Hess Holiday Family Feast

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“Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be part of.”

-Geri Weitzman 

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“As the world community develops in peace, it will open up great holidayFamily Feast-2untapped reservoirs in human nature.”

-Emily Greene Balch

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Highlights of 2016-2017 and Looking Ahead


fullsizeoutput_f114th grade- “When my friends taught me how to play football.

1st grade- “Making ur own bakery [in the sandbox].”

7th grade- “The overnight field trip at Clay’s cabin!”IMG_2085

5th grade- “Some things that used to be hard that aren’t that hard now…”

What’s your highlight from last year?IMG_0731

We are getting excited about the year ahead!

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Impressive TED Talk by Tisha Jones

We are so proud and inspired by Tisha Jones, a classroom teacher in the 2nd and 3rd grade classroom and our math specialist. Her love of math is contagious to teachers and students! Congrats! Enjoy it HERE

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Teacher Appreciation Week

Flowers are beautiful, food and treats are always appreciated, but nothing melts our hearts during Teacher Appreciation Week quite like hand-written notes of thanks from our students.



Dear Teachers, Thank you for teaching me. You have a great class. It’s warm and I want to tell you a tiny secret. The best part is the teachers in the class. Love, Sophia.

This one is from a first grader. Her teacher, Jenna, says of the note, “I think she hit the nail right on the head. It’s not the fancy anchor charts, facilities, or test scores that make a classroom “warm” it’s the teachers and the way that they love.”

Our thoughtful students didn’t forget our hard-working specials teachers. This is a note from a 5th grade student to her theater teacher, Alicia:


Dear Alicia, I would like to write you a note of thanks for all of the wonderful things you have taught us. Like, what blocking is and about center stage. In this letter, the spot light is on you. You have transformed a boring, sad, hopeless class into an exciting, new, inspiring class. I love how you teach theater and I hope you never stop. You are amazing. Thank you for being you. I am excited for Alice in Wonderland because theatre is my life and I think you feel the same. Sincerely, Joss/ Queen of Hearts

In short, we hope you keep the flowers and candy coming, but never underestimate the power of a hand-written note to truly touch a teacher’s heart. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Teaching Kindness

Today, many people are asking the question, “How do we parent our children to create a future filled with kindness and change the world for the better?” At Hess Academy, we are working hard to provide answers to this question. We work daily supporting children in becoming kind, compassionate, honest, and generous adults. Through our focus on social and emotional development in teaching “the Whole Child”, and experiences centered around service both in the classroom and in the field, we provide children with authentic ways to enact compassion and generosity. Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, also offers some thoughtful reflection on this topic in her blog post, Kindness, How you can teach children to care: “How do we increase the happiness and well-being of every child? We start by teaching children to care about others every day throughout the year. Learning to be givers shapes children’s values and provides opportunities to develop kindness, a virtue that improves lives and reduces violence and bullying.”

We consider teaching kindness to be just one of the many important jobs we have here at Hess Academy. Enjoy a few highlights of the kind gestures taking place in the 2nd  and 3rd grade classroom, and leave a comment with your own strategies for teaching kindness to your children!

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