My school - Samueli Academy in Santa Ana, CA - has the following vision statement: “Equipping tomorrow's leaders to achieve college and career excellence through academic rigor in an environment of trust, respect, and responsibility.” So the mention of "respect" could be connected to the idea of "welcome." But I'm not sure if the average student would make that connection. That said, our campus welcomes visitors so often (fundraising tours, teachers observing project-based learning, “authentic audience” members), that students do often chat up the unknown adults who are visiting. I led a discussion with my Music Appreciation class about subgroups at school who may feel less than fully welcomed. A theme that emerged was the sense that perhaps students with better grades receive better treatment. The example given was the belief that guidance counselors only seek out students with the best grades to go on field trips to colleges. As a school leader, certainly I would want to be sure we are affording the same opportunities for exposure to colleges for all students. For now, I will have to inquire with our guidance department about the process of sending kids on field trips to colleges. It may well be an equitable process that some students are just yet fully aware of.
Commit to 5 things you are willing to do this semester that will make your school a more welcoming place: