By Ronald Vincent, Elementary School 1 Dean of Culture
This past fall, I became the newest Dean of Culture at BVP Elementary School 1 (ES1). While I understood and shared the mantras and core values of BVP when I became a part of the community, there was nothing like seeing it come to life when our classrooms filled with scholars. In that first month, the staff came together to diligently create systems and procedures within each classroom to help support scholars academically. It’s in those first weeks that we lay the groundwork for the academics our scholars will experience throughout the year.
|ES1 Dean of Culture, Ron Vincent, enjoying a friendly race
with scholars at recess.
We could just stop there. We could focus on academics alone, but our mission is to prepare our scholars for “the world beyond,” so we push further. With that in mind, at BVP we celebrate diversity, but that “diversity” goes much deeper than what most people would expect. Beyond our work to celebrate cultural and socioeconomic diversity is our work to support social and emotional growth.
In that first month, I also watched and joined ES1 teachers and leaders come together to help scholars apply skills learned from morning community circle, community breakfast, and social skills group into all aspects of their day. Instruction continuously focused on encouraging scholars to embrace each other’s differences and learn from one another. In the real world, people are diverse beyond race, creed, and economic status. People also have varying degrees of social skills, emotional awareness, various learning skills, and ways of absorbing information. Being diverse and encouraging scholars to embrace difference in the real world means preparing them for all this and 100% academic success.
When we say we’re preparing our scholars for the world beyond, we mean it and more so, we mean it for all scholars – those of every race, creed, gender, economic status, academic history, spoken language, learning style, emotional state, physical ability, and interest (including artistic and athletic).
That is the real world beyond the classroom. That is what makes up a community.