Today we bring closure to a remarkable year, or perhaps even a remarkable year and a half. As we transition from the pandemic, and as we continue to grapple with political, racial, and overall, cultural unrest in our country, what is the role of education in providing clarity around what it means to be an American citizen? How can a school, and education, shine a light on how we have far more to gain by connecting with a common purpose, or what I like to think of as the common good? I am drawn to leading and working in educational settings because I believe that shaping hearts and minds is the purpose of school.
It is worth continuing to reflect back on all that we learned over the course of the pandemic and its impact on education, overall, and specifically, Fayerweather:
We learn best in a community. The most meaningful learning takes place with other people. This kind of organic learning about our differences and commonalities opens the door for creativity, exploration, and meaningful connections.
Well-being is central to our ability to learn. The best gift we can give ourselves and our children is self-awareness and the ability to manage our emotions. Un-checked fear, anxiety, and anger interrupts our ability to show up as our best selves, whether we are adult or child learners. The Fayerweather community honors the centrality of this work, as we think about ways to improve and extend our reach.
Complexity is the human condition! How might accepting this concept frame how we view conflict, different perspectives, and life experiences? How does this help us dig deeper through listening, curiosity, and compassion? How do we make space for expansion in our work and learning from, and with others?
Looking ahead at the SY 21-22, we are planning a full return to 765 Concord Avenue. There will be adjustments and new adaptations as we return to our co-teaching model and multi-age and grade classrooms. Our priorities for SY 21-22, which are informed by several years of data we collected from parent surveys, focus groups with parents and students, and individual feedback and conversations with teachers, students, and parents:
We will complete the AISNE Accreditation Process and the visit will take place April 24th through April 27, 2022.
A math review committee will lead a deep dive into the scope and sequence of our math curriculum and will make recommendations for improving math learning at FSS. We will also bring in a consultant who will help lead us through the process.
Strengthening our experiential and hands on learning model through community engagement and community partnerships
Developing a robust evaluation, support, and professional development model for staff learning and growth
Making visible the scope and sequence of our anti-bias, culturally responsive curriculum
Continuing to strengthen our marketing and communications efforts and outreach
Identifying strategic partners to help with optimizing our spaces as we grow and evolve
Re-invigorating our Extended Day program, including team sports and other extended day activities
What is most important for you to know is that it will take time for us to re-build, and at the same time, we are moving forward from a place of strength thanks to the way we held each other this year. There is much work to be done over the next five years, including mission and strategic planning work, which will require your partnership. Much love to you and your families as you go off into the summer! I want to end with sharing a reflection from this organization called Leadership + Design, “School is learning, leading is learning, teaching is learning, learning is all there is in this paradigm, and the world is better because of it.”