School Year 2011-2012:

Each school year is unique. New students join us, while returning students grow— physically, emotionally and socially. The staff matures as well, returning with another year “under their belts,” with newly discovered passions and interests, and benefitting from their adventures and travels. New staff join the LDFDS community and inevitably change it (almost always in positive ways). We make an effort to introduce new experiences for the children, both educational and social. And finally, each new year usually brings some alteration of the physical school environment, as well.

Of course, each year is also the same in one very important way—we strive to maintain the integrity of the program by adhering to a coherent philosophy that is implemented by a team of like-minded, dedicated educators. Our goal is the provision of a safe, predictable, and peaceful environment—an environment which will allow students to focus their attention and energy on developing academic skills, on forming and navigating satisfying relationships, on communicating effectively, and on “contributing” in a manner that improves their lives as well as the lives of others.

• This year, among the many events and activities we engaged in, a few stand out:

• Two teachers joined us and I can’t imagine a better match for our program. Thank you Meghan and Valerie!

• Everyone is returning next year—that tends to be unheard of in a school like ours. A big thank you to my Assistant Director, Christine, and to my loyal staff, Julie, Janice, Tara, Eric I, Eric S., Amy, Kristin and Paula.

• Don Culp and his drumming classes have brought much more than music instruction to the foster school. Don is a true sensei in its broadest sense.

• The gardening program was resurrected this year by Kristen and a new course was developed utilizing food as the theme to drive instruction in science, health, ethics and history.

• Community Service is being reintegrated as a component of the program. Although slow out of the gate, strides were made through Tara’s hard work and students benefited from their work at Aids Project New Haven, the Life Haven Homeless Shelter and St. Ann’s soup kitchen.

Weaving… representing both a cooperative
endeavor and one student’s passion

A year-long opportunity to learn about self and process

Puppet Making... taught by our multi-talented technology and pottery teacher…

(He sews too!...)

Look at the pride in those faces–

“Yes, you created that!”

Gardening... composting, tilling, sewing seeds, planting weeding

–preparing this year’s harvest

from potential to actualization, earthen bed to table

Making Art... talent unfolds…

“I knew I could draw a praying mantis, but…”

Graduation... a milestone and a beginning

…so many mixed emotions…

As it should be, I suppose!