Dear Members of the LHA/OLC Family,
Just about a year ago, I wrote to share exciting news about “Operation Playground” and the progress made since the idea was launched in September 2012. With deep appreciation, I am overjoyed to announce that the playground has unofficially opened for use. The official opening will take place soon and you will be notified in advance. With the determination, knowledge and support of the LHA/OLC families, what was once the York Street parking lot has now come alive with the sounds and sights of children gleefully embracing all that it has to offer.
Unfortunately, the winter weather of 2015 made it impossible to use, from late November to late March. It seemed that as soon as the playground was ready to open, the snow, ice, wind and cold weather ascended upon us. Now that winter is behind us, all classes will be making the most of the playground. I know you are eager to hear how we introduced the playground to all the students. Here is what we have been doing:
Before the break:
- The few days that were warm enough were used to introduce the K-8 students to the playground.
Week of April 13th:
- Mrs. Murduca began preparing a schedule with the preschool classes.
- On Monday, all teachers met on the playground for a “tutorial” as well as to try it out. Many of them scaled the apparatus with the same enthusiasm as the students.
- Following our rotating outdoor recess schedule, we began recess on the playground for the students assigned that week to outside recess (grades 3-8 and kindergarteners with the help of the 7th and 8th graders).
- The preschool teachers began taking their classes outside.
- Mr. Enes began bringing his classes to the playground for PE.
Week of April 20th:
- The K-2 students are having recess outside this week bringing them to the playground.
- The playground schedule and sign-up form is being finalized for open periods.
- Aftercare will begin using the playground.
In the end, the teachers will have the academic freedom to use or not use the playground to support their programming choices. It delights me to see multiple classes engaged in activities on the playground. Drive or walk by and see for yourself. You just might see you child climbing, swinging, reading or drawing.
In conclusion, a few finishing touches have been scheduled that will bring water and lighting to the playground. In addition, we are working on ways to use the playground after school hours.
In the spirit of learning and playing,
Anna Mae Stefanelli