Principal's Corner: September 21, 2018

Dear Baldwin Families,

On September 12th, we held the first School Council Meeting of the year. The start of the year is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the ways we work as a community to ensure that our school is the very best it can be. The School Council agreed that having a set of community agreements would be valuable. I thank them for their thoughtful contributions! These are agreements between all members and stakeholders: students, families, caregivers, staff, and even community partners. I am so proud of this set of ideas and I wanted to share them here!

Thanks for reading!


Community Agreements
Assume good intent, and take responsibility for your impact.

When something goes wrong, remember that we are all doing our best. Yet, if something does go wrong, it’s important to address the harms that have been done--even if that harm was not intentional.

Practice, appreciate, encourage and value empathy.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes! School Council talked at length about the critical role of empathy in creating a caring and just community for all.
Remember that we value diversity and that diversity means difference of all kinds.
We value difference in many areas including but not limited to race, socio-economic status, family structures and we also must value difference across academic readiness, learning style, disability status, behavior or social-emotional needs, etc.

Reframe confrontation as collaboration.
We are all in this together and it’s never “me against you.” It’s should always be “everyone working together” to find the ways to best serve all members of our learning community.

Express appreciation and recognize success.
Doing both of these things early and often can only make us stronger! Remember the rule of thumb for kids and consider applying it to all: Five positive noticings for each criticism.

Keep communication open and seek to understand.
Communication is key! Let’s ask questions if we don’t see the full picture. One great phrase is: “Help me understand…”

Always show respect.
This is so important across all community members and groups. This also means talking about each other, about other students, families and staff with respect, always.

Think of your own child and of our collective community.
This can be really tough to do, but remember that your child thrives when the community thrives.