1199 B Ave.
Terrebonne, OR 97760
Phone: 541-923-4856
Fax: 541-923-4825
Email: info@redmond.k12.or.us

Principal’s Welcome & Monthly Blog

Greetings Terrebonne Families and Community and Welcome to the 17-18 School Year—

My name is Trevor Flaherty and I am the Principal of Terrebonne Community School. Before I even stepped foot on the TCS campus full time, I had already heard from a variety of people what a special place this is. As my fourth year at Terrebonne begins, I can tell you not a single one of them was wrong!

I look forward to each and every opportunity I will have this year to connect with students, families, and members of the community on a personal level.  In my view, TCS is a special place due to the partnerships it has established over many years between these three essential groups.  I pride myself on having open and honest communication with all and I encourage you to take time to share your ideas and experiences with me here at the school.

As the year progresses, I will post my most recent message from our newsletter, in addition to any other pertinent information in regard to what is happening here at Terrebonne, below in a “blog format.”  My hope is that the information I provide is both insightful and thought-provoking, so much so you feel compelled to come and visit with me.  I look forward to our future conversations!

Sincerely,

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


December 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

While visiting in two of my teacher’s classrooms recently I was reminded of something powerful, which in my view seems to be lost in schools in the 21st century…the power of play.  Schools no doubt are responsible for explicitly teaching students how to read and and how to engage with math, as a means of helping them become productive and cognitively engaged citizens in their communities.  Both structured and unstructured play however, I would argue based on proven research, provides students opportunities to develop additional life skills that will allow them to function in society at much higher levels.  

During my time in these classrooms, students were engaged in both structured and unstructured play and were observed doing the following: collaborating, thinking critically, creating, sharing, working together, being creative, observing, modeling, presenting, discussing, justifying, generalizing, persevering, sense making, writing, drawing, and developing ideas…to name a few.  I can’t think of another activity we do on a daily basis that combines and requires this wide array of skills to be employed all at the same time.  To those who say play doesn’t matter or that students can’t possibly learn from play, I’d implore you to rethink your stance.  

Below you will find link to some links articles and organization focused on the power of play, which are all applicable to both school and home.  I encourage you to take some time to read and research information about the power of play and the impact play can have on the overall development of our children. Additionally, I can’t think of a better time (perhaps heading into summer) to start thinking about the power of play than heading into an extended break with children.  

www.playworks.org

www.nifplay.org

Scientists Say Child’s Play Helps Build a Better Brain – NPR

Learning Through Play – Lego Foundation

How Play Connects to Learning – NAEYC

How to Raise Brilliant Children, According to Science – NPR

Stuart Brown, Play is More than Fun – TEDx Talk

And for those who really want to go for it…

The Importance of Play – Report from University of Cambridge

My staff continues to develop a well-rounded education for your children, one that is balanced by both explicit and implicit teaching and learning opportunities.  In my view, it is imperative that students have access to explicit instruction of the core content areas within a variety of contexts, including contexts predicated heavily on play.  

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!  

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


November 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

I view this month’s newsletter message as a followup to my note from October, which focused on communication, collaboration, and cooperation as they pertain to the school-to-family partnership.  In that message, my final thought to all had to do with how we treat each other as human beings, and how much our modeling of how we treat each other for our children, matters deeply.  

This year, one of our primary goals as a school community is to build a framework where we as a staff will explicitly and implicitly teach and model the social behaviors we believe are paramount to a student’s future success (including the topics of communication, collaboration, and cooperation listed above).  As we embark on the development of this framework, I am thinking consistently in regard to the key areas of focus which will be most beneficial for our students.  One specific area of need, especially considering the recent dialogue of men and their mistreatment of women (in the media) is the topic of how we help our boys become “real” men.  As a father of a young boy (and girl), this topic is of particular interest to me.  

Questions I ask myself frequently in regard to teaching our boys how to be men include: What does it mean to be a real man?  How do we help our boys see how they can contribute to their communities when they are no longer required to be the “breadwinner” or the “hunter?”  How do we help our boys develop and understand the healthy relationships and partnerships needed for future success, in particular with girls and women?  Defining what it means to be a real man in the 21st century is something every boy needs to learn about.  They need time to understand who they are as human beings from an anthropological standpoint and how their roles have changed over time, how they can contribute to a world predicated more on equity and equality than at any other time in history, and most importantly they need to learn how to truly respect the other half of our species (all people for that matter).  

There are a number of resources one could find on this topic, but there are three I’d like to share that struck a chord for me over the years.  The first is an article in Parade Magazine from 2004 titled, He Turns Boys Into Men. The article is told from the viewpoint of former NFL football player Joe Ehrmann, who now coaches high school football and teaches his players how to be real men.  Ironically, I shared this article with my wife over ten years ago and she told me at the time to hang on to it as “I will most likely want to use it someday” (with students or my own children).  The second is a book titled, Boy Writers: Helping Them Reclaim Their Voices by Ralph Fletcher.  The book was a great read, and delves into the primary differences between boys and girls and how they learn, helping us understand how boys tick and how we can engage them more positively and productively.  The third and final resource is a book titled, The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian.  This book reaches deep into the heart of boys from an anthropological standpoint, helping the reader understand how the roles of boys and men have changed over time, and the struggles this has created for them in understanding themselves and how they can be contributors in today’s world.  

I look forward to tackling this topic and many others, all of which we work with on a daily basis as parents, educators, and community members.  I hope these resources can be of benefit to you and your family.  

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!  

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


October 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

Despite a great start to the year by many indicators, some recent scenarios have caused me to reflect on the topics of cooperation, collaboration, and communication—as it pertains to how we partner with families and school staff, to meet the needs of your children and the children of others.  The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” has never rung so true for me as it does at this point in my career.   I am a firm believer that through a substantive partnership of families and schools, we can make a significant difference in the lives of your children.  

There is a wide array of reasons that my three C’s listed above don’t work as they are intended to work.  I think it’s safe to say two potentially significant strains on our ability to cooperate, collaborate, and communicate well include our nation’s current political climate and society’s preoccupation with social media and reality television.  As these outside forces are omnipresent in our everyday lives, it is imperative for us to be aware of their impact on our interactions not only between school staff and families and student to student but in our personal lives as well.  In my view, this is a rationale for our school-to-family partnership to work even harder, educating our children with core academic focus areas and developing their social and emotional skills.  Having this focus will ultimately allow them to navigate the world with more empathy, compassion, and explicit knowledge, making sound decisions along the way.  

In order for families and school staff to establish and maintain a robust and trusting partnership, it is essential that we have clear and respectful conversations about the children we share.  Without this type of communication, the partnership erodes, distrust takes hold, and in my view, the children suffer.  Ultimately I believe we are all working toward the same goal:  to develop healthy, happy, literate, engaged citizens of our local and global communities.  To do this our partnership must be united and strong and I believe firmly how we treat each other and model for our children matters deeply!

I encourage you as always to stay connected to your children and understand fully what they are doing both in and out of school.  I am eager to strengthen our partnership throughout the year as we continue on this journey called education.  Don’t hesitate to stop in and visit or call at any time as I value immensely your insights as parents and members of the community.  

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


September 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

Wow, was it great to see students coming through our doors this past week!  I am so excited to see everyone and am truly looking forward to getting back to the business of teaching the children of the Terrebonne community.  I want to formally welcome you all back and I hope you are as excited as I am for another great school year!

While my excitement is hard to contain to be sure, I am a realist at heart and know all too well the challenges we as human beings face as we try to find balance in our lives. This school year, I am on a mission with my staff, to take substantive steps toward understanding how to care for ourselves through the management of all the stressors in our lives, both personal and professional. My hope is that through this process, staff will begin to work with our students in a way that helps them manage the stressors in their own lives, thus providing students more opportunities to access the information we share with them during the course of a school day.  I encourage you as families, as I will with my staff throughout this year, to take time to slow down and focus on what truly matters…maintaining a happy and healthy family through finding balance in all you do.  

Let’s have a great start to the year.  I look forward to partnering with you on this journey.  Don’t hesitate to stop in and visit or call at any time!  

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


June 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

Another school year is coming to a close.  As a parent myself, I understand fully the anxiety this brings as we are all searching for ways to handle the summer down time in a way that allows us to maintain our work schedules and provide opportunities for our children that are safe, substantive, and cost effective.  

The last week in May, our focus for Morning Gathering was creativity.  Middle school students helped me with a demonstration on creativity using boxes.  I followed this demonstration with a read aloud of the book, Not a Box.  The premise of the book, and our demonstration, capitalized on challenging the creative spirit of children, detailing all the ways they can use a box for play (more importantly, something that does not require a screen).  Below is a link to the video version of this book, and I hope it can provide some inspiration as you head into the summer months.  

Not a Box

The 16-17 school year has been a whirlwind of emotions for me, with many highs and lows.  As I look back, I am proud of the things we accomplished with your children, both academically and socially.  I recognize too there are things we as a school need to continue to work on to provide an optimal learning environment for our entire student population and their families.  I am excited about my time to reflect upon the year over the summer, and come back first thing in August refreshed and ready to go for another year.  

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!  

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


May 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

Tragedies like the one our Terrebonne family experienced the last week in April are heartbreaking.  As a parent, my first instinctive reaction is to place my own children’s faces upon this unthinkable situation.  As an educator, I can’t help but look at the faces of the children I serve on a daily basis at Terrebonne Community School, and think the same.  Questions run through mind by the minute, wondering why something like this happened, what incidents took place to push someone down this path, and how do we prevent this from happening again?

Despite my efforts to try and understand the answers to these questions, I will undoubtedly never truly understand.  The best I believe I can hope for as a parent is to continue to let my children know they are loved deeply and cared about immensely, every day.  As an educator, I will continue to work with students each and every day to let them them know they have the capacity to do what they want in this life regardless of the challenges they face, that the world is a better place with them than without them, and that having compassion, understanding, and empathy for others, are skills worth having.  

This news has caused me to think deeply about who I am as a parent and educator, and what messages I send to people in my personal and professional life.  It has caused me to be reflective of my parenting, and most definitely about how I work with your children.  For parents, I encourage you to engage with your children, be with them, attempt to understand them, and most importantly, listen to them.  I encourage you to be well-informed about their interests, who they spend time with, where they are headed, and how they are using social media.  Though these steps seem small, they have big impact.  And, should you need any resources, please reach out to us at the school and we will support you any way we are able.  

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!  

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


April 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

Discipline.  There are a multitude of definitions for the word discipline, however when most of us hear it, we think of consequences or punitive measures, which typically we put in place to help change the behaviors of our children or students. The irony of this is not lost on me as the word discipline comes from the Latin disciplina, which actually means to teach (presumably consequences and punitive measures are thus some form of teaching).  There are other variations of the origin of the word that are similar in nature, including discipulus, which is Latin for disciple or pupil (again and implication of a student/child receiving teaching).  

According to the National Institute of Justice, 75% of individuals arrested for a crime will be rearrested within five years.  Over 50% of these individuals will be rearrested within one year.  Considering this information, I believe it makes a case for changing the way we work with students from a consequential and punitive driven system of discipline to one that is more empathic and dialogue driven.  This would mean that we need to use the word discipline as it was intended and teach students how to manage themselves in the wide variety of situations they will navigate throughout their lives.

I’d like to share a quick story with you as if fits nicely with the message above, about rethinking how we “discipline” our children and students.  This past week, I spent some time with my family in Southern California.  While in the pool one day, my son (5) and daughter (7) made friends with another friendly seven year old.  They played and played and eventually the mother of the friend came over and struck up a conversation with me and my father-in-law.  As we talked, the friend was trying to get her mother’s attention by doing the tried and true, “mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…”.  Needless to say, it didn’t work.  What struck me as interesting, is I overheard my own two children begin to coach this little girl on the appropriate way to get someone’s attention when you want it.  My son said, “If you want to talk to your mom when she is talking, all you have to do is wait for a pause and then say, ‘excuse me.’” My daughter followed up with some other tidbits of advice as well and eventually the girl got her mother’s attention.  

I share this story with you as means to demonstrate the value of teaching, and that if we take the time to teach, kids will learn.  The advice my children gave to this little girl were the exact things my wife and I teach on a daily basis in our home.  It was evidence that through continued dialogue and empathy taking, we can get kids to do the proverbial right thing.  Now, by no means are my kids angels and they have before-school meltdowns and brother-sister conflict regularly, just like everyone else. The bigger point here is that by persevering with this process, it can replace the continuous need for punitive measures of discipline; we can shift from a place of adults needing to control a situation to teaching children and students how to develop self-control.    

The approach I have taken in working with students here at Terrebonne is a variation on the system of Restorative Justice practices.  When students wrong other students or have any variety of problem, we engage in problem solving meetings. Through these meetings, students are able to safely share their feelings and thoughts, and learn about how our actions affect others (empathy).  Through this process, students are able to feel heard, share what they need to move forward, and come to resolutions.  This is a form of discipline, in my view, as it was intended to be.  It’s about teaching!

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


March 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

Every year, for the last 20 years I have spent in education, the late winter and early spring seem to be  a time loaded with stress for students, families, and school staff. The stressors come in all different shapes and sizes, and responses to these stressors are equally as different.  Students seem to find the littlest ways to irritate one another with subsequent responses that can seem over the top; families are juggling work, internal dynamics, school, sports and other activities and life events; and school staff are navigating all of the above for a wide range of students within their classroom for a long stretch without breaks, in addition to managing the stressors of their own lives.

The effects of stress on our minds and bodies is well-researched.  Physical responses to stress include symptoms such as but not limited to insomnia, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, weight gain and loss, constipation, chest pain, and headaches.  Cognitive and emotional symptoms of stress include but are not limited to anxiety, lack of focus, poor judgement, disorganization, forgetfulness, depression, and agitation.  Reading this list is enough to make me want to curl up in a ball and remove myself from daily interaction with everyone, knowing full well just how many stressors I face on a daily basis.  Since I know this is not an option, the question then becomes, “How do we manage the stressors in our lives so we are able to be a productive and engaged students, educators, or parents and guardians?”

A response to this question can come in many forms and this is a topic of interest to me in particular as I work with students to reduce the stressors in their lives to improve their overall health and general experience while here at school.  I am also interested in learning about ways to manage our own stress as educators and how the modeling of self-care can positively impact the students we serve.  Below are some resources I have come across recently that are applicable to the topic of stress and stress management, which might provide you with some insight as to how stress impacts all of our lives.  

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


February 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

It feels as though everywhere I look these days, I see negativity abound.  Much of it unfortunately seems to be derived from our recent presidential election.  This is truly unfortunate, regardless of politics, because I believe there is much to celebrate.  The celebrations I refer to in my world include things such as my own happy and healthy children; my wife and the aw I have for the drive and zest she exudes with everything she does in the world of education; the staff I work with each day and the amount of effort and passion they bring to their jobs to educate our students; and the students I see on a daily basis, with smiles on their faces and brains growing new neurons like crazy, to name a few.

Thinking more broadly about things to celebrate, I came across this article recently with information compiled by an economist whose organization focuses on analyzing global data.  The data reviewed in this article looked at the improvements made worldwide on topics such as poverty, education, and health, over the past 200 years.  When I read information like this and see detailed and user-friendly graphics that put ‘life’ in perspective, it gives me hope that as people, we are in fact moving in the right direction (although it doesn’t always feel that way).  Enjoy.

Proof That Life is Getting Better for Humanity in 5 Charts

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


January 2017

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and the best of luck to those of you who embarked on the New Year’s resolution journey (I opted out this year as I seem to never quite get it done).  If the winter break for you was anything like mine, it was laden with all manner of highs and lows and I have a hunch that you most certainly were ready to have your kids back into a routine (as was I).

I read a lot over the winter break and a few things caught my eye that I wanted to share with you all, especially considering the holiday season (ironically what I am sharing are videos).  Gratitude is a theme I have read about extensively and have come to understand there are significant physiological and psychological benefits that happen within our own bodies when we demonstrate the act of gratitude.  Because of this information, my wife and I work diligently with our own children at developing a competency of demonstrating gratitude as it does wonders for them as individuals and benefits others immensely.  I encourage you to take a look at this brief video sharing the benefits of demonstrating gratitude, and some simple steps you can take to work at developing this competency with your own children.  

The Gratitude Experiment

In thinking about our learning community, I was reminded after reviewing this next resource about the importance of an “all hands on deck” mentality as it pertains to developing and maintaining thriving students, families and communities, and how many different components need to be in place for this to happen.  When specific components are absent, this can affect students, families, and communities in ways that are detrimental to their overall well being.  I liken this to a three-legged stool where when all three legs are in place you have a stout and steady place to sit.  Conversely, when one leg is missing, the stool falls.  Take a peek at this resource titled The Resilience Game, which affords the user an opportunity to see how to create and maintain thriving students, families and communities.  It may help you think about ways you can participate with improving or enhancing the community that surrounds you.  

The Resilience Game

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!  

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


December 2016

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

At forty years of age and as a father of two children, I find myself sounding more and more like my own father.  In the past couple of years I have been looking at kids of all ages and making statements such as, “I didn’t act that way when I was a kid” or “Where have their manners gone?” and even the ole reliable “Kids have lost all respect for authority”, just like my father.  I think every generation believes their own somehow had it figured out, but what we find is that generally speaking, it’s always been the same (there are quotes similar to these as far back as Socrates, mind you).

Recently I attended a conference in Portland, from which I gleaned a significant amount of information (on a variety of topics in education) which I hope to share with our staff, students, and families over the remainder of this school year.  A short five minute video that was shared during a session of the conference, caused me to pause and reflect on something that has perplexed me over the past decade, in particular with respect to kids and how they operate (or don’t) “these days”…their ability to assume a task and persevere to see it come to fruition.  This in fact is something I see many students struggle with daily at Terrebonne.  I share this motivational video with you as a means to seeing how one group of children on the other side of the world, had an idea, and persevered to see it through.  I, as does my staff, continue to find ways to motivate our students, instill a love of learning, and help them develop the work ethic needed to be successful in life.  

Panyee Football Club

In writing on the topic of perseverance for this month’s newsletter, I was reminded of another interesting piece I heard a few years ago I’d like to share with you as well. While this NPR selection discusses a number of interesting topics including East versus West educational practices, they all touch on this idea of perseverance, what it means, and perhaps how we as educators, parents and caregivers can foster it within the children we connect with daily.

Struggle for Smarts?  How Eastern and Western Cultures Tackle Learning

Lastly, and unrelated to above, I feel compelled to share some information in regard to gratitude, as we are in the midst of the holiday season.  I have found there is almost too much information on this topic, in addition to gratitude and how we show it being a very personal trait which looks different for everyone.  In that spirit, I leave you with a link to a number of articles on the topic of gratitude from a website I refer to often called the Greater Good Science Center, whose mission is to provide balance in our lives through translating science into happiness.  Happy reading!

The Greater Good Science Center: Articles About Gratitude

If I don’t have a chance to visit with you personally before we head to winter break, have a happy holiday season however you celebrate it.  As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


November 2016

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

November is here and with it brings the start of wet weather.  I am happy to report however this has not dampened the creative spirit of my staff, as they are working hard to develop and implement highly engaging lessons for your children to take part in each day.  I have spoken to a number of parents this year who have commented over and over how much fun their kids are having with school and that they come home daily telling them about all the fun learning activities they are engaged with.  I will also tell you I have spoken to a number of my staff this year who have commented on how much fun they are having with our Whole Child Wednesdays as they infuse a wide variety of integrated learning experiences into their daily practice, including art projects tied to the math and reading curricula, creating germs out of Legos and learning about the transmission of communicable diseases, building model landforms and creating different types of weather experiments to better understand how they affect one another, and practicing the design process through the construction of all manner of engineering masterpieces, to name a few.  

Considering our focus this year on the embedding of high-quality and integrated hands-on activities with our students, and as part of our school’s Continuous Improvement Plan, I am assembling a team of Terrebonne Community School stakeholders to take part in the development of new and improved mission and vision statements for our learning community.  This is important work that necessitates the involvement of parents, educators and community members, all of whom have a vested interest in Terrebonne Community School.  While I don’t yet have a confirmed date for our first meeting, if you are interested in being part of a team that will help shape the mission and vision of of our learning community, please contact me as soon as possible.  

During the week of October 17, we were the fortunate recipients of a visit from the Tooth Taxi.  This is an organization whose mission is to improve the lives of students through the care of their basic dental needs.  Mr. Maslow would be proud of our efforts on this front as the Tooth Taxi provided 56 of our students with over $24,000 dollars in free dental services, ensuring these students a far greater opportunity to engage in school, free from mouth pain.  

Last year we created a space for a Welcome Center at Terrebonne.  The space is a designated area for families with young children, children who are not yet school age, to come and engage with their local learning community.  Families in the past have coordinated days to come to the Welcome Center with their children and connect with other families (and enjoy a cup of coffee and good adult conversation too).  There is also a workspace that includes a desk, computer, and access to a printer. I encourage you to stop by and take advantage of our Welcome Center any time.  

Conferences are fast approaching….November 3 and 4.  This is a great time for families to connect with our teaching staff and get an update on the progress your child is making this year.  These personal connections are imperative to the overall success of your child so we look forward to seeing you next week.  If you are unable to make these dates, please coordinate with your child’s teacher as they are more than willing to accommodate alternative times.  

Changing gears a bit, as I think about my own children (they are 7 and 5), my wife and I consistently discuss what we hope for them and their future with respect to school, social experiences, and life in general.  Through these discussions we always seem to arrive back at one overarching theme–happiness.  We want our kids to be happy, plain and simple. Happiness I would argue is something as parents we all want for our kids; however I have found the definition of happiness to be very different to everyone.  Recently I came across this TEDx video from a psychologist discussing happiness as it pertains to success, or rather success as it pertains to happiness.  I took a lot away from this video and hope you do too.  

The Happy Secret to Better Work

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


October 2016

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

We are officially off and running with the 16-17 school year.  Students and staff are back in their routines and I am amazed at how many high quality learning opportunities have already been shared with your children.  Some of those learning opportunities have been outside of our building (such as trips to the Lava Lands and Spring Creek with 4th, 5th and Middle School) and others within (such as working through the design process creating protective coverings for eggs and making tin foil boats and testing testing their buoyancy in 1st grade).  I can tell you now, our teachers have some really exciting and innovative things planned for your children this year and I look forward to hearing from you about those experiences.  

Changing gears a bit, as I think about my role in our school, an essential quality I must have as a leader of our learning community is the ability to have empathy.  Empathy is a quality that allows me to walk in others’ shoes and truly identify with their needs.  Empathy for the job my staff does on a daily basis as they work with large numbers of students in the classroom.  Empathy for students who encounter challenging life situations.  Empathy for students as they navigate their lives as social beings.  And Empathy for families with respect to how hard it is to manage work, school, your kids, and life as it comes at you every single day.  Recently a staff member shared this YouTube video with me, which I believe summarizes the essence of the word empathy.  

The Toughest Job in the World

Empathy is a quality I have developed over my 40 years, and one I continue to work on.  It is a challenging skill to master and one I would argue may never fully be mastered.  Empathy is a skill predicated on making emotional connections with others and the world around us and one that can be uncomfortable to engage with at times.  This is a primary skill I teach students daily through my interactions with them as we solve problems together when they arise.  It is a life skill that will serve them well when they learn to use it.  

As always, I encourage you to partner with us on this journey called education and to share your thoughts and ideas with me at any time.  My door is always open!

Trevor Flaherty, Principal


September 2016

Greetings Terrebonne Students, Families and Community Members—

Welcome back to another school year at Terrebonne Community School.  Our staff has been hard at work planning for the year ahead and all it will bring, and I am certain you will be pleased with the results.  

Part of this hard work stemmed from efforts last year.  Our leadership team worked diligently to move us from a Targeted Assistance Title I model to that of a School-Wide Title I model, one where all students have an opportunity to receive federally funded supports in math and reading rather than K-2 only.  In addition to the expanded supports for our students, built-in enrichment opportunities were at the core of work.  Staff have spent significant time planning for what we refer to as our Whole Child Wednesdays, where students will have opportunities to engage with academic content through project-based, hands-on, and experiential learning.  Be sure to ask you children about what they are doing on these days.  

A big change to our learning community this year is to our breakfast and lunch program.  For the past few years, Terrebonne has benefited from a no-charge breakfast and lunch program.  Unfortunately this year, we did not qualify for this benefit.  If you are in need of assistance with the cost of breakfast and lunch here at school, please stop in to the office and pick up an assistance form.  All family members can be listed on one form.

Back to School night is September 15th from 5:15-6:45.  A light dinner will be served, with opportunities to visit your child’s class starting at 6:00. For families with multiple children, there will be two sessions you can attend from K-5 teachers.  This a great forum for you to learn about what your child will be doing this year so I encourage you to attend if you are able.  

As this new year begins, children and families are filled with all types of emotions.  Most students are excited to be back to school (and I know their parents are excited for them), yet there is also a sense of trepidation with the unknown of a new class, new teacher, perhaps a new school, and even the leaving of your first born in a public school for the first time.  I think my son, who just entered kindergarten, said it best when asked how he was feeling about his first day, “I feel nervously excited.”  Considering these emotions, I wanted to share with you the confidence I have that the staff at Terrebonne Community School are some of the hardest working, caring, and empathetic individuals I have worked with in my 20 years in education.  Your children are in great hands!

Let’s have a great start to the year.  I look forward to partnering with you on this journey.  Don’t hesitate to stop in and visit or call at any time!  

Trevor Flaherty, Principal