Back to School Letter

Welcome back to school!

Dear Sandy Miller Families,

I am absolutely delighted to welcome our new and returning families to this amazing learning community.  I welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education and I am looking forward to working with your children.

Our skilled and devoted staff has spent weeks planning and preparing for your children.  Our fantastic office team is continuing to register new families, order needed materials, and update student information in Infinite Campus, as well as many other critical tasks.  Our hard working and conscientious custodians have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning the building.  Our PTA is looking forward to new members coming on board to provide volunteer opportunities and offer fun events for families.  We are a caring community dedicated to nurturing responsible, kind, and open-minded International Baccalaureate (IB) students and providing hands-on, high-level learning.

Each year brings positive change.  We are pleased to welcome a number of new staff members, whom you may get to know.  Last year we added an additional First Aid Safety Assistant (FASA) so we now have two FASA’s in our health office to support our students with their health concerns.  We piloted the Hazel Mental Health and Behavioral Services program at our school last year, where students could receive mental health services through a telehealth model on our campus.  This year we will add the Hazel Physical Health Service to our school.  Students will be able to access telehealth services through an iPad on our campus.  We are very excited to offer these services to our families.

We are also welcoming several new licensed teachers to our staff, as well as instructional assistants.  Instructional assistants provide support by working with students under the guidance of the licensed teacher.  We will also have a team of five learning strategists on staff this year, in keeping with the goal of providing as much instructional support to our teachers and students as we can. Learning strategists are teachers with a high level of expertise and training that work to guide teachers in their practice and work with students needing additional targeted instruction.

A great deal of time, effort, and thought has gone into the process of student placement for the 2022-23 school year.  Careful consideration was given to input from teachers, achievement data, student learning style, and other factors when building the classes.  Classrooms have been balanced academically and socially.  Our class lists are structured to provide equitable class sizes at each grade level.  Moving students is difficult without causing imbalances and inequities.  

Thank you so much for being positive with your child and helping them to understand that it is impossible to place all students with a preferred best friend or teacher.  Each grade level team of teachers works together to plan curriculum and instruction.  All of our staff works hard to make school a positive experience for all students.  The Sandy Miller team is eagerly looking forward to enriching your child’s life.  Thank you for your partnership in ensuring that Sandy Miller Academy remains a celebrated and successful school community committed to the IB mission of developing inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. 

It is my honor and privilege to continue serving as your principal.  Together, I know we will make this school year one of growth and achievement for all of our students.  

Warmest regards,

Lene Thorsen-Peters