Beginning a New School Year
Welcome to the first High Mowing School newsletter of the 2012-2013 school year — a year that will see the graduation of our 70th class! We could not ask for a more solid group of young people than the Class of 2013 to mark this special time in High Mowing School’s history.
With this first newsletter, you will notice a new format and a new name. Both most accurately reflect the content and purpose of the newsletter and describe how we experience the activities at High Mowing School….as truly High Notes!
There are many high notes that High Mowing School will sing to you in this and subsequent newsletters throughout the year. Today you have the opportunity to read highlights in the School News and Student News sections, as well as updates on what the students and teachers have been doing in the classroom — and in the gardens, fields and woods — since school started.
As I leave behind my inaugural year as the Executive Director and begin my second year, I would also like to share a few of my own high notes. Last year we saw a transformation of the social-organizational structure of the school. The Student Council led the way by adopting a new democratic model for their student government. A few students even had the opportunity to co-lead a workshop about their new government at the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) Conference in Portland, Oregon last August (read more about it in this newsletter).
The teaching and administrative staff followed their lead when we designed and implemented a similar structure for the rest of the school. Teachers and administrators (with some Student Council participation!) worked for many hours during professional development days in June and again in August to transform the existing structure. Our new structure is cutting edge, elegant and sophisticated, inclusive and transparent, and most importantly….effective. You will hear more about this as time goes by. Better yet, the school, the programs, the teachers and students, and community members connected to us will experience the benefits directly as it evolves and strengthens.
The other high note that I would like to share with you is that we have officially adopted renewed vision, mission and values statements. Most of you, along with other community members, had the opportunity to contribute to the creation of these statements. After an intensive and comprehensive community process, the teaching and administrative staff, and the Board of Trustees approved the following statements:
Vision – Mission – Values
At High Mowing School we recognize and nurture the highest potential in each person. We are a community where students discover who they are and develop the capacity for living fully into the future as it unfolds for them. We aspire to be a model for Waldorf education in the 21st century, and a catalyst for positive change in the world. Our graduates are confident, innovative leaders in diverse pursuits, reaching their goals and contributing to a sustainable, compassionate and peaceful future.
High Mowing School is a Waldorf high school for boarding and day students, where talented and experienced teachers draw on the wisdom of Waldorf education, and nurture the interests of today’s young people. We utilize an approach to learning that is based on an understanding of the developing human being and the changing world around us.
We offer an experiential and vigorous program of arts-infused academics within a small and friendly school community, where young people and adults have the opportunity to form authentic and meaningful relationships. We provide a complete program of humanities, math, science, world languages, fine, practical and performing arts, diverse movement education and individual interest electives -- all immersed in and surrounded by nature.
For all members of our community, we value:
- Imagination and creativity
- Learning through multiple intelligences
- Joy, freedom and self-direction
- Meaningful work that challenges and inspires
- Balance in work, play and life
- Excellence in academics
- Mastery through practice
- Innovation and tradition
- Social justice and environmental sustainability
- Healthy, local and organically grown food
- A safe, welcoming and diverse school community
- A friendly and supportive social environment
- The celebration of the uniqueness in each Individual
- Deep, authentic and lasting relationships
- Individual and collective responsibility
- Kindness and compassion
I am very excited about our new vision, mission and values statements because, with a considerable number of the objectives of the 2008 Long Range Plan accomplished, we are now making plans for the next three to five years. These statements provide unshakable guiding principles upon which to develop our next Long Range Strategic Plan. Teachers, administrative staff and trustees are working on goals and objectives using these statements to guide their work in four areas of focus: curriculum development and program design and delivery, campus improvements and developments, community and resource development, and infrastructure development.
We are proud of our school and our student body, and what has been accomplished over the past seventy years. We continue to graduate confident, innovative leaders who reach their goals and ultimately contribute to a sustainable, compassionate and peaceful future for the benefit of all of society. Time has shown that High Mowing graduates go on to accomplish their goals and make a positive difference in others’ lives. We look forward to the year ahead as we strive to recognize and nurture the highest potential in each of the young people who are on campus. And we watch in awe as our students discover who they are and develop the capacity for living fully into the future as it unfolds for them.
— Rea Gill, Executive Director
This blog post is part of the Fall 2012 High Notes newsletter.
From the Executive Director
Thursday October, 25, 2012
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