Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dear Hudson Middle Families,

Today your middle school student will be thinking, learning and setting goals - a personal goal, an academic goal, and a collaboration goal. Please take time to share your personal experiences in setting goals, steps you took to reach those goals, setbacks, failures, and successes. Ask your student about the goals they've set and help them identify people who can help them reach those goals. For inspiration, enjoy this clip: (Thanks, Ms. Elliott!)   Pursuit of Happiness Video Clip 

Our entire Middle School Learning Community is focusing on developing and strengthening our collaboration skills this year. Here's a link to the Collaboration Rubric we will be using in EVERY curricular area to support students reflecting on their current habits and focusing on next steps as they become strong and positive collaborators. We encourage you to use the language of collaboration at home as you remind your son or daughter to listen for understanding, consider another point of view, and respectfully offer their perspective.

We are particularly grateful for the work of a collaborative team of adults here at the middle school who have put together what we hope will be an inspiring day for students and staff. Ms. Elliott, our Instructional Coach, our SMART Goal Team (Mr. Deleon, Ms. Benjamin, Ms. Hackbarth, Mrs. Ellstrom, Mr. Wickstrom, Mr. Yell, Mrs. Bendlin, Ms. Watters, Mrs. Heier, Mrs. Luedtke, Ms. Halstad, Ms. Cummings, Mr. Hagerman, Mrs. Rehmus), our Tech Integration Coach, Mrs. Dressel have combined efforts and the result is uplifting and encouraging! Another team- Mrs. Gagnon, Ms. Johnson (Nutrition Services), and several Fuel Up To Play 60 student leaders have added a healthy component to the process and we're excited to be part of the results at the end of the school day!

As you review the Collaboration Rubric, you'll note how transferable and applicable these skills are to ALL of life. In fact, I am reminded of the importance of these skills in problem-solving. For example, when your child shares a frustration with you about an experience (an unkind student, an impatient teacher, a sarcastic bus driver, or a disrespectful encounter), these are the steps we want to encourage our children to take in solving the problem and strengthening the community:
1) Presume Positive Intention - oftentimes the person may be hurting about something else or may be frustrated by something in their own lives.
2) Talk to another supportive adult about the situation; work with the supportive adult to develop a message to share with the other person (student, teacher, bus driver, etc.)
3) Deliver the message with respectful courage (ask the supportive adult to accompany you and / or share your message in a written letter)

Taking these three very important steps conveys to the other person you care about them, you expect more from them, and you trust things will change. These steps also strengthen your child's ability to resolve difficulties in the future to develop strong and positive relationships, and gives the other person the opportunity to ask forgiveness and make changes. I have a very small sign in my office that reads: Prepare the child for the path--not the path for the child. Collaboration takes courage, patience, and compassion for the other. When we empower our children to be thoughtful and courageous in the face of difficulty, our entire learning community becomes stronger and more positive.

Most sincerely,



  1. "Prepare the child for the path--not the path for the child." I like all that you write, Ann, and your timing is right on.

    Bill Jack

  2. Don't let ANYONE tell you 'You can't do something'... GREAT advice.