We believe that we need to meet students at their level and bring prepare them academically for career and college by when they graduate. For many students this is more than 4 years of academic growth, so we need to be exceptional. We need to have exceptionally engaging curriculum that will frame our content and skills in such a way as to give purpose and interest to learning. We need our curriculum to be exceptional in its differentiation because our students are at a variety of levels. We need to be exceptional in having a bedrock of literacy in all subject areas as a way of thinking. We need to be exceptional in our ability to challenge ALL our students to think critically. We need to be exceptional in our delivery of this curriculum as well. We need ensure students don't fall through the cracks, and track their progress. We believe we need to constantly reflect on how we can further improve what we are doing and work together to become exceptional. We know it will not happen overnight, but that we are capable and expected to be working toward an exceptional curriculum
Our students need the same support and teaching socially and emotionally as they do academically. We believe that when we develop relationships with our students, have patience for them, show them care and empathy, as well as a little tough love, we are in the best position to help them develop. We teach them the skills every day that they don't yet have. We believe that we need to remember they are children and that they want to succeed (even when it appears otherwise). We help them develop and practice the skills they will need to be leaders. In addition, as a staff, we believe a strong school requires distributive leadership which fosters the development of student and adult leaders and learners in the school community. Therefore, we develop leadership in each other. We know that we all work hard at a very challenging job, and therefore we need to be kind to each other as well as the students. We care deeply about the students, we have a deep reason to be here, we know this is not just a job, and so we need to assume the best of each other and help each other grow.
We have a passion for working with 14-20 year olds. We have the responsibility to transform middle-schoolers into young adults ready for the world. We want our students to begin to find a sense of purpose and place in the world, to see the connection between school and the real world they are much more interested in. Or students are deeply interested in the concepts of right and wrong, of justice, etc. We need to engage their curiosity and help them interact with the world. We need to let them practice having bits of responsibility. We believe that it is through this connection to the outside world that our students will find the motivation to achieve in other parts of their lives – we need to ensure they have the hope and belief in themselves to envision for themselves a future beyond graduation.