Community, in its purest form, is a feeling of fellowship with others that springs from shared attitudes, interests, and goals. We, at The Craig School, are such a community. We unite under our common purpose of providing an evidence-based, challenging academic program coupled with nurturing the social-emotional and moral health of our students all in the environment most suited to their needs, with the end goal of a student who is self-aware, self-confident, and able to reach their greatest expectations.
Community is built in the trenches and on the front lines; it is built in our hallways and classrooms. The relationships teachers form with and among their students, with other teachers and staff members, and with their students’ parents and guardians, forge this fellowship. Schools can serve to strengthen a student’s sense of community, their sense of belongingness, through actively cultivating respectful and inclusive relationships—and these relationships begin in the classroom. Dr. Caparulo, Director of our high school, has a signature quote on this email that reads, “No significant learning happens outside of a significant relationship” (James Comer, Professor at the Yale Child Student Center). How true this statement rings. The keys to creating a positive climate and a community of belonging are relationships, and it is through these relationships students blossom and are primed for optimal learning.
Rita Pierson, the late teacher most known for the TedTalk, Every Kid Deserves a Champion once said, “How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think and who had a champion? Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connections, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” This is the type of community I value and I believe it is the one that you value as well. My hope is for each and every student at The Craig School to experience a strong sense of belonging, of community, and to experience what it is to have a champion. When we foster a positive school community, we remove another barrier to learning, allowing our students to truly shine.