They seemed to know then, following the tragedy of 9/11, that our school's mission, vision, and values would be relevant for years to come. They knew that a school committed to teaching peace, a school where student input and voice are critical, a place that respects and honors the beauty of childhood, a place where each community member is respected and cared about, a place where we accept and understand that we learn in different ways and at different rates--they knew it was needed then, and they get to see how important it is today.
Last year at this time, when we rolled out the PACT (Peacemakers, Advocates, Thinkers, and Creators) to the community, I don't think we fully appreciated how fully it captures the kind of learning and education we yearn to create. In the spirit of Advocacy at last Friday's climate strike, our delegation from the River Campus was mobilized by several seniors and by guides, including Kelley Janes, our resident physicist and astronomer, who was one of the featured speakers. The event brought parents and students from the Creek Campus as well, and I was delighted to feel the urgency of youth leadership.
With that as a backdrop and as we begin the sixth week of the school year, it feels like the right time to look ahead. I'm excited to share with you some efforts that we hope will define this school year and sustain our relevance as a school.
O n Friday, October 11, a professional development half-day, we will follow up that work by editing those early drafts and looking for patterns and overlaps. Our final ISAS-focused professional development session will occur on January 29 (yes, another half day!). We'll meet in the Studio on the River Campus and hear both Recommendations and Commendations from the chair of the visiting team. It's important for you to know that these sixteen visitors are not random state bureaucrats, rather they are fellow teachers and school leaders from independent schools in Houston, Tulsa, Dallas, Albuquerque, and Midland who will have read and studied our report. During the three days they'll spend with us, they'll fan out across all campuses and classrooms to observe and gauge whether our self-assessment is accurate and fair.
Like so much of our work this year, whether it's focused on curriculum or culture, after-school programs or athletics, we will be striving to answer these questions:
To all parents, thanks in advance for your support of this important work and for your patience with our days off. I look forward to conversations with you at coffees, at circle drive, on the sidewalks, and at Parent Ed Pitsos throughout the year.