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Heads' Letter

HEADS' LETTER: June 18, 2018

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We began the 2017-2018 school year with our Annual WOW Traditions, as we welcomed our students and families back with activities that were engaging, meaningful and even inspiring. Then suddenly Irma came as a major disruptor. Fear and confusion turned into gratitude when so many families showed up to help us clean up from the hurricane to reopen school as quickly as possible.

Then came gratitude for the everyday teaching and learning that each teacher works to create day in and day out for our students. This includes gratitude for our staff and teachers who create the many events that turn routine into novelty and add the special feelings and experiences that bring great memories long into the future.

And then came an event that reminded us how precious life is every moment as we lost our dear teacher Kelly Garrison. This tragic and senseless loss also reminds us that society has a lot of work left to do in developing a healthy human spirit and cures in the area of mental health. As we remembered Kelly with gratitude for all she contributed to her family, students and colleagues, we also gained admiration and increased gratitude for our families and students who united to celebrate and concentrate on the good in the world; we came together as a school community appreciating our blessings through her life. The tree in front of the school is a visual reminder every day! (Thank you, Margaret!)

As the year came to a close, gratitude was in abundance with the many, many events that surround teaching and learning through celebrations of a school year that brought a plethora of accomplishments. We all witnessed another life passage through the 8th grade Candlelight Ceremony followed by the Moving-Up Ceremony in our last assembly together. We have so much gratitude for all the parents who came to witness our 8th graders transition to high school as they each chose a talent, experience or memory to leave as a legacy for future 8th graders. After blowing out their candles and being introduced to the assembly as the Class of 2018, they left Gatlin Hall and the Moving-Up Ceremony began with the 7th graders scrambling to the top of the bleachers to take their place as the Class of 2019.

This was followed by each class getting a turn to move to their seats for the next year. It is a kinesthetic and nostalgic experience that leads us right into the future! Thank you to all of those who were able to be there to enjoy these special moments. The morning culminated with the PreK3 Flower Patch students running across the gym to PreK4 Beach Buddy Teachers who welcomed them with loving, open arms and hugs. Now, that's a reason every year for joyful and loving tears and smiles!

Then came the last few days that were successfully planned for every single detail including trips in Upper Primary (1st and 2nd), Intermediate (3rd, 4th and 5th) and Middle School (6th and 7th), while the tradition established for New Beginnings took place for Early Primary. Our PreK4 Beach Buddies and Kindergarten Frogs took the stage to "WOW and Amaze" their parents and grandparents with the poise, presence and joy that will build and build as they grow into eighth graders, where the confidence becomes second nature and a big part of who they are and will become in this world. We see it every year, as over 150 of our alumni return as counselor assistants to join our teachers, in creating an exciting summer at CAMP IDS with over 1,000 campers from all over the Tampa Bay area!

Gratitude is also in abundance for how our Corbett Prep PFA (Parent Faculty Association) once again honored our Staff and Teachers (with a Capital T) with such generous end-of-the-year gifts. Your kindness is both humbling and appreciated. Your recognition of the dedication and devotion that Teachers and Staff demonstrate, both in and outside the classroom, means so much to everyone. Your thoughtfulness has highlighted their strong work ethic, dynamic and inspiring lessons, teamwork, and dedication to remaining highly skilled through weekly, monthly and special training expectations. Thank you for recognizing that our Corbett Prep students are the true winners!


A TRADITION THAT BRINGS PRIDE, JOY AND AMAZEMENT TO ALL: CORBETT PREP GRADUATION - ONE OF A KIND! On the evening of June 1 in Gatlin Hall, the Class of 2018 took the stage for 90 minutes to share their experiences at Corbett Prep from PreK3 through 8th Grade. Stories were told that brought laughter, tears, smiles, joy, admiration, and gratitude from the audience, which consisted of proud families, friends, staff and teachers. Their stories included memories going back to PreK days, trips, mistakes turned into learning experiences, friendships, favorite events, sports, arts, learning in classrooms, gratitude to teachers, student hopes and dreams for 5 to 10 years from now, and many more miscellaneous memories.

When the Class of 2018 completed sharing their memories, Past President of the Board of Trustees and Corbett Prep Angel Cornelia Corbett joined Ms. Ripple on the stage. The graduates were called by Ms. Ripple, one by one, to receive their medals from Dr. Swarzman and their diplomas from Mrs. Corbett, who was there to represent the Board of Trustees. It was a beautiful ceremony from start to where everyone had a chance to shine in his/her own way! Actually, the 57 graduates inspired all of us with their poise, presence, humor, emotions and eloquent delivery of their message and memories. Proud moments were everywhere. Congratulations to this great Class of 2018!


The Parent Committee of the Class of 2018 had the perfect vision to add to the comfort and look of the Independent Plaza eating area at the Middle School. Their class gift included beautiful purple and green umbrellas for each of the outdoor tables. All of the Middle School kids enjoyed the gift during the last weeks of the school year. Thanks to the fundraising, leadership, and generosity of our 8th grade parents, spearheaded by parents Lisa Relin and Amanda Jones, classes long into the future will benefit from the shade and ambiance of the area.

The generous donations by the Class of 2018 supported the class gift and a fabulous graduation party at Carrollwood Country Club, following the graduation ceremony in Gatlin Hall. Special thanks to eighth grade parent, Holly Mosser, who created a beautiful video that brilliantly captured each individual and his/her uniqueness, and kudos to Kristine Reens and her committee who decorated with every detail to honor the graduates.

Sincere gratitude to the entire class and every family for supporting the committee's effort financially and with gratitude. Class of 2018 families, you are wonderful, and we will miss all of YOU!!!


After all our students completed a great last day and a wonderful end to the school year, the entire faculty gathered together for the following week to wrap up the year. As always, through in-service, meetings and planning times, we celebrated what worked well, planned what can even be better, and worked to always create new and exciting up-to-date plans for 2018-19!! Report cards were also completed, with proofing meetings, letters for summer, etc. The energy was positive and as always, we enjoyed being together.

This summer, most teachers are working camp and/or off to in-service training in Florida and around the country. Three teachers just arrived in New York to go to Columbia University Teacher's College to attend advanced training for gifted education and differentiating instruction. Other Teachers will be attending trainings in Mathematics, cooperative learning, STEAM, RULER, and more. We are excited to be entering Corbett Prep/IDS's 50th year, and we are going forward enthusiastically and with great purpose in a way that would have brought great pride to our visionary founders, Marilyn Gatlin and Betty Anderson!!!

SUMMER READING REMINDERS! All summer reading assignments were sent home in Thursday folders at the end of the year. Please remind your children to have the reading and assignments completed prior to coming back to school on AUGUST 15! That first week is all about working with those assignments when they return!! If you need anything, including helping our students understand the importance of making the most of summer moments for learning, we are all here to help! The start of school will be full of reasons to celebrate learning and to dive in right from the beginning in the same way that every moment is key at the end of the year! Thank you, parents, for your partnership is helping our students/ your terrific kids be successful!


A HUGE SHOUT OUT of GRATITUDE to our immediate PFA PAST PRESIDENT, Tammie McFarland!!!

Tammie was an amazing president. She worked tirelessly to honor traditions, as well as add innovations to the line-up of successful events supported and implemented by our dedicated PFA leadership and committees.

Tammie's position on the PFA Executive Committee now moves to Immediate Past President, as she hands over the role of President to fellow PFA Executive Committee member Kaly Srinivas!

Let's all join together to support Kaly and our amazing PFA! Parents make the difference at Corbett Prep, and we need everyone to join-in!!

The August Back-to-School mailing will announce all our PFA leadership committee members who will join with Kaly in creating another wonderful year for our Parent Faculty Association in 2018-2019.


(Look for the mailing in your home mailboxes beginning June 19)

REPORT CARDS are included in this final mailing and are for your records. Each report card has grades and comments from all trimesters. Another hard copy is kept in your child's school record file.

SAT TEST SCORES (for 3rd through 8th grades) are included in the mailing. Every year we like to remind parents that this is just one assessment. Some students tend to vary from year to year, depending on their reaction to a test. Scores can be either inflated or unrelated to what the student can actually accomplish. Overall class performance, on a day-to-day basis, has equal significance when noting a child's potential. Test taking comes easier to some more than others, so we always rely on multiple ways to assess student progress. The MAP TEST SCORES are included for Grades 1 and 2.

SUMMER READING: This is a reminder that summer reading assignments and/or suggestions were sent home in your child's final Thursday folder on May 24. If you need another copy, please call the office at 813-961-3087. It's good to begin early! Summer is the perfect time to practice skills and read, read, read!!

BACK-TO-SCHOOL MAILING: Please be sure to look for your Back-to-School mailing at the end of July. Many of the items will also be online. We will keep you up to date. Please continue to stay tuned through Heads' Letter emails, Facebook, and Twitter. We are also here for you by phone if you need anything!


As always, we open the opportunity FIRST to our families to host students from China. The group will arrive the week of July 9 and the week of July 16. The home stays will be from Monday through Friday each week. Please call Celeste Ross in the office at 813-961-3087 to let us know you are interested in learning more. Their stay here comes with financial support for all expenses. Our students and families have had some great experiences being excellent ambassadors for our school and country and have learned so much as we help our students prepare for the global world that awaits them.



PLANNING AHEAD for 2018-2019

  • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 & THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2018: CORBETT PREP SPIRIT STORE SHOPPING DAYS. Stop by from 3:00 to 7:00 P.M. to try on and purchase your new Corbett Prep dress code shirts!
  • THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 2018: PARENT ORIENTATION NIGHT for all parents of all NEW students including current families with new students at 7:00 P.M. in the Grand Room on the second floor of the New Building.
  • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2018: CORBETT PREP OPENING DAY for students bright and early!! We're already planning for a DAY of WOWS TO SET HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING, LEARNING, AND MORE LEARNING, as well as to honor the PRIVILEGE of being at Corbett Prep where every individual is valued and visible in extraordinary ways!
  • FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018: WELCOME BACK PARTY for the entire Corbett Prep Parent Community, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the Farish Center. It's always so much fun and full of joy to reconnect after the summer as well as meet our new families.
  • SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2018: CORBETT PREP 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, will be held at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS, with festivities starting at 4:30 P.M. and our special program beginning at 6:30 P.M. in Gatlin Hall!
  • THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2018: BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT EAST SIDE (PreK3 – 5th grades)
  • THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2018: BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT WEST SIDE (6th – 8th grade Middle School)
  • FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2019: THE BIG EVENT 2019