October 24, 2019

“The brain needs a safe place in order to learn.”

Dear SKS Families,

I have seen many trends and areas of focus in education in my time as an educator. Almost twenty years ago, I attended a conference where the speaker began the workshop with the quote above. It has stuck with me ever since.  I frequently reference the quote to teachers, parents and students alike. In order for students to learn, they need to feel safe and secure in the classroom.  The social/emotional factor can never be underestimated as a key factor for students to learn well.  Every day I get emails on conferences, workshops and articles on the importance of social emotional learning (SEL).

Teachers, parents and classmates play a role in creating that safe social environment, where each child is emotionally secure to learn. For teachers and parents, it is striking a balance of being caring and nurturing, while at the same time, setting firm expectations, setting boundaries, teaching responsibility and accountability.  Every day teachers work to build trust in their relationship with each student. For classmates, it is about being kind and compassionate to all their classmates, not just their friends.

Last week, we had two important assemblies. Mrs. Martie Bernicker, executive director of Speak Up!, talked to our 5th to 8th grade students about all the stressors in their lives that affect them.  She talked to students about “building a house” of security and safety with relationships and positive coping mechanisms to help them in their daily lives.  The KG-4 assembly given by Minding your Mind discussed Kindness with a focus on how classmates should treat each other. After the assembly I reminded our students the most important thing we do as a school is to take care of each other. Why? Because the brain needs a safe place in order to learn. Moreover, it is what Jesus taught us and what He would do.

This edition’s photos include many of our SKS activities and community events that enhance the curriculum we provide:


Horseback riding

Dan’s Down Dog and Dash

Girls Field Hockey Region 32 Champions

Minding Your Mind assembly

Parent/Child Golf Outing for TAP

Speak Up! Program

3rd grade trip to Crystal Cave


Take care,