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From the Principal
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:55 PM


Dear Barton Community,


With the new-fallen snow on the ground, it’s difficult to tell that last Friday was the first day of spring and the kickoff to our Barton Plant Sale.  But, the warmer weather and melting snow last week were surely a welcome sight to many of our children who seemed to have wider smiles and a spring in their step on the playground for a few days.  

The playfulness of these children could not come at a better time for the adults in our community.  March “madness” often marks the beginning of a time within the cycle of the school year that makes it especially hard for us to focus.  Perhaps it can be attributed to the cabin fever that comes from an unusually cold spell.  Perhaps it comes because the stress of budget allocations and strategic planning for the following year come amidst the development of lessons and curriculum designed to engage students with high energy levels at the highest possible cognitive levels.  Or, perhaps it comes from the media’s preoccupation with, test scores and outcomes that quantify learning and the educational experience rather than putting a spotlight on shared inquiry and experience.

For me, this time of year is a time that I often have to remind myself, as the building principal and a parent, to remain focused on the purpose of public education: to strengthen our democratic principles that are at the heart of progressive education.  It is an alluring temptation to be pulled into battles over these values and decisions that seem to represent things that run counter to our open school values. 

I believe it is our job as teachers, parents, and principals to create conditions in our schools that help all students learn.  This focus can make the work to achieve educational equity for all of our children a joyful act that strengthens our resolve, sharpens our focus, and helps us look at how we can collaboratively and effectively develop new ways to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of all of our children at Barton.

I hope that however you are able to spend time during our upcoming spring break, you are able to find opportunities to recharge, reflect, and reconnect with your families.



Paul Scanlon

Principal – Barton Open School