Headmaster Blog for March 5, 2013

Schools-As-Marsupials?  Summit First Grade goes to Wallaby Ranch

Not too long ago the Summit First-Graders went to the Wallaby Ranch in Fall City and a good time was had by all. You may ask, what is a wallaby? Well, according to Webster, a wallaby is “Any of various small or medium-sized kangaroos; often brightly colored.” So, what is a kangaroo? Again, Webster, “A kangaroo is any of several herbivorous leaping marsupials of Australia and New Guinea having large powerful hind legs and a long thick tail.” Of course, that begs the question, what is a marsupial? A little more investigation reveals that a marsupial is an animal of the class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, of which the females have a pouch (the marsupium) containing the mammary glands where the young are fed and carried. On our trip to the ranch we learned that marsupials give birth to a live fetus (hence mammal), which then crawls up the furry abdomen of the mother, then into the mother’s pouch (hence marsupial), where the tiny fetus is nourished and protected until ready to fend for itself. Pretty amazing!

I got thinking about marsupials as a metaphor of what we are trying to do at Summit. Up to a certain stage a child belongs at home, secure in the “pouch” of a family’s love and protection. Then, like a young joey [juvenile wallaby or kangaroo], it’s time for the child to venture out and explore the world-at-large—but not out of reach of the pouch, whether literally or figuratively. One of the ways we do that with our children is to enroll them in a school which, ideally, will also offer an extension of the love and protection characteristic of the family “pouch”.

At Summit we strive to be that kind of school; an extension of the pouch (though never a surrogate for it, en loco parentis). I don’t know if a Classical education has ever been compared with the order Marsupialia, but I think a pouch has a lot going for it as a picture of what we are trying to do in the lives of our students at this time and in this place.

Heads-up for the coming week:

  • The Summit Annual Auction is this Friday night, March 8 and tickets are available in Dr. Orton’s office. I encourage you to invite friends and neighbors for this fun event! We are counting on all the parents’ participation to make the auction a success!
  • The Summit Speech Meet is fast approaching.  Please encourage your student as they prepare and practice their presentation.
  • Please remember to bring your empty cartridges which can be given to teachers, or can be placed directly into the Cartridge World box in the library.
  • Again, please take a moment to discover what your student may have lost that you would like to find in the Lost and Found (located in the Library next to Mrs. Miller’s First Grade class).
  • We still have an immediate need for recess supervisors!! Open slots are Monday lunch recess. If any of you could participate in this way it would be great appreciated by our teachers who need this break time for planning.
  • Parents, when you pick up your children please ask them to help police the playground and check to see that they are leaving it in good shape.
  • Please PRAY for our school!
Headmaster Blog for March 5, 2013