. Our teachers began the curriculum revision process last spring, Toddler through Grade 8, and look to finalize maps and documents within these second nine weeks. (See published curriculum docs for EC and MS on School Speak. LS will soon follow.)

I hope that you family enjoys some, if not all, the scheduled events in November that lie ahead. (See below.) I don’t know about your family, but our school family (minus Mr. Tom), seems fairly excited about snow accompanying the cold sometime soon!

Yours in education,

Head of Erie Day School

November Events:

  • 13 Open House 1:00 – 3:00pm
  • 14 Grades 3 & 4 to Salamanca and Seneca Heritage Museum
  • 15 Intruder Drills
  • 17 Children’s Grief Awareness Day (wear blue)
  • 18 PJ Day in honor of parent fundraising
  • 22 Thanksgiving Feast and Bags of Gratitude deliveries to Emmaus Soup Kitchen/Kids’ Café and Bethany Outreach Center
  • 23 – 27 Vacation
  • 25 - 27 Festival of the Trees, showcasing an EDS tree
  • 30 Parent Group’s Asbury Woods Event, 5:30 – 7:00pm