Another Great Year at The Tobin School
It’s still hard to believe that our 13th school year has come to a close. Before we turn the page, we’d like to share some highlights from the 2017-2018 school year at The Tobin School:
- Filed our annual report to renew our Accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We achieved accreditation during our 2016-17 academic year, and we continue to work hard to meet these very high standards of education and care.
- Continued to use our research-based assessment tools: the Ages & Stages Developmental Screening Tool and Teaching Strategies Gold. Both systems have allowed us to get to know our students better and to work to focus on each individual’s developmental goals.
- Hosted three early childhood leaders from Singapore through a Boston University/Wheelock College Leadership Exchange and were thrilled to show them our program and learn about theirs.
- Hosted some very Special Visitors in our classrooms this year – including two Boston meteorologists, Jeremy Renner & Pete Bouchard, amateur paleontologist and educator Paulette Morin, and Natick’s own award-winning children’s book author Rick Felty, who shared his books about Tabitha the One-Eyed Cat
- Enjoyed teaching success with the Wilson Fundations PreK edition in our Pre-Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten classrooms this year. This program continues to show its strong value in helping to build solid phonemic awareness in our students as they prepare to read and write.
- Continued our Etiquette Curriculum focusing on table manners, introductions, and manners words this year with Janet Parnes, aka “Lady J” for our Kindergarten & Junior Kindergarten classes.
- Offered small group piano instruction with Allegro Music School here at Tobin, showcased their work at our annual Performance Festival in May, and ended the year by doubling the number of our piano students.
- Provided lots of experiential learning: including field trips to Honey Pot Hill Orchard for apple & pumpkin picking this fall, a Boston Children’s Theatre performance for Kindergarten, and a springtime trip for all our classes to the Southwick’s Zoo. Morning Preschool had an adventure at the Natick Organic Farm, and our older classes participated in a nature walk and pond study at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. Students also enjoyed regular visits to the Morse Institute Library and visited with our community helpers in downtown Natick. Our Tobin Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten students were treated to a special VIP tour of Fenway Park coordinated by the Clark Family.
Updated our Tobin School blog, providing insights on curriculum topics, teaching resilience to young children, preparing for successful drop-offs, and raising caring kids. We also worked to share articles and links to research of interest with our families through Facebook–and our new Instagram account.
Co-sponsored a wonderful speaker for parents and teachers with SPARK Kindness: we welcomed author, Laura Markham, PhD, for a free workshop on “Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids”. We also added several titles to our Tobin Parent Resource Library.
Focused on Professional Development: our faculty members participated in more than the required 20 hours of professional education on a wide variety of topics, keeping us updated on the latest developments and practices in early childhood education. Among the many topics covered, this year’s teachers attended programming on Crucial Conversations, The Emotional Life of Boys, Helping Young Children Deal with Death & Loss, The Nurtured Heart Approach to Positive Discipline, and Building Positive Strength-Based Teams.
- Continued our commitment to supporting children in their social emotional development: Tobin was named a Kindness Certified School for the 3rd year in a row with the Great Kindness Challenge 2018. For the 5th year, we also celebrated our Choose to Be Nice week focused on being a kind community.
- Held our 3rd annual Family Fun Night at Tobin this winter, and it was even more fun for the whole family.
- Emphasized community service as a school-wide mission. In the fall we collected 25 bags of clothes and shoes for Cradles to Crayons and held our hugely successful Family Volunteer Fair in November supporting 10 different organizations–featuring our first ever silent auction of classroom created projects, and gathering 90 gifts to make some needy children’s holiday a bright one. Our families also raised funds to support the polar bears–meeting the goal of virtually adopting 5 polar bears – and participated for the 4th year straight in the Walk to End Homelessness event to support Family Promise Metrowest.
- Welcomed many of our Tobin parents and family members to our school this year. Thank you to all of our family volunteers for our many field trips, guest appearances to share their careers and their birthplace or places they have traveled, and much more! And we loved having a chance to meet all our guests at Special Friend’s Day in November. Last but not least, we had special Star Student and Mystery Reader guests too.
- Showcased all the amazing talent here at Tobin at our 13th annual Performance Festival at The Center for the Arts in Natick (TCAN).
- Lots of great memories from a very successful school year!