Team Anastasis, The first weeks of school are usually pretty hectic; it is a time to re-establish routines, get to know new classmates, and switch gears from “summer brain” to “school brain”. This year the first weeks of school have felt different. Calmer. I commented to Shelly several times over the past week how quickly everyone seems to have fallen into a routine…the way it feels after we come back from a week off, not months away from seeing each other. It is a nice change of pace for the first weeks back! The first weeks of every school year we call “detox” week. Our detox week is a time for students to remember that they matter. It is an opportunity for them to re-frame the way they think about learning. It is a time for them to share their passions with each other. It is a chance to realize that working together is more productive than competing in learning. It is a safe time to explore creativity and individuality. It is also the week that new students start to discover that the relationship with their teacher is different here; that the goal of coming to school isn’t an “A” at the end of the semester, but real learning and growth. I love this week! We see kids begin to come back to life; the spark in their eyes that can only come through discovering something new. For some kids, this week is life changing. Others are a little more hesitant; they don’t trust the freedom that we offer yet. They wonder when the “real work” will start and when they will settle back into mediocrity. For these students, the detox week is a glimpse of things to come, the freedom in learning and exploring. The culmination of detox week is Identity Day and Ice Blocking. Identity Day is an opportunity for students to share an area of passion with the school community. As a school, we take a moment to see the world from another point of view. It is a spectacular day of honoring each child for who they were created to be and celebrating each other’s gifts. This is a day to build community! Thank you to all who joined us. It is important to us that ALL of our community comes together to get to know each other. Ice Blocking is, of course, one of the favorite days of the year. We look forward to the chance to play together, to be silly, and get to know the whole community on a new level. During Ice Blocking barriers are broken down, friendships forged and a community bound together for a year of life and learning. As we wrap up Detox Week, I am so excited for the upcoming year! This week reminds me of the incredible community that has been brought together, that this is a place where learning looks like life. That the questions this year will be as important as the answers. Thank you for being a part of Team Anastasis!