The three most important questions any school (or organization of any kind, for that matter) must answer are Why, How, and What. And it's important that they be answered in that order.
The Why encompasses our philosophy, our reason for being. The How addresses how we will attempt to accomplish our Why. And finally, What do we expect the result of all this to be.
Our Mission & Vision Statement is something we re-visit from time to time. It's important to us.
I. Why Does Our School Exist?
We want nothing less than to make a better world.
Admittedly, our Why is pretty lofty but we've always felt that if you dream the big dreams and meet many failures, you will accomplish much more than in dreaming the small dreams.
II. How Do We Plan On Doing This?
First and foremost, it is important to have teachers who share our Why.
It is our motivated teachers, who live our Whys, who will inspire our students to know and understand how our world works – whether that be the physical world of nature, the effect humans are having on this natural world of ours, the diversity of economic and political structures, the causes of wars and conflict, the world of diverse cultures and belief systems, or the encouragement and appreciation of creativity through works of art, drama, and music.
You can have all the knowledge and understanding in the world but if you are incapable of bringing a measure of critical evaluation to an issue, you are incapable of making constructive criticism, and are thus incapable of making the world a better place.
Critical thinking is more than a skill, it's a process - a process that requires constant practice.
One way to enhance critical thinking in our students is to rely on our team of committed and thoughtful teachers who structure lessons which encourage their students to develop these skills and give them the opportunities to do so.
We are also committed to giving our students decision-making roles through a student council and our bi-monthly Assemblies where the larger community of students, teachers, and support staff will debate and vote on school-improvement strategies.
III. What Do We Expect The Result Of All This To Be?
- We expect students to be well grounded in knowledge and understanding of the world and how it works in all its many facets.
- We expect students to form thoughtful and well-reasoned opinions, based on this knowledge and understanding.
- We expect students to develop opinions that are compassionate, based on knowledge and understanding.
- We expect our students to have the ability to recognize and foster that which is nurturing, constructive, and productive.
- And we expect our students to have the ability to recognize and resist that which is abusive and unjust.
Christopher Swift, Principal