Fifth-grader Timothy Chavez had already finished a full day of school. But he didn’t mind returning a few hours later to show off his classroom to his Dad and little sister and enjoy a slice of pizza.
The Chavezes were among dozens of Lavelle Prep Elementary School families who attended Back-to-School Night, hosted by faculty and staff on Thursday, Sept. 15.
Parents were greeted by Co-principals Jenna Curran and Alison LoSavio as they arrived on the third floor of Corporate Commons Three. They got to sit at the desks used by their young scholars and hear about plans for the academic year from teachers and teacher assistants.
In Timothy’s bright and cheery classroom, Ms. Kristine Shipone used a PowerPoint presentation to introduce reading, writing, science and math curriculums and explain how assessments will be made throughout the year. She was joined by Ms. Dyamond Russ, teacher assistant.
Timothy and his 17 classmates also enjoy classes in movement, music and art in their classroom. Social and emotional wellness is a cornerstone of Lavelle Prep’s mission, explained Ms. Shipone, who is in her fourth year of teaching at the school. She keeps a set of “Let’s talk” cards on her desk at all times, so students can reach out if they’re experiencing stress or distress.
“We’re their second mothers,” she told her guests. “We’re here for anything they want to talk to us about.”
Wellness classes are offered several times a week, and a Lavelle Prep intervention specialist is available for students who need additional support and resources in a small-group setting.
As the Back-to-School Night sessions wrapped up in each classroom and families started heading home, Ms. Shipone offered a hug or a kind word to each of her students. “We spend a lot of time together,” she said, smiling. “I love my kids.”