Posted by Jennifer Buller on 10/15/2018 7:00:00 AM
Hello Coolidge Corner School Families and Friends,
We are writing to you today with two updates, one about our plans for Community Meeting and one about playground safety.
This year we will be reintroducing Community Meeting at our school. This is a time for students to come together and celebrate our community and share things we have been working on. Some of our goals for Community Meeting include providing students with a safe space to practice making presentations to a large group, building community across grade levels, allowing students to see what goes on in other classrooms (including grade levels that are above or below their own), and creating shared experiences and celebrations that groups of students can experience together.
As we re-establish our community of learners and staff here at school after being separated for the past 3 years we need to take some time to build our own internal community and the structures and supports that will be in place to ensure we are able to meet our goals of Community Meeting. There is much planning, thought, and time that needs to go in to this work as well as practice and fine tuning before we are ready to invite families to attend. Over the next four months, we will spend some time collaborating across grade level bands (PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8) on building our community and figuring out just what we need to achieve our goals of Community Meeting. We will be reaching back out in January with an update on the process and a schedule for when we will be inviting family members to begin participating with us at Community Meeting.
As you may be aware, there have been a few injuries at the start of this school year involving playground equipment. Of the 8 reported injuries, 2 happened during school hours and the rest happened after school or on the weekend. We write to share that a couple of weeks ago we reported these injuries to the architects and construction company to raise questions about the safety of the equipment. One structure, where most of the injuries were taking place, was closed until further inspection could take place. Representatives from the landscape architectural firm, the construction company, and the manufacturer of the playground equipment met with us one afternoon and reviewed each injury and piece of equipment.
In response to one of the injuries, a drainage grate was replaced to narrow the openings to prevent wheels (on bicycles and tires) from getting caught. After thoroughly reviewing each of the other injuries and equipment it was shared with us that the structures meet standard requirements for design and installation with the exception of one tire swing which was removed to be replaced. The group noted that additional safety signage around the playground would help promote the safe use of each of the structures. The landscape architects and playground structure manufacturer are working on additional signage as well as digital slides outlining playground safety. Once we have this and develop some common language and expectations for the playground during school hours we will share that out to families so that you can use the same expectations after school hours.
As always, if you have any questions or feedback please don’t hesitate to reach out.