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Letter from the Head
October 2013
Published Monday, October 7, 2013
by Fred Aquavita

The children of Elmwood Franklin School began the new school year with great energy and purpose. They are focused, they want to play hard, they want to work hard, and they have a strong set of values. To say that I am impressed would be an understatement. I have to believe that their time spent at this very special place for children will be the most important portion of their schooling. I feel very honored that I was selected to serve as the Interim Head of Elmwood Franklin and given the opportunity to work alongside of this dedicated faculty and staff as we help the children along the way.

Like all successful institutions, Elmwood Franklin has demonstrated a willingness to remain vibrant and open to change without the abandonment of the ideals that make up its rich and successful history. I have every reason to believe that this spirit will continue well into the future. My own belief in Elmwood Franklin School is a strong one, and I am sure you feel the same.

At all levels within the community, we strive to build a web of trust. I look forward to sharing with you initiatives that the faculty and staff feel will enhance this on-going commitment throughout the year. There will be many opportunities to be actively involved in the life of the school and to discuss the role we all play in enhancing this special school.  To get the discussions going, I am making myself available to meet with parents every Wednesday beginning the week of October 21 from 7:30-8:15 a.m. and from 2:30-3:00 p.m. If you would like to stop by my office to share a thought or a concern, know that you are welcome. If these specific times don’t work for you, please contact Mariann Miller to schedule an appointment with me at a time that works for you.

Special notes:

  • This fall we welcomed 69 new students to the Elmwood Franklin family. We also have seven new students in our newly created Beginners program. Please be sure to reach out and welcome our new families to the EFS community.
  • Because of our strong enrollment in Prep I (27 students—the highest level in five years), we have added Maggie Dirrigl to the Prep I staff. Maggie is a familiar face to many of our families from her work in Horizons, and we are glad to have her in this new role.
  • I would like to thank Marie and Susan Andersen-Strait for their hard work and creative contributions in chairing the Fall Family Picnic. It was by all accounts a fun and memorable afternoon for our families and friends.
  • Please take note that the school will be closed for Professional Development Day on Friday, October 11 and closed for Columbus Day on Monday, October 14.

Thank you for helping to make drop-off and pick-up run smoothly. Although the afternoon traffic is done by 3:25 p.m. most days, there are still some who could do more to ensure that it flows better for everyone. Here are a few reminders:

  • Please do not get out of your car on the school side of the street. Sidewalk conversations at pick-up slow everyone down.
  • Pull all the way up to the curb. In the interest of safety, the teachers are instructed not to put children in cars that are not at the curb.
  • Pull away as soon as you have your child to allow others into the space. Do not park at the stop signs—it is illegal and it impedes traffic flow.
  • Be courteous; let others out.
  • Make sure whoever does pick-up for your family knows and follows our procedures.

The safety of the children is always our first priority, and I know you share that view.

Finally, a reminder that we will be holding three admissions Open Houses next week on October, 16, 17, and 18, from 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. I’ve been told that our parents are one of the school’s most effective methods of advertising, so please help spread the word among your extended family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. 

Enjoy the beautiful autumn and all that it offers!


Fred Acquavita
Head of School

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© Elmwood Franklin School • 104 New Amsterdam Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14216 • Phone (716) 877-5035 • Fax (716) 877-9680