By Smarty Guest Blogger Katy Ridnouer, Founder and Head of School, VERITAS Community School, CFA
At VERITAS Community School, CFA, we believe that consistently challenging the whole student in each of our students is the best avenue to high academic achievement and a solidly healthy childhood. Dr. Ratey, the author of SPARK, found that exercise sparks the master molecule of the learning process by optimizing mindset, simplifying the learning process, and promoting flexible thinking. These are skills every student need to be successful, so we give our students over 90 minutes of exercise each school day, and because of it, our students are engaged in and out of the classroom.
As a school leader, I love settling into the rhythm of the school day. Whether I am welcoming a child, writing a report, speaking with a parent, or brainstorming with a teacher, I know that I’m doing my part to move the dial for each of my students for their academic and wellness achievement. Every once in a while, I receive a message that reminds me of how each of us at VERITAS do our part to achieve the bigger goal: VERITAS empowers our students to be change agents.
A few days ago, I received this message from a Kindergarten parent*:
“Today after work I decided to go for a quick run. Shawn asked if he could go with me and I immediately thought, ‘Gosh, he will slow me down, and I have a small window to get some exercise in.’ Instead of saying no, I reluctantly told him he could run down the street and back with me. I’m a slow runner; Shawn is FAST, so he had to slow up to wait for me. I was in awe of the EASE he had running. My heart was about to explode with pride at his physical ability. I want my boys to be strong as would any other mother. The strength and agility in him I have noticed after being at Veritas is so heartwarming to see. I want to thank YOU for your mission and focus on physical activity. You are making a huge difference in the lives of our children, and I wanted to give you all the kudos you deserve!”
As a parent myself, I can relate. It is easy to get stuck at a certain stage of my children’s development, capping my expectations for them at a comfortable spot. For example, I delayed teaching my 6th grade son how to iron his clothes or how to wash dishes because he’s my youngest, and I wanted to keep him my baby as long as possible. However, he needs to grow up, so I’ve taught him. He is so proud of his Sunday clothes that he irons himself.
Parenting is like Velcro; at first, the need for a parent’s constant presence is very strong; in fact, the child cannot live without you. It’s hard to separate child from parent, the hook from the loop. Over time, the need for a parent’s constant presence diminishes as the child is able to function without a parent. The hook and the loop come apart a little more easily. At times, we parents might feel as if we’ve abdicated our duties if we encourage their independence. The truth is that by encouraging independence, we are giving our children the skills and the safe practice that they need to become successful adults. Our job is to essentially work ourselves out of a job.
A thriving community needs citizens who are independent, willing, and able in both mind and body. At VERITAS, we attend to the needs of the whole child, so our students will become the change they want to see in the world.
VERITAS is currently accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year for grades K-4 until March 6, 2016. Applications are available on our website at and in person in our school office. Call 980-333-1939 for more details about VERITAS Community School, CFA.
*The child’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.
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2943 Providence Trail Lane
Charlotte, NC 28270