Ten years ago, Pound Ridge Elementary School gave my son, Tyler, a very warm welcome! We moved from Oregon to New York with only 6 weeks of school remaining. Before deciding which community to live in we went to visit schools. There’s a lot to be learned by visiting a school and taking a tour that can’t be discovered by merely looking at and reading statistics on a web site. After deciding on a house in the Pound Ridge Elementary boundaries, I notified the school we would be arriving mid-April.
My son Tyler was assigned to Dr. Laura Sgroi’s classroom. As a creative writing assignment all the students in the class wrote a letter about their interests and the school. I can’t tell you how exciting it was for my son to receive a large envelope with letters from all his soon to be new classmates in New York (keep in mind, this was before Facebook, email, and MySpace). I thought my son should reply to their letters so I gave him small sheets of stationary and he began the task of answering each of their letters. When finished, we mailed them all together and proceeded with the move.
On the day he arrived at Pound Ridge Elementary School, he knew something about each of his new classmates, the only thing he had to do was put a name with a face. The end of his first week in school I received a phone call from his teacher and my heart skipped a beat, worried there might be a problem. Instead, she was calling to report how well he had adjusted in the new class, telling me it’s “as if he had known them all for years.” I thanked her for breaking the ice and allowing the transition to be so smooth and I know it was because of the letters exchanged between the students.
My son has maintained the friendships he made at Pound Ridge Elementary. Tyler is now a junior in college and before he left for college where he plays Lacrosse for Middlebury College, he was with his friends. One of them told him he still had the reply letter Tyler wrote 9 years ago. A warm welcome and friendships that began with a letter, continues to grow, and will be remembered for years as those friendships become stronger. What else can I say about, “how to select the best school?”
Posted By: Sonja Lovas