A Message From Our Head of School (04/15/20)

Dear Guthrie Families,

First, let me say how much I miss all of you. The halls and classrooms are dark and quiet, and I am counting the days until we can all return to school. I miss watching the children’s eager faces as they listen to their teacher’s lessons. I miss hearing the excitement in their voices as they greet their friends.  I miss seeing them return to the building hot and sweaty from the fun they’ve had on the playground. I miss seeing their beautiful handwriting and artwork displayed all over the hallways and on classroom bulletin boards. I miss meeting with staff to plan Muffins for Mom and the End of Year Show. I especially miss getting to give our sixth graders a fabulous graduation send-off.  Please know that we love and care about you!

We, as educators, are proud of the wonderful Zoom meetings our dedicated and hard-working Homeroom and Extend Teachers are using to provide classroom discussions and instruction.  We know that these face to face meetings are critical to maintaining a vital connection with our children at this time. However, we all miss the interaction and collaboration with our students in person. Thank you for everything you do each day to support your children and our school.

Let me take this opportunity to also thank all of our Specialist Teachers.  Mrs. Karnuta’s incredible art instruction, Mrs. Adamson’s cheerful music lessons, Mrs. Griffith’s upbeat PE classes, Mrs. Wilcox’s and Ms. Qin’s foreign language instruction are all important and keep our students connected and progressing.

While we will not be able to administer standardized testing, each student’s teacher will be providing you with updated information regarding the final quarter grading policies and how they will handle their end of year parent/teacher conferences soon.  Please look for that important information.  

I would like to say thank you to the numerous Guthrie families who have expressed their appreciation for our fabulous faculty’s dedication via distance learning. Your support and kind words uplift us and mean the world to us.  Our Guthrie Owls (and their families) have grit and resilience, and we look forward with hope to the time when we will all be together again. We are all in this together!

With gratitude and appreciation,

Mrs. Guthrie

Head of School

What Do Private Schools Really Look For in Student Applicants?

It is no secret that test scores and grades play a big role in academic admissions, but it is important to remember that private schools take a holistic approach when it comes to admissions. We break down what is widely considered the 5 most important elements private school Admissions Committees look for in a student applicant.

  1. Academic Performance and Intellect

As previously mentioned, committee members, of course, look at a student’s grades and test scores as a benchmark. However, they also look to evaluate a student’s academic potential by reviewing written essays and teacher recommendations. All of these components combined allow the committee to determine the student’s academic strengths and areas that could use some improvement. It is important for private school admissions to identify areas where a student could use some extra assistance, because the school can then tailor the learning experience in a way that will help the student achieve his or her highest potential.

For younger students, test scores are still important, but teacher recommendations are equally important. Admission Committees want to know what a student is like inside the classroom. Is he/she well behaved? Is he/she attentive? Is he/she engaged in the activity and showing eagerness to learn? This is all information that can be collected in a teacher recommendation or by observing the child first-hand in a classroom environment.

It is important to note, that for both younger and older student applicants, Admission Committees want to see a willingness and even desire to learn. The test scores are important, but a private school wants to see that a student is excited to learn and willing to put in the effort needed to perform well.

2 . Extracurricular Involvement

Private schools want well-rounded students who are interested in activities outside of the classroom. This includes music lessons, sports, drama classes and everything in between.

However, as a parent of a younger child, be wary of signing up your child for too many activities. You want your child to explore a range of involvement and determine what interests him or her, without overwhelming him/her. Plus, some private schools have reservations about students who appear to be “over-involved” in activities, due to the concern that it might interfere with the student’s ability to handle the rigors of private school.

3. Character and Independence

The Admission Committees look for students who are going to be a positive member of their community and an excellent ambassador of the school. For older students, this means being more independent and a leader inside and outside of the classroom.

For younger students, this is more behavioral based. Admission Committees look for students who are well behaved in and out of the classroom. Committee members want to ensure that prospective students will be respectful of teachers and classmates, and often times, committee members gauge this by observing how the child interacts with their parents. In addition to good behavior, they also want to see signs of independence in younger children. Does the student show his or her own desire to improve and grow? Does the student require constant prompting from parents, or does he or she initiate the completion of school work?

4. The Right Fit for The School

Admission Committees are looking for students who are the right fit for their school. They want students whose values align with the school’s mission statement and will excel both academically and socially. During the application process, the committee is looking not only to see if the student has the aptitude needed to succeed, but also the right behavior and interests to fit into the school’s culture.

Although Admission Committee members are tasked with finding students who are best fit for their school, as a parent, you are tasked with finding the right school for your student. Just because a school has great reviews or outstanding accolades does not mean it is necessarily the right school for your child. Be sure to do the research on the school’s values and mission statement to ensure they align with you and your child’s.

5. A Supportive Family

In addition to the previously mentioned 4 elements, private schools want to see a supportive family around the applicant. They want to know that the student is well supported, but also that they can count on the parents to be an active member of its community.

Again, it is important to remember that more than just grades and test scores make up a successful student. Encourage your child to be involved and practice good behavior and leadership skills. These are all qualities that the top private schools look for in their student applicants.

Introducing the Love and Logic™ Method

Raising and educating children isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not “one size fits all”. However, there are tools and principles you can use and follow to set your children up for success.

At The Guthrie School, we are firm believers in the Love and Logic™ method. What is that?

Love and Logic™ is a research-driven philosophy on raising children, founded by Jim Fay, a former school administrator and Foster W. Cline, M.D., a school psychologist. It’s the practice of combining both love and logic into the raising and disciplining of children. The root of this practice is building a respectful and trustworthy relationship with your child.

Let’s start with the first element; Love.

Love: All parents love their children. But what does that look like? To most, love looks like providing for your children, showing affection and taking care of their needs. The Love and Logic™ philosophy teaches that there is more to showing love than what typically comes to mind.

The “love” in Love and Logic™, emphasizes the importance of setting and enforcing limits that are in your child’s best interest. You should love your children so much that you set reasonable boundaries to ensure they stay on the right path, and reprimand them in appropriate but compassionate ways when they push the limits.

Logic: Most parents have a harder time implementing the “Logic” element of the Love and Logic™ technique. The logic is what happens when we allow our children to make decisions and experience the natural consequence, good or bad. Naturally as parents, we want to protect our children from any negative emotions or feelings, but it is actually very important that children feel their instinctive emotions and are held accountable for their actions. When children experience the consequences of their actions, they understand the fundamental thought process that their actions and decisions directly impact their emotions.

This technique teaches children responsibility and promotes compassionate and thoughtful behavior.

Now that you have learned the basic principles of the Love and Logic™ method, are you interested in learning more?

Certified Love and Logic™ Trainer, Amy Egan will be leading a seminar on implementing the Love and Logic™ method into your parenting style. She will provide a more in-depth understanding of the philosophy and provide you with the practical tools and knowledge to help parent your child and raise him or her to be a respectful, independent and caring individual.

Please join us on October 17th, 6:30pm – 7:30pm at The Guthrie School for Amy’s presentation. This is an open session and all are welcome! Please spread this message to any parents you think would be interested in learning the Love and Logic™ method.

For more information on the Love and Logic™ Method, visit the
Love and Logic™ website or MedicineNet.