Planning for the Future
Last week, I reviewed the parent survey results from the spring of 2019 with a group of administrative staff from GRCMS. I appreciated both the feedback shared in the surveys and, also, the opportunity to review them as a team as we seek to cultivate a vibrant community of faith and learning for your children at GRCMS.
The survey results highlighted a number of areas to celebrate, as well as some areas that we can continue to improve in order to be the most responsive Christian middle school that we can be in helping students to grow in faith, navigate adolescence, and prepare for high school.
It is clear from your feedback that you value the staff here at GRCMS and that you appreciate the care and concern that they have not only for your children’s learning but also for their faith and social-emotional growth. There were a number of comments about the dedication of the staff, about their ability to help students in the middle of adolescence, and about the community of faith that is fostered here at GRCMS in the classrooms.
I would echo these sentiments. It is truly a blessing as the building administrator to be able to work with a group of professional Christian educators who value their students as image-bearers of God and who have a sincere desire to help them grow in both faith and learning.
The survey results also highlighted areas where we can grow in creating a stronger community that emphasizes respect and care for all. As we seek to have consistency both in articulating and in applying our student behavior code, we want to articulate clear expectations for respect and behavior while also using restorative practices to help students in their interactions with one another and with the staff.
In an article on Edutopia entitled “Why Restorative Practices Benefit All Students,” the author writes, “Restorative practices strengthen students’ connections to both staff and other students, and that’s why restorative practices support both prevention and response. Focusing on positive connections and support contributes to a positive school climate. Repairing harm and restoring relationships after transgressions helps to keep students connected to a positive school community.”
We know that adolescence will always bring with it challenges to navigate, and we work diligently to partner with families and children to grow in maturity and wisdom as we respond to each circumstance that may arise.
Another area for growth is better communication of the non-athletic after-school opportunities available for our students, as well as looking for other opportunities to add to those offerings. We have a middle school play, Science Olympiad, Vex Robotics, math competitions, art club, and spelling and geo-bees, but we can also add more opportunities for service clubs, academic challenge, and ways to engage more students in unwrapping their God-given gifts and talents.
Please keep on the look-out in the Home Bulletin and other GRCMS communications for more information on these and other areas that we hope will continue to develop a strong sense of community and continued opportunities to develop faith and learning at GRCMS.