Building Character at Birchwood
Building strong character is one of our goals at Birchwood School. Our school community works tirelessly to instill a strong sense of character through daily practices and lessons.
This September, Mrs. Wagner kicked off the school year reading two books to our students. Only One You and It’ Okay to Be Different were shared during her monthly lesson. Both stories highlight uniqueness, difference, strength and balance. Students began to appreciate and celebrate the differences they saw in one another. As a culminating project, the entire school created self-portraits which are displayed in our halls. These portraits depict our uniqueness.
As October quickly approached, a new book was introduced. Mrs. Wagner shared We’re All Wonders with the students. This book tells the story of a boy who is physically different from his peers but internally identical. The students saw how the main character was stared at by classmates, ridiculed and put down. Students were asked “What would you do if you saw someone being unkind? Students shared that they would stop unkind speakers and would not allow any student to stand alone. Students walked away charged with looking for the kind in each other, rather than finding the flaws. As a culminating project, students designed kindness quotes in art class. These words of kindness were decorated and placed on the tiles in our main hallway below our portraits.
It is our hope that students will travel down the hallway reading the kind phrases written by friends and admiring our differences as shown in our portraits.
The mission of Birchwood School is to support all students in reaching their highest potential. We are dedicated to developing the whole child, with an emphasis on the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical wellness necessary to find individual success. Our school community is committed to supporting our students in channeling these strengths toward achieving their academic goals by providing a warm and nurturing climate where children are free to grow!
Dear Birchwood Family,
It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I write to you as the new Principal of Birchwood Elementary School. I am honored to serve in this position, and am looking forward to working beside the teachers and faculty to make this a fabulous year!
Prior to joining the Birchwood staff, I served as an Assistant Principal and a teacher in Mahwah Township. During my 19 years in education, I have enjoyed watching students grow into kind friends, problem solvers, and critical thinkers.
Birchwood Elementary School is a special place. It is a warm and friendly school where children come together to learn and grow in so many aspects of their lives. What happens during your years at Birchwood will have a lasting impression for years to come. I look forward to taking this journey with you.
This school year promises to be tremendous, both academically and socially. As students, you will be developing and refining your skills in reading, mathematics, science and social studies. You will continue to grow as problem solvers and independent thinkers who can persuade others. You will be responsible for your role in strengthening what you have already learned.
We will celebrate RESPECT throughout the year. I believe that showing respect for others is one of the most important values that we all have. Respect means caring for someone or something, like your classmates and your school. Being respectful is one of the main ingredients to being the best person you can be. “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” – Confucius.
My hope and dream for you during the 2017-2018 school year is that with hard work and dedication you can accomplish anything you desire. I am here to help and support you each and every day so you can achieve your own hopes and dreams. I am excited to get to know the entire school community and build positive relationships with all of you. Please know that my door is always open and I welcome you to stop by and talk.
Mrs. Alison Schessler