Welcome, November! We have reached the halfway point in our first semester!
It has been a busy school year so far and we are not slowing down anytime soon! Our scholars have been working hard in their classes, engaging in scholar clubs and attending our enrichment events, field trips and virtual workshops. Our learning coaches have been doing an amazing job supporting their scholars, meeting with our teachers and participating in our Coaches’ Corner sessions. I know that all of our Compass Charter Schools (CCS) staff is truly enjoying working with, and supporting, our scholars and their families.
As I shared last month, this year CCS is focusing on our core values. Throughout October we recognized our core value of achievement by celebrating and sharing our scholars’ accomplishments. We produced two YouTube videos highlighting some of the achievements they shared: A Focus on Achievement and Focused on Achievement. This month, we are recognizing our core value of respect. All month long our scholars are encouraged to share what respect means to them and how they give respect to others.
Showing respect for others is an important part of life and there are several different ways that we can show respect. In general, respect means to have “high regard” for something or someone, which we demonstrate through kind words, deeds and actions. It’s important that we all understand the basic meaning of respect so that we can learn how to act and react respectfully. Parents and school staff play a very important role in helping our youth learn about respect. From a young age, many children learn the basics of showing respect by playing nicely and sharing with others, by saying please, thank you and you’re welcome to those around them. It’s important to remember that we all learn and refine our understanding of these basic aspects of respectful behavior from the role models in our lives.
Respect is an integral part of our Compass community. Our teachers and staff are passionate about showing respect toward each other, our scholars and learning coaches. This means that we listen to each other, learn more about each other and where our perspectives are coming from, and take action based on what has been shared. Personally, I have an open-door policy for all of our stakeholders, staff, scholars and learning coaches alike. I strive to listen to the feedback being shared, ask clarifying questions to understand where the idea or suggestion is coming from, and see how we can put the idea into action. I have created some other ways for stakeholders to share this input, too, including our Virtual Suggestion Boxes (check out our website and scroll to the bottom of the page), advise our Scholar Leadership Council, and facilitate our Parent Advisory Council. I formed a Staff Advisory Committee at Compass and host a monthly CEO Town Hall with our staff and quarterly Parent Town Halls with the CEO for our parents. These are just a few of the ways I am trying to live and model mutual respect with our Compass family.
Our team is also dedicated to setting a good example for our scholars as they help them learn about the importance of respect and how to show respect for others. Respect cannot be accomplished without investment in ourselves and those around us. Our staff is fully invested in CCS and our scholars, and we will all continue to model respect in all that we do, with every stakeholder we engage with.
Throughout November, scholars are invited to wear the color red every Friday and on field trips to represent our core value, Respect. To further this celebration, scholars are also encouraged to share stories and pictures about being respectful in our brief survey, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We want to hear from all of our scholars to learn about what respect means to them and celebrate their kind words, deeds and actions. Being part of CCS is to be part of our Compass community, and one of the things our community does is respect each other!
As Laurence Sterne once said, “respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.” We are sharing the importance of respect with our scholars in hopes of serving as their compass to guide them in the right direction. I strongly encourage all of our scholars to share what respect means to them this month and to continue respecting each other!
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.