We began Dunham "Tribes" today.
Tribes provides a brand new (to us) way for your child to belong to Dunham. He or she is already a member of his or her class. Kindergartners are also paired with a fifth grade buddy.
Tribes adds a new and additional layer of belonging to the school.
Each student is assigned to a small group (we call them tribes) of about 9 students. Each tribe has members ranging in age from kindergarten through sixth grade. The idea is that the "tribal olders" (students in grades 4 through 6) will look after the welfare of the "tribal youngers" (students in grades K through 3). Tribes will meet on alternate Wednesdays to do a variety of activities to build character and social intelligence. Each tribe includes a "Tribal Elder," one of the adults in our school.
The groupings shall remain stable over time with changes only when the sixth grade older graduates and is replaced by a new kindergartner in the fall.
I expect all students to benefit from this new feature of our program.
Today we had lunch with our tribes and did a quick get-to-know-you roundtable discussion. For the kindergartners the first few meetings may be a bit confusing, but once your child is recognized and supported by one of his or her tribal olders, I know he or she will understand what Tribes is all about and will feel safer and happier and kinder.....