A week before students returned to School, our faculty and staff met on campus for a series of meetings, talks and activities designed to inspire and motivate. Everyone gathered in Brauer Auditorium to hear from our new Head of School Jay Rainey. Mr. Rainey spoke about how important it is to remember the children in our care, to learn their stories and to connect with them in different ways. New faculty and staff members met each other, peers and Mr. Rainey at an orientation where they discussed the School’s mission and culture.
Departments met for the first time this year, with teachers sharing the results of summer professional development and sabbatical learnings and ensuring that each team is united in their efforts to create a vibrant learning community for all students JK through 12th grade. With a presentation from Dawn Klus, Director of Accreditation from the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), we officially kicked off our year of self-study, an important part of the reaccreditation process. Faculty and staff members will participate in the self-study and reflect on our successes and our challenges. We’ll ask hard questions, develop recommendations on how to improve and create plans to continue creating an academic and social-emotional learning environment that benefits each child in our care.
Erica Moore, Director of Faculty Equity and Inclusion, shared information on our efforts to advance a pervasive culture of dignity and kindness and introduced this year’s Equity and Inclusion class list. Faculty and staff were able to meet with class instructors and moderators before signing up for a series of five sessions throughout the year.
Faculty and staff also participated in a variety of training sessions, including CPR and AED training, designed to ensure the safety of all who visit our campus.
The week wasn’t all work, though. A back-to-school celebration brought everyone together for a wonderful evening of delicious food, camaraderie, and even a competitive Uno tournament! The buzz in the room made it clear that our faculty and staff, in addition to being colleagues who respect each other, are also friends who enjoy each other’s company.