What exactly is school culture? Culture is in fact, the behaviors, traditions and values a group shares. That group can be a family, an organization, an athletic team….any gathering of people who decide that they want to share a common sense of who they are. If you have ever said to someone “That is not how we do it around here.” then you are a part of a group who shares a common set of beliefs and behaviors.
At ACE, we want to begin building that culture of who we are, NOW. Why? Because we know that people want to belong to something that welcomes them, that makes them feel a sense of “coming home,” and that inspires in them a sense of peace knowing that they are among others who care for them.
At ACE, we want to begin building a set of common beliefs so that when our faculty and staff, students and parents arrive at ACE, they will have an understanding of the common expectations for all who are associated with ACE and during those first introductory moments they will not feel a sense of discomfort; rather, when that first moment arrives when we all walk through the doors of ACE, we will breathe a sigh of relief that we have in fact, come home.
At ACE, we want all involved to have an understanding that there are rules and obligations in polite society that we must agree to, and abide by. Things like speaking politely to one another, being welcoming to those who are new to us, respecting others as well as their possessions and their opinions, embracing learning and the work that goes with it, and following rules.
In particular for students it is important for them to understand that an individual does not grow and mature without effort and the adults in their lives are there to help them become the people they are destined to be in the very best sense. It will be important for our students to recognize that their job for the foreseeable future is simply to be a child. As a child, they will be surrounded at ACE, by individuals who want to see them stretch their minds, their hearts, their bodies and their talents.
For parents, we hope that the decision to allow their child to join us at ACE will be made knowing that they too, will be a part of our family. As such, we will expect and welcome them at school and at all school events. We will need them to help us grow and we will require their expertise to meet the demands that building a school of excellence requires. In the great charter schools that we have visited over the past year the difference in good to great, is often realized by a determined group of parents who create the foundation for writing grants and raising money so that students can play the piano or play soccer.
The phrase “we are all in this together” is never more true than it will be at ACE because we ARE all in this together. This school, this culture, this ideal is something that a few people dreamed about, but a community built. We are ACE! Join us!