A Message From the Principal

  • January 2020

    Dear Families:


    In the fall of 2018, with the support of Windom’s Shared Decision Making Committee, Windom launched the Schoolwide Read Aloud Series.  Three times a year, Fall, Winter, and Spring, every child will have the opportunity to hear the same text read aloud, regardless of age.  The goal of these texts is to provide every child at Windom a shared experience – for all children and adults to experience the same text together and to have the opportunity to discuss the book as a class. 

    The second title in this year’s series is The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig.  The book seeks to inspire readers not to make assumptions about the quieter child and the power of friendship.  The book jacket helps us understand why this book is relevant and important for the students of Windom:

    “Meet Brian, the invisible boy.  Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game or birthday party…until that is, a new kid comes to class…This gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish.”

    During the next Olweus Classroom Meeting, the class and Olweus Buddies will read and discuss the latest book, the second installment of the 2019-20 school year and the fifth book selected overall.  The goal is for all students to hear the text – the conversations that follow will be unique to each classroom community and age level.

    This shared experience of text allows children to see themselves reflected in print.  More likely, it is an opportunity to see someone unlike themselves, but like someone in their lives – from their class or school, neighborhood or community.  Literature is a powerful gateway to developing empathy and compassion for people, places, and things that are dissimilar to ourselves but that are very likely experienced by members of our Windom community.  Dr. Rudine Simms Bishop says, “When children cannot find themselves reflected in the book they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are valued in the society of which they are a part.”

    We look forward to continuing this project in the coming months and will continue to inform families of book titles.  We hope that this “Schoolwide Read Aloud Series” provides an answer to the question, “What did you do in school today?”  Perhaps a question can now be, “Did you read the book The Invisible Boy today?  What did you think?”  We hope you have rich conversations and thank you and your family for helping our students take those first steps.

    Happy January and please do not hesitate to call me:  209-6279

    Thank you for your continued support,

    Phil Johnson


  • Phil Johnson
    Mr. Phil Johnson
    Windom Elementary Principal