Respect - September

RESPECT: September’s Key to Success

September, 2017

Dear Mill Pond students,

As you know, Mill Pond has a “touchstone” that summarizes what we value here at Mill Pond. It was written by students a number of years ago and reflects what our school community believes is important when it comes to what we expect of ourselves and how we treat one another. The “touchstone” guides the decisions we make as adults, and hopefully guides the decisions you make as a student as well. This is what it says:

At Mill Pond, we share mutual trust and an expectation of honesty.

Here, respect and truthfulness are essential.

In our caring community, we are responsible for being kind to others

and being actively involved within our society.

Together, we harbor self-esteem, practice generosity, and express gratitude.

We assist one another. We are responsible stewards of our natural world.

We celebrate our special qualities,

persevere through challenges,

and embrace our differences.


Each week we recite this “touchstone” and it is important to understand that the “touchstone” is not just a collection of words to memorize. Each one of these words was carefully chosen because of what it means. Together, these words communicate what we value as a community and they should guide us in our thoughts and in our actions, every day.

The beginning of a new school year is often a good time to set goals for ourselves. No individual is perfect and no group of people can expect to be perfect all of the time. However, we can set a goal for ourselves that we will try very hard to live out the words of our “touchstone.” Take the time to talk about the meaning of the “touchstone” with your teachers, classmates, friends, and families. It will be easier to succeed with our goal if we work together to achieve it.

In order to help with this goal, each month we will focus on a monthly key value that is one of the “Keys to Success” that unlock our potential to be our ‘best selves’ and make our school community the best place for learning for every student. The “Keys to Success” will all connect with LEARNING and CARING, the concluding phrase of our “touchstone” and the most important task we have at school.

September’s Key Value is Respect.

There is a quote I’ve seen on the internet that says, “Respect other people’s feelings. Even if it doesn’t mean anything to you it could mean everything to them.”  Think about that for a moment.  How do YOU feel when someone shows respect for your feelings, thoughts, and ideas? Most people feel pretty good when that happens! How hard would it be for you to do the same for your classmates …. the students on your bus …. the kids in your neighborhood?  YOU could be the one to make that person feel good about his/her feelings, thoughts, or ideas.  The bonus is, the person giving that respect usually feels pretty good about it too.  Try it! Then imagine if everyone at Mill Pond did this every day; what a special place to learn it would be.

So let’s make a promise to ourselves and each other that we will show respect and kindness every day, so that we can make our school even better! This includes when we are waiting for our bus in the morning, when we arrive at school before homeroom, when we are in our team classes or at specials, when we are in lunch and at recess, when we are walking in the hallways, when we are waiting for dismissal, and when we ride the bus home. It’s not always easy, but together we can do this!

Each one of you has it within you to be successful at school, with friendships, and in life. Be true to yourself and behave in ways that demonstrate respect for yourself and others. Don’t give up and reach out to others if you see they need a hand. If we all do this together, learning and caring will come naturally, and our school community will be the best it can be. We believe in you so make sure you believe in yourself!

On behalf of all of the adults who work with you at Mill Pond, I hope you have a wonderful day, a terrific month, and an incredible, successful, happy school year.


Ms. Suzanne Kenny


Mill Pond School