Mountain Shadows grandmother Jane Roane recently addressed her peers during the school’s annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day, sharing her reflections of the mission statement through the lens of her granddaughters and their friends.

First of all, I LOVE the fact that the word “joyfully” is in a school mission.  I know when you walk through the school today you will feel a sense of joy and happiness.  I have been in many schools where this is not the case, and the students and staff walks through the halls slumped and joyless.

Of course, we would hope that every school works to help children reach their full potential, but independence is not always a focus.  Everyday at Mountain Shadows you can see examples of students working independently, their work springing from their personal interests and passions.

Now, my examples of academic excellence might seem simple, but I am THRILLED that my grandchildren are learning cursive writing!  So valuable when you sign checks and autographs, or read the cards I send them! On Wednesdays I pick up my granddaughters from school, and, of course, I ask, “What did you learn in school today?”  First grader, Elsa, replied enthusiastically, “Grandma! I learned about symmetry!”  Now, I know what symmetry is, but I assure you, I didn’t know when I was 6 years old!

Respect for the environment…. you see this played out with the recycling, the outdoor environment, nature in the classrooms, etc.  Well! I learned this concept very dramatically!  One day I was playing with my granddaughters in their home, and I saw a spider on the wall.  Well!  I am a BRAVE grandma so I swatted and squished that spider.  Oh my!  Was I in trouble!  Both girls said to me, “Grandma…spiders…be aware of the them, take care of them!”  I will never squish a spider again…in front of the grandkids!

Respect for self and others…. Respect is key in all interactions at Mountain Shadows.  The teachers and staff treat each other with respect, they talk to parents with respect, and they certainly treat the students with respect.  Not only respect as worthy human beings, but respect for their ideas.  These young ladies playing their guitars here today is a great example!  This was not in the master plan, but their idea to play while we gathered was respected and not tossed aside because it might take a little more effort.  Students being treated with respect give them a sense of value in the world!

And, finally, moral responsibility to society.  An example of this is Miss Kelly’s class making valentines for a nursing home and delivering the valentines and interacting with the residents.  Giving back to society.  Last year Ciara’s class had a huge fundraiser for the Wildlife Sanctuary.  They planned a tea for parents, put on a great show, and raised lots of money for the Sanctuary.  They practiced a wide variety of skills from planning, public speaking, food preparation, etc. with the main goal of making the world a better place!

There is much to celebrate at Mountain Shadows.  When I count to three, I want you to give a great round of applause to  yourselves for being an active part of your grandchild or special friend’s life and for joining in this most important journey.”

MSMS Through the Eyes of a Grandparent

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