The Journey from K to 8

I truly have the most wonderful job. I get to observe and participate in the transformation of our students from young children, eager and inquisitive, to adolescents who are ready to take on the world. I get to watch this gradual metamorphosis as it unfolds in each child, and it is truly inspiring. Walking from one end of the building to the other, peeking in on each class, is to witness a timeline of amazing growth and development happening over their nine years at James River. It never gets old and is endlessly surprising and fascinating.
In particular this month, I am impressed with the patience and maturity all our students have shown since their return from holiday break. The normal rhythm of the school year has been interrupted repeatedly, yet they have taken it all in stride. Fire drills, COVID-19, and winter weather have all played their role in making this month one to remember.
It is wonderful to have the middle school students back in the building following a week of distance learning, a holiday, and a weather delay. Their resilience and flexibility is evident once again as many of them (all of the 8th grade, and some 7th graders) jumped right into mid-year exams in their high school credit courses (Earth Science, Algebra I or II, and a world language course) upon their return. These exams require scholarly skills, which have been instilled in the students during their time at James River: dedication, focus, organization, perseverance, communication, and confidence. Mastering an entire semester’s worth of material for use on a cumulative exam is a new experience and challenge for these students. As they near the end of their time at James River, these exams are good practice for the next steps in their academic journeys. Numerous alumni (and their parents) have commented that their experiences at James River equipped them well for high school and beyond. Our graduates continue their learning with the scholarly skills they gained in their first academic home, James River, and leave here well-prepared for whatever their futures might bring.
As educators, we work hard every day to fulfill our mission, but we could not be the school we are without the continued support and partnership we receive from the James River community: parents, grandparents, alumni, and alumni families. And I take very seriously our commitment at James River to provide our children the best K-8 education in the area. We never rest on our success. We are always looking for ways to improve, and we are happily proud of the legacy we have built together over the years. Thank you for sharing your children with us and for the myriad ways in which you support our school.