The new leadership and administration has left the old one behind by a mile. They started their reign by taking the pulse of all the constituents. From the parents to the teachers and the kids. They then meticulously incorporated all their findings into new programming and created many new opportunities for the kids. Everything from new food programs to enhanced learning for the teachers has helped my child become more well-rounded and better-adjusted. Discipline issues haven't arisen a lot with us but the few cases that we did have, the principal and director were factual and fair as well as helpful. Communication between the staff and parents are excellent. Not only do we get a weekly newsletter from the Principal but a weekly one from Logan's teacher as well as regular updates (with pictures!) from his Orton-Gillingham reading specialist!
The Star teaching environment is one where all teachers have the opportunity to interact with and teach all students. Similarly, administration staff, by greeting students every morning as they arrive and joining them daily for lunch, have a familiarity with the student body. This has resulted in a positive school culture, where relationships and interactions are characterized by openness, trust and respect. As such, when physical or emotional issues arise they are caught quickly and seen as learning / growth opportunities. As an example: A teacher found our middle school aged child wrestling a classmate. Per school protocol, the teacher, students and a student bystander were asked to document their version of events in the time immediately following. The students were additionally asked to answer a series of reflective questions about the impact of their behaviour. A conversation with the school’s director, focusing on respect for personal boundaries and the students’ role as leaders/role models at the school took place the following day. This not only allowed for a cool down period for those involved but also encouraged my child to take responsibility and inform me of the incident, prior to the school reaching out. A consequence that emphasized teamwork among the 3 students followed! While impressed with the fair and thoughtful approach to discipline, what further stands out is the impact personal relationships and the knowledge of childhood development had on how this situation was managed. In my follow-up conversation with administration, it was clear that my child’s temperament (as well as those of the other students) was well understood as was preteen behaviour. And while not condoned, it strongly informed how the entire situation was handled.