SMASH School




Welcome Letter from Principal Rishe

Welcome Message from Principal Rishe

SMASH Teachers and I enter the 2016-17 school year inspired by a Summer symposium around playful learning. We have a refreshed sense of importance around creating a learning community for students and adults where there is joyful and meaningful learning, where children and adults are researchers and co-creators. Healthy, happy, learned and impactful people learn what is essential through inquiry, reflection, and play. It is essential that our citizens be creative, collaborative, committed and non complacent [Mara Krechevsky and Ben Mardell]. This year at SMASH, we will continue our commitment into inquiry-based learning.

David Sobel describes the real world impact of a school designed around natural environments. "If we allow children to shape their own small worlds in childhood, then they will grow up knowing and feeling they can participate in shaping the big world of tomorrow." This year at SMASH, we will continue to give 5 to 14 year old children the chance to be the intelligent leaders that inspire others within and beyond school walls.

As Tom Drummond said, "You learn who you are through the people you love telling you what they love about you." This year at SMASH, we will continue to accentuate the experiences where students tell themselves explicit academic and social compliments as well as hear these from peers and adults. This includes non-graded narrative report cards K-8 twice a year, collaborative family conferences twice a year, and an intentional focus on reflection meetings/journals/artistic representations during weekly Workshop and Project lesson blocks.

Please read the SMASH Friday Letter posted weekly on our website to see what each multi-age class is pursuing and how they are reflecting upon their learning. We invite parents and community partners to serve as guest teachers and mentors during projects.

Enthusiastically yours,
Jessica Rishe



Santa Monic Malibu Unified School District