According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five children has or has had a diagnosable mental health disorder. This may include not only autism, bipolar disorder, and ADHD, but also anxiety, social phobia, depression, and other less-apparent conditions. Unfortunately, many students have not been diagnosed and suffer in silence.
Your mission describes the rich program your school offers, as well as the outcome you intend for every student. It is why parents chose to enroll their children in your school.
You deliver that mission through your schedule. As an academic leader in your school, you understand the importance of having a schedule that “works.” But what if it doesn’t?
Perhaps your school has a preschool, or is thinking about adding one. Perhaps you see preschool as a doorway into full enrollment at your school. But is it worth it? In short, does it meet the needs of your families, your students, and your school’s mission?
Academic leaders, parents, and researchers believe a quality preschool program improves skills like simple math and phonics, and prepares children for the social and emotional behaviors as they enter kindergarten and elementary school. For example, a study in Virginia last year, including more than 20,000 students in a government-funded preschool program, indicated that children in the system showed great improvements in alphabet recognition. But do the benefits of preschool extend into student experience in later schooling?
Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings are the most important conversations parents can have with faculty and staff. These mandatory meetings for families with disabled children outline their child’s educational future in regard to how your curriculum impacts their growth.
Outdoor education has a long and distinguished history in private-independent schools. Whether it involves an annual trip or is a yearlong component of the curriculum, administrators cite various benefits to these programs: personal growth, development of social skills and self-confidence, health and fitness, teamwork, whole student education, fun and recreation, and enhancement of a positive school culture.
As you develop, expand, or assess your school’s own outdoor education program, determine how effectively you address these fundamental areas.
Summer programs are often run as completely separate educational programs regarding budgeting, scheduling, planning, curriculum, and staffing. Although part of your schools culture, and commonly sharing its mission, these programs typically don’t share budgets or administrative support. For the Summer Program Director with full-time responsibilities as part of the faculty or Administrative Team, the burden of the summer camp silo can be an overwhelming one.
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