This morning we held our Magnet Welcome event. This is an opportunity to welcome those families that selected Joyner during the magnet application time and were accepted. It is an exciting moment to sit with folks that have taken that journey of visiting and making a magnet choice for the school they want their children to attend. After a visit to the kindergarten classrooms, our newest Jaguars visited the cafeteria. We asked several fifth graders to reflect and share memories from different grade levels at Joyner. They also shared what they like best about being a Joyner kid. Throughout the sharing, the stories of family came up from our students. They talked about finding friendships, being recognized for being themselves and the relationships they have built at Joyner. As the principal, it was moving. And most staff sitting in the event also found sweet tears.

After leaving this gathering, I happened on the playground. One of our young first graders spoke with his teacher sharing a story of another classmate who was struggling. He immediately stated that he needed a friend and he was ready to be one. This young one quickly shared that being a friend could be like having more family. How amazing I thought that even our first graders see the power of connection that we can build at Joyner.

By midday I walked into our Spanish team classroom during their planning. There was literally a hum from sewing machines, sizzle of irons and swirl of movement. Our Spanish team was in the midst of preparing costumes for Pieces of Gold and for our visit from guest dance artists through the United Arts Council. They were laughing and working hard. It was magnetic and I couldn’t help but join in for a bit pitching in where I could. The respect and collegiality were overwhelming. Even as an adult team, this family “feel” spread throughout the room.

I know it takes more than words to build a school family. And as I shared with our newest members this morning, it begins with each of us taking that time to connect and build relationships. I look forward to our newest members and I continue to treasure our building work that we do every day at Joyner.