Opal School Online

Sep
21

What is the relationship between playful inquiry and open systems?

At last week’s back-to-school night, I was asked to speak briefly about Playful Inquiry and open systems. I’m sharing what I said — for families who weren’t able to attend, for educators who read the blog to consider, and for those who were able to attend to revisit. I look forward to reading your responses!  At Opal […]
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By Tara Papandrew | Beginning
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Sep
19

Engaging Families as Partners

This past week, we welcomed families to Opal School for its 17th year. And, as is true so often, we also welcomed change. For new families, the change is transition to this new community, transition in families as their children grow, new routines, new relationships. For returning families, the change is a bump in expectations. […]

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Sep
18

The Writing Kind of Life

“A writer’s notebook is like a ditch – an empty space you dig in your busy life, a space that will fill up with all sorts of fascinating little creatures.  If you dig it, they will come.  You’ll be amazed by what you catch there.” -Ralph Fletcher, A Writer’s Notebook Receiving a writer’s notebook has […]
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By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Intermediate
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Sep
12

Focusing Our Intentions for a New Year

It’s a time of reconnection at Opal School.  A little more than two weeks ago, Opal School staff reconvened.  Last week, students returned.  Tonight, we welcome parents for Back to School Night. Back to School Night holds different schema for all of us.  As a parent, I’ve felt inspired and connected by some – and […]

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Sep
12

Intentions: The we that I am

“A child’s most sought after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others parts of himself.” -Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the pre-primary schools of Reggio Emilia Dear Primary Community families, At Opal School, we see all children as competent, creative, curious, and courageous. We believe they come to school full of experience […]
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Sep
12

Intentions: Interdependence and perspective taking

Dear Intermediate Community families, At Opal School, we see all children as competent citizens with rights.  We see them driven to connect, eager to empathize and be understood. We know that the arts are powerful pathways to develop understandings of ourselves, each other, and complex ideas. We value increasing proficiency with the conventions of communication […]
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By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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Sep
12

Intentions: Transformation

Dear Families, In this complicated and uncertain world, we believe school is where we learn to be human. And right now, more than ever, we need people who can listen with empathy and understanding, imagine multiple possibilities, communicate their ideas in a variety of ways, and see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. One […]
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By Tara Papandrew | Beginning
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Sep
08

Setting Expectations

As I stepped into the first Day of school in our Cottonwood classroom (children ages 5-7 years), Lauren was just introducing a surprising material to the children, who sat expectantly hoping for their own opportunity to play. It was just masking tape. But it clearly held a kind of excitement as far as the children […]

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Sep
05

Coming together anew

To be open to others means to have the courage to come into the room and say, “I hope to be different when I leave.” – Carlina Rinaldi Opal School families returned today, encountering spaces full of life. They found invitations to form new connections and communities with each other, with ideas, and with the […]

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Jun
17

On the edge of Symposium, thinking without bannisters

Opal School’s Summer Symposium begins Wednesday.  It’s a frenetic time around the building: having said goodbye to students last week, teachers are setting up their classrooms for visitors, creating documentation panels, and writing presentations (not to mention annual academic reports).  It’s a time of long days and nights consumed by deep reflection and meaning-making – of […]

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