Vista Visions Academy is a unique school that is easing through an identity crisis. My principal would agree. We have been open for only three years, and we have undergone many changes from the moment we opened. We have been learning who we are as a school and redefining ourselves since we opened our doors, and we have had three principals in three years. I know it doesn't sound like ideal conditions, but I promise you that we are on the right track. You see, our unique site has this amazing staff that is coming together to #schooldifferently. Schooling differently requires change... and we all know that change isn't often comfortable. What I can tell you about how we welcome is that we do... Welcome. We welcome inquiry. We welcome families. We welcome rigor. We welcome fun. We welcome music. We WELCOME technology and CREATIVITY. In our unique setting with our unique schedule, we welcome students to come as they are. We welcome conversation above all. I have the unreal opportunity to meet one-on-one with my high school English students and have CONVERSATIONS with them! For 30 minutes! ABOUT THEIR WORK!! We welcome feedback. We welcome community service. We welcome questions. We welcome suggestions. I am honestly humbled daily by the people I am surrounded with. I KNOW that our students feel welcome. I'm pretty positive our parents feel welcome.
If I had to pick one area to work on in terms of WELCOME- it would be in helping our teachers and staff feel united as one. It may not be clear, but a big picture missing from this description I have given is that our amazing school, which is K-12, is made up of staff members from two separate schools: one was K-8, and the other was 9-12. When the district brought us together to join as one school, we all just got along and opened a school. But we weren't exactly prepared to THINK like one school. For the first two-and-a-half years we operated like two schools under the same roof. It has taken a period of adjustment and a very forward-thinking principal to come on board this year to finally get us aligned on the same train... beginning to think like one school. Just this month I began to see this common thread that is weaving itself from Kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. Our philosophies and pedagogies are beginning to align. It is very exciting.
So, what I can do to keep this moving in the right direction is to help foster the practice of a united staff. I plan to do this by: