A Parent's Perspective, Open House Jan. 2017 
I am very happy that Dean Mooney asked me to share with you my thoughts about The Founders Academy from a parent’s perspective. 

This is my oldest daughter’s first year here and she is in 6th grade.  Prior to attending The Founders Academy, my daughter went to Mill Falls Montessori Charter School in Manchester.  We really loved Mill Falls and found it to be a great fit for her, academically, socially and emotionally.  

Making the decision to have her start at Founders in 6th grade, rather than finish up at MFCS was not an easy decision.  We attended an Open House, just as you are all here tonight. We listened eagerly hoping to be assured that Founders would be the right choice for her. 
I’m sure we can agree, one of the most important responsibilities for us as parents is providing our children with the best education possible.  It was also important for us to find a school that provided opportunities for the students to grow in character, independence and self confidence.  
I have to admit, that while we toured Founders that evening, I was faced with many feelings.  I felt excited for the idea of it being a great school, nervous that “what if it wasn’t the right school for her?” as well as a thousand questions that my husband and I would rake through while creating lists of pros and cons about whether to start her in a new school, when she was already attending a school that we liked so much.  

It’s important for me to share that I had been a middle school teacher for quite a while prior to having children.  I also had recently gotten back into education, working in a middle school special ed department. With the experiences that I had as a teacher, one thing kept surfacing in conversations with my husband about whether our daughter should start in 6th grade or wait until 7th grade to apply.  That was the fact that I knew how important 6th grade was to students when starting in a middle school.  Sixth grade is transitional year for students to learn how to navigate through the new expectations, schedule and responsibilities of being a middle school student.  I knew that as someone who taught 6th grade, it had certainly been part of my job to make sure my students were given the structure and supports that they needed to succeed and become more self sufficient.  I kept coming back to the thought that I wouldn’t want her to miss out on that very important year. 

Ultimately, it was my daughter that made the final decision to begin Founders for grade 6.  I knew that she was ready by the time we were in the summer months.  She was excited to begin the next step in her education.  And despite it being bittersweet, our daughter growing up...her father and I were feeling eager to see what possibilities would present themselves to her.

So...that’s how we made our decision.  A decision that I can say was absolutely the right one for our daughter.  She definitely was ready for the added challenges of attending a school with high expectations and a rigorous course load.  As I expected, it has certainly been a year of transitions thus far.  Managing a heavy amount of homework, balancing schoolwork with extracurricular activities and providing strategies for her to be successful with time management.  

I have watched her grow tremendously since starting the school year.  She has learned how to advocate for herself through sending emails to her teachers, continuously manages the work for her classes and meeting new friends.  She has enjoyed getting involved with the sewing club and attending school dances.  She has even started helping out with running the school store.  I love getting to hear all about what goes on in her classes and what she’s working on.  It is so wonderful getting to watch her grow and to see her happy and engaged in her school experiences.  She is shining at Founders and I couldn’t be happier!

~ Traci Strub
Posted by mmooney On 06 March, 2017 at 8:07 AM  

 
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