Establishing collaboration between parents and teachers can only serve to benefit our students. At Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, FL, Dominique Craft, the Dean of Curriculum for the Lower School engages parents in a book club. This time the discussion centered on a book by award winning author Wendy Mogel, PhD, called Voice Lessons. Mrs. Craft has written a review of this book and taken notes on this month’s conversation.
This week began with a holiday to remember a champion of human connection. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us that he had, “A dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Dr. King truly wanted each of us to be recognized for ourselves.
At Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Florida, the faculty and student body honored Dr. King by participating in the city’s annual parade. Shorecrest's acknowledgement of Dr. King's ideals isn’t something that only happens once a year. Events throughout our school year continually remind our students to practice building connections with the broader community. One of those events is Service Week in our Upper School, it is a week of outreach that teaches our high schoolers how to build connections across cultural boundaries.
The phrase “it takes a village” to raise a child is one we toss around easily, and it's truth is evident in a strong parent-school partnership. The most successful children have a strong team supporting them throughout their educational career. All parents and students need support at one time or another, some for a short time, others for a longer time. It’s important to ask for help. Many schools offer resources, such as tutors, a Learning Center, or other faculty and staff dedicated to individualized student enrichment.
Just over a year ago our Shorecrest community was preparing for the worst, as Hurricane Irma barrelled toward St. Petersburg. The stress, worry and difficult choices of evacuating and keeping loved ones safe made for a harrowing couple of weeks. We were lucky. The hurricane passed us by, and the damage was far less than anticipated.
This year our state was not so lucky. Schools in the panhandle and Gulf were deeply affected, when Hurricane Michael made landfall in October. Calls for help went out across the state and country, and the Shorecrest Community decided to take action. Through contacts made by our headmaster, Mr. Michael Murphy, we focused on the needs of Holy Nativity Episcopal School in Panama City, Florida.
“What are they teaching kids these days?” It’s a question that perennially pops-up among parents. From “new math” to iPads in the classroom, school curricula are ever changing. But, the more things change the more they stay the same. The goal at the forefront of education is still to equip students with the skills to solve the problems they will face as working adults. One of the newest approaches to problem solving integrates social and emotional learning with basic science and social studies. A process called Design Thinking is taking hold with educators across the country.