Thank you for your participation in our annual family survey. We had about 40% of our families participate this year and 100% of those that responded rated their teachers as Excellent or Very Good! Our teachers individually also received kudos from you in their understanding of your child and developmentally appropriate practice, accommodating individual differences, and respecting the rights and opinions of families. All families also strongly agreed that the classroom environment is welcoming to families and encourages constructive interaction with play materials and that the curriculum provides sufficient opportunities for creativity and engaging the children.
Although most families agreed or strongly agreed that the school is meeting or exceeding their expectations around communication, two families did disagree that conferences are of sufficient length. There were not any comments provided, so we are not sure if the 30-45 minute home visits, the fall 30-45 minute conferences, or the spring 30-60 minute conferences feel too long or too short, but please let us know. We strive to have consistent, meaningful, and regular communication with every family through regularly scheduled conferences, but also through emails, chats during arrival and dismissal times with teachers and other staff, and time for conversations at community events throughout the year. We know that your time is also limited and want to make these forms of communication as useful as possible, so please let us know how we can improve communications for your family.
In rating the Lab School in general 100% of those that responded agreed or strongly agreed that the Lab School offers a welcoming environment and we thank you for commending the hard work of the staff in creating this community. We did have a few families rate the school neutrally in the clarity around the philosophy and mission and about the emphasis on nutrition. There was only one comment that gave us some clarity with how to improve this work, so we have some updated nutrition information for the school. The new format for the monthly snack list categorizes each food item so it is easier for parents to see which two or three food groups were offered at school. In addition to the two food groups shown on the monthly calendar, 1% organic milk is offered every day to children without dietary restrictions to dairy and a milk alternative is available as well. An asterisk on the calendar denotes an organic item. We strive to have most of our fruits and vegetables be organic, and the dairy milk is always organic. Our snack selections are a mixture of items children enjoy while helping them try new things and offering food that will give them an opportunity to connect with their community during a snack time or meeting other developmental goals, such as sensory, fine motor, or creativity. You will also note that our snack list is tentative and some cooking projects may occur in individual classes that would change your child’s particular snack for the day. Please see your individual lesson plans and weekly documentation for additional details.
This year we had two additional questions about programming for the 2020-2021 school year. Families showed enthusiasm for adding a lunch bunch program, so that will begin in fall 2020. You can look for information on registration for that program when forms are due in the summer. Families were a bit more mixed on a longer day program, so we are still investigating that option for next year.
Thank you for your trust and confidence in the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School at the University of Minnesota. We look forward to a wonderful spring semester with each of you!