As we enter November, we may naturally think of Thanksgiving. It is interesting to note that the word “pilgrim” is actually derived from the Latin word peregrinus, and that pilgrim refers a person who is on a trip to some place of special significance. Whether our students study the Latin language that gave us that term or other World Languages, we can analogize to those notions as we help them blaze an educational path to that special place the future holds for them as they strive for excellence.
The path through November is filled with events and holidays. Staff Training will occur on November 7th, and report cards will be issued on November 14-15th in the elementary schools, which will also have open houses those days. Report cards in the high school will be issued November 28th, and Parents’ Night will be the next day. Our department’s Spanish classes scheduled a combined learning experience and celebration on November 1st and 2nd by focusing on traditions and cultural lessons connected with Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday celebrating friends and family and remembrance of departed relatives. These events and this learning builds on similar undertakings from October, such as two teachers receiving training on October 20th at the Museum of Natural History and 25 students attending Classics Day at Montclair State University, where they were able to participate in collegiate level lectures and competitions involve Latin/classics and their connection to modern art, literature and politics.
Of course thoughts of Thanksgiving also bring to mind the role of Native Americans in our history, November is also fittingly Native American Heritage Month. Therefore, as we celebrate and give thanks this November, we should not only celebrate the educational pilgrim in each of our students as they pursue their own path through our district, but we should also remember those already here who welcomed the pilgrims and taught them how to survive as they pursued that path.
Monica Flynn, Director