Express Newsletter

OES Lower School Express Newsletter
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A Message from the Division Head

by David Lowell

I hope you came away from your parent and teacher conferences with a better understanding of your child’s progress in school and the teacher’s plans for the rest of the year.  During the course of conference conversations, the question of student support for your child may have arisen.  We are fortunate to have a Student Support Team (SST) in Lower School that is ready to assist with the education and support of our students. The Lower School Student Support Team consists of the Assistant Heads of Lower School, Learning Resource Coordinator, Counselor, Chaplain, All School Nurse and Head of Lower School. 

  • Vickie Soli-Compton (Ms. Vickie) is our new counselor. She supports each and every student pre-k through 5th grade. Vickie goes into the classroom and/or students join her in the mindfulness and movement room for whole group social-emotional learning (SEL) and wellness lessons. Vickie helps students grow their social-emotional intelligence by incorporating, mindfulness, yoga, brain and body science, how to identify emotions in self/others, self-regulation tools, problem-solving techniques, and leadership skills into the OES counseling program. She supports students throughout the school day at recess, lunch, and in the classroom. Vickie also hosts fun lunches to build community! She provides small groups as needed and consults with teachers and families around how we can best support students. When children need assistance with social-emotional problem-solving, Vickie often helps students access known and new tools for collaboration and friendship. 
  • Ari Sternberg (Mr. Ari) is our Learning Resource Coordinator. He coordinates services for children, serves as a liaison with outside providers, consults with teachers about accommodations and oversees some assessments like the ERBs. You’ll often find Ari meeting with teachers and families about individual students’ needs and in classrooms supporting accommodations, occasionally working with small groups outside the classroom.  
  • Phillip Craig (Chaplain Phillip) is our LS Chaplain and Head Chaplain. In Lower School, Phillip visits classrooms, facilitates our weekly Chapels and Gatherings, and supports families during times of need, transition, and change. He helps us stay rooted, both in classrooms and as a larger community, in a rhythm of gathering and reflection, an essential part of our Episcopal identity.  
  • Kirstin McAuley and Chris Thompson (Ms. Kirstin and Ms. Thompson) are our Assistant Heads of Lower School, Kirstin for PreK-Grade 1 and Chris for Second-Fifth Grade. Kirstin and Chris routinely work with children at recess, in classrooms and community spaces to support both their social-emotional and academic learning. They consult with teachers and families about strategies and learning approaches, coordinate curriculum and participate in a variety of student support meetings.  
    • Wondering what happens if a problem arises at school and Chris or Kirstin end up working with your child? This video from the director of the Momentous Institute describes well our similar philosophy about helping kids through difficult moments and reflects some of what they may experience if they visit one of our offices.  A significant portion of our work is to help children calm themselves, problem-solve, and make amends as they navigate the inevitable challenges that arise when working in a community. Kirstin and Chris also work with children in small groups related to leadership and special initiatives. 
  • David Lowell (Mr. Lowell) is our Head of Lower School. In addition to his work keeping us connected to whole school initiatives, overseeing our faculty professional development and overall Lower School operations, David also is a frequent support person for children at recesses, attends student support meetings, and supports children with social-emotional problem-solving and leadership. 

Don’t be surprised to hear from members of our ‘Student Support Team’ at various points in your child’s Lower School experience! In everything from morning transitions into school to a rough or celebratory moment in the day, we are often the people with flexibility during the day to support students and communicate with families. Our purpose is always to know our students well, partner with families, to nurture students’ strengths and affinities and grow the tools and strategies that will help them move forward. We highly value the work we do, and we look forward to working with our students and families during your Lower School years.

LS Reminders
All School Parent University - November 14 at 7 – 8:30 p.m. LS Commons Talking with Our Kids About Race
LS Parent Partnership Meeting - Friday, November 22 from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. LS Library
The meeting will focus on continuing the diversity and inclusion theme from Parent University as well as November’s wellness theme of risk taking.