Our 7th and 8th grade girls played in an all day volleyball tournament downtown at the armory. Five schools participated in a round robin, so there were plenty of games. I couldn’t stay all day, but made it for the early morning matches. Our 8th graders played hard, and won a few of their games and one match. The 7th graders were in great form and went through the day undefeated. There’s not a big crowd at a Jr. High game, so every voice in the stands yelling out encouragement is appreciated. When there are lots of games like that, and waiting around times, it also gives a good chance to visit with the team members and any family that’s visiting.
Our fall FAST (Families and Schools Together) cycle entered its 2nd weekend with 8 families coming to campus and participating in activities with their children. I stopped in to check on the artwork projects they are involved in, and to meet the parents or relatives I haven’t yet met. I’ve met some families when they’ve check out their students for breaks, or come for a ballgame or case service plan meeting. Here was a chance to meet or reconnect and try to make sure they feel welcome on campus.
One of our counselors had a session for the adults Friday night. The sharing was somewhat intense, with honest sharing of some difficult family issues that folks are dealing with. Hopefully doing that in a supportive group can help people get through life’s rougher patches.
As I walked through the school on the way back to the office, I ran into one of our teachers running off coloring sheets for a lesson coming up next week. It’s not unusual for me to see staff coming in on their own time to do a little extra to make sure our students get a top notch education. Besides the skills our teachers bring, I also know that they put a good dose of tender loving care into the mix which makes a real difference.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Today was my day off – a chance to sleep in and be lazy.
Mid morning I did have a session of physical therapy. Today they put me through more of a workout. As I watched another patient lying on a table and having his leg stretched, it looked like it would feel good. But when it was my turn I found out that my underused muscles ache even in the caring hands of a good therapist. It will take some time to really loosen up my hamstrings and tendons. I warmed up on a reclining bicycle. I stood on a disk with a ball attached underneath and tried to balance. I stretched my foot against elastic bands. I marched on a trampoline. I kept at it for a good 45 minutes and feel sore, but in a good and productive way.
The grade school students were a little more tired than usual today. They had a 6:00 a.m. fire drill which got them up a little earlier than normal. One first grade was scared and cried a bit before the houseparent’s were able to assure her that everything was going to be OK. We hate to startle kids, but we have to take those drills seriously. We can’t just do them during the school day. We also have to take into consideration how to handle an emergency in the homes. With the one exception all the children handled it very well and got to where they needed to go.
We met with the architect for the next round of planning for the museum addition and alumni center. She incorporated our last suggestions well, and presented two good options. Of course we again took elements for each and will have one more draft by October so our Board of Directors can look it over.
I signed the approval forms for our college students who will receive our grants for higher education. 20 alumni are in college right now. Some are older students who are back in school after working for a few years or who are returning after starting a family. It is especially gratifying to see students who have graduated since I arrived six years ago continuing their studies. While our scholarships only cover a portion of the costs, it does help. Some of the application letters are brief and to the point. Others share touching personal aspects about struggles overcome and lessons learned about them as they find the motivation to stay in school.
Our management team covered a wide range of topics today – Mission Awareness, supervisor training, strategic planning, employee turnover rates and succession planning for upcoming years when large groups of staff reach retirement age over the next 10 years. Some meetings deal with immediate problems. It’s just as important to have time to look toward the future and set things in motion now that will help down the road.
This afternoon was my first physical therapy session to improve strength, flexibility and balance in my right foot. Today was mostly for evaluation as the therapist took me through a series of exercises that seemed gentle at first, but in the long will push me in the right direction. My hamstrings are very tight, as I’ve not been able to exercise as much as I’d like due to the pain from the nerves. But I’m starting to feel less nerve pain, so it’s time for some good old fashioned sore-muscles- due- to- exercise pain.