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  • Writer's pictureDee Dee Wright

We're Back to School for Year 2022

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

One-year-old Ilias enjoys exploring the color blue.

A new school year begins with a whole bunch of preparation, communication and courage. The shorter word for that is: Transitions! Every member of our JJS family is part of helping children make the transition to a new classroom. Early in August, Transition Packets are provided to families introducing the new classroom, including photos of teachers and the space along with activities they can do at home to prepare. The packets also outline the process of how children gradually increase time in their new classrooms over the course of a week. Parents and teachers hold Virtual Home Visits to meet each other and discuss their hopes and plans for the school year. It all leads up to a few days of nervous excitement, a few tears, and some big gulps of bravery for our children (and maybe their parents) as they move into a whole new place to play and learn.

Following the time of transitioning families, teachers engage in deep preparation of themselves and their classrooms for a successful school year. This happens throughout Teacher Work Week, an annual week in late August that sets us all up for a superb start. This year, all JJS staff completed StrengthsFinder Assessments, presented Team Book Reports, and shared Vision Boards...and that was just the fun stuff! They also participated in more than 20 hours of professional development and review of policies and procedures to sharpen their skills. They used every minute possible to clean, organize and prepare their classrooms for the children. My favorite thing each year is to see each child's photo and name on their chair and their place at the table. Imagine how comforting it is to find that you are not only expected and welcome, but planned for and known by name!

New Quetzals (one-year-olds) heading out for their first neighborhood walk.

As part of our closest network, you all know how hard this past year has been for JJS, from keeping everyone healthy and safe to maintaining our focus on providing the best for children who need us so much. I hope you also know how strengthening and empowering it has been to become a 150% version of JJS - completely committed to care, connection and calm in the midst of so much uncertainty and upheaval. When we opened our doors this past Monday, I said: This is a place our community has created, and our children will be ok because a whole community made it so. YOU are that community, dear friends! Every adorable photo and fun note I ever send you is only possible because of the community you have helped us create and the deep care you show for our children, come pandemics or high water. Your investment in JJS has an incalculable return in joy!

We are building this new school year on every strength we have, many known and some to be discovered. Our staff now understand their individual strengths and see how their teams benefit from them. Our children and families feel safe and nurtured to grow stronger every day. And Jubilee JumpStart is gathering up all the strengths we have developed over 12 years (and one pandemic) and marching into the future with our eyes fixed on growth and impact where our work is needed.

Nothing can stop us now, especially with you and our entire community joining the journey and cheering us on. I can't wait to tell you more as our year unfolds. Until then, I am sending you wishes of health and happiness during this time of transition.

XOXO Dee Dee

What Teachers Are Saying

Three Jubilee JumpStart teachers pose together during Work Week.

"My hope for the 2022 school year is that every family feels a sense of belonging here. My goal is to give more than I receive." - Mary Cox, Veteran JJS Teacher and current Center Floater

"I look forward to making strong connections with the children in my classroom." - Cindy Flores, Bilingual Pre-K Assistant Teacher

"The first day was great! I enjoy getting to bond with my students and get to know their likes and dislikes,"

- Alexus Ford, Assistant Teacher to Two-year-olds'

"In addition to continuing my work toward my degree in child psychology, my goal this year is to give all I can to bringing out the best in my students." - Erica Dozier, Two-year-olds' Teacher

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