We began the 2017/2018 school year thinking that our focus would be on developing our students' personal awareness and social responsibility skills and attitudes. We used our S.H.A.R.P (Safe, Helpful, Accountable, Respectful and Positive) acronym as the core of our focus. We believed that having a common language would help establish the kind of community and culture we wanted in our school.
Throughout the fall, as a whole school, grade groups and individual classes, students and staff tried various strategies to bring S.H.A.R.P. alive. S.H.A.R.P messages were read each morning as part of our daily announcements. Individual students (S.H.A.R.P. Stars) were recognized in class and at assemblies. Staff members used the S.H.A.R.P language when solving problems with students and as the focus of class discussions. We also established a daily Mindfulness routine of relaxation and deep breathing to help our students develop their own awareness of themselves and how they were feeling.
In spite of all our efforts, by the end of the first term. we were not seeing the positive results and growth in our students and we asked ourselves "Why?"
We spent a morning on a Pro-D day in January trying to answer just that question, and the more we talked, the more we realized, that as a staff, we didn't have a clear and consistent vision of what S.H.A.R.P. was. And if we didn't have a common vision, how could we expect the students and community to?
Through open and honest discussion, our core values and priorities were established and it is with these in mind, we move forward into the 2018-2019 school year, where 5 new staff members will be joining our community. We are also excited to explore how to connect our focus with the Personal and Social Core Competencies and Student Self-Assessments.