A Journey Within a Journey
Sharon Cronin, Principal, RancheView School - The journey from discovery to define and develop at RancheView is ongoing. We learned so much through our first phase and not surprisingly, realize that the learning just doesn’t stop! As we unpack the different “How Might We’s” and define where we’re going and develop a plan for the journey, it is clear that we have been ambitious with our desire to have a strong positive impact on learning.
The greatest learning has been to embrace the fact that learning can only happen when students are ready. Our “How Might We” of ensuring wellness remains a focus in our community has helped to shape our journey so far. The prototype of “increasing mindfulness at RancheView” took us in many directions… a journey within a journey.
Bringing in the Dare to Care bullying prevention program was an excellent way to mobilize our staff, students and families to create a more caring community. It gave us an opportunity to reinforce to students the difference between conflict and bullying, as well as continue to promote a common language and develop additional strategies around building a culture where everyone is treated with kindness and respect. Student sessions and a parent evening have also contributed to a more positive culture within the school walls, outside on the playground and online.
Our wellness room is a hub of activity with drop in visits and targeted small group sessions that continue to support learners with their social/emotional needs. Class visits from our CDAs, use of circles within classrooms to build community and targeted groups to support positive play at recess continue to be important factors to our focus on wellness. A daily school wide mindful moment starts our day and reminds everyone that wellness is a priority. A next step will be the creation of a peer conflict and resolution group to support positive interactions during recess.
With wellness as a foundational layer, we can dive into the other "How Might We’s" to ensure our commitment to learning and leading remains strong. Some of our teachers have taken the lead with number talks, some have taken the lead with literacy professional learning and delivery, and some with helping to build a deeper understanding of inclusion.
Learning and leading is always a journey. Remaining open to and accepting that the path will go in various directions, is a strength of our community, because we know that there are many ways to get to a destination. Our vision of “Growing inside by leading outside” not only continues to keep us on our exciting journey of learning and leading together but also guides as we walk the path of a journey within a journey.