Together with our existing core values, our new mission and vision statements form the basis of all we do at ASH. In combination, they will help us create plans and programs to help us achieve our vision and move us all forward in our learning. This work will begin in earnest during the second semester this year.
Over the past months, the future of ASH has been an important focus for our community, as we have engaged you - our students, staff, parents and wider community members - in our collaborative strategic design process. Overwhelmingly, this has been a positive and valuable experience of collecting data and feedback in our Project Nest from a range of activities, individual interviews and engagements, community events and class contributions.
Everything our community has explored and learned throughout this process will contribute to our successful future as a school, armed with our new forward-thinking mission and vision. In parallel, we have also been working towards a new accreditation with New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Our design team, our leadership team and the Board of Trustees have led the way on all of this work, but we would not be in the place we are today, without you - our students, staff, parents and wider community members - and your contributions to the process.
The many highlights along the way in this process have emphasized that the journey matters in order for us as a school to be future ready. Let’s revisit how we got here:
Many of our faculty attended the first workshop on ACE Learning Principles, which “embrace a transformative approach designed to change ‘schools’ into reflective learning communities” (NEASC).
Our design team comprising staff, students, and parents was formed and the Project Nest saw the light: a space for all of us to consider questions about the future and contribute our ideas.
Our Community Conversation event was an opportunity for community members to come together and participate in a facilitated open discussion. The aim of this session was not to find all the solutions but to pose questions and contribute ideas.
Diane Ullman and Tim Logan of NEASC visited ASH as we began our personalized NEASC/ACE accreditation process. Ms. Ullman and Mr. Logan engaged with us to deepen our understanding of our current reality as well as our future hopes and dreams. This launched us here at ASH into a self reflection leading to learning plans aligned to the school’s new mission and vision and focused on our aspirations for our learners.
Also in October, our design team took all the combined data gathered over the last couple of months and began digesting all this information, drawing out patterns and trends in order to identify the key areas we, as a school, should be focusing on for our future. Beyond offering a world-class education, three clear themes were: the strong community of ASH, giving voice to everyone, and fostering the development of independent, well-balanced people.
This was a busy month, with visiting speakers who reaffirmed ASH’s movement towards the ACE Learning Principles. A professional development day for all staff helped us to further lean into these principles and consider how these align with our new mission and vision in collaborative discussions.
After a few series of careful edits, to ensure a well written and eloquent mission and vision that all can resonate with, our Board of Trustees deliberated and released the news that the monumental moment in the history of ASH was to take shape and come to life.
We welcome all of you in our community to continue on this journey with us, to learn, to grow and to prepare our learners to be future ready when they leave ASH, no matter where along their own journey this is. Next, we will involve you, our community, in detailed project planning starting in this month. We all have a part to play in ASH’s future and everyone’s contribution and collaboration are valued.
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