Student Growth & Expectations - Final Quarter

Lisa Larsen, LPC
Welcome to the last quarter of the school year! It’s hard to believe that April is right around the corner and we are in the final stretch of the academic year. You may have heard from your child or their teachers that we intentionally spent time this week in classrooms and advisories revisiting class charters, reviewing behavior expectations and dress code, and setting some academic goals for this final quarter.

It’s a moment of recognition regarding the remarkable growth we have seen in our students, and by helping them refocus on their intentions for the quarter we are intentionally preparing them for what next year and the next grade will look like. For our 8th graders we are supporting them as they get ready to launch into high school with the skills, tools and integrity to handle all the choices and challenges that come with that big leap. It’s truly a special time in the academic life of the school year.

When it comes to the annual cycle of student growth and development, you may notice that teachers step back in the last quarter to allow for real autonomy and accountability. Now is the time to put all those tools and skills into practice with fewer reminders and watch each student stand strong using their own skills. This is reflected developmentally for all students from Pre-K and Kindergarten to our 7th and 8th graders. Here are a few of those expectations your students will experience in ways appropriate to their grade level:
  1. Staying on top of homework/projects and turning things in on time on their own.
  2. Using an organizational system to keep track of assignments/tests/quizzes/projects (especially for our middle schoolers).
  3. Being familiar with and accessing those teachers and support staff who can help them with academic or emotional/social concerns.
  4. Completing homework and studying with less help from parents.
  5. Managing their time better in order to get homework and studying complete.
  6. Using better communication skills in managing social conflicts and disagreements along with growing empathy skills.
  7. Continued growth in developmentally appropriate SEL skills overall (emotional awareness, self regulation, personal responsibility).
As educators we know scaffolding continues both at school and at home as we meet each child where they are, but there comes a time when the training wheels come off and they peddle on their own. There may be some tumbling and few scrapes along the way, but before you know it, they are soaring on their own! I encourage each of you to observe, support and encourage these remarkable skills and courageously step back with love!  Here’s to a fantastic fourth quarter!

Lisa Hellmer, LPC
St Gabriel’s Counselor
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.