........OUR MISSION IS TO WORK ........WITH SCHOOL COMMUNITIES ........TO:
We believe in placing authentic, caring human relationships at the center of instruc- tion strategy.
We believe that every school and learning organization is a community, and schools, like all communities, have their own unique culture.
We believe that before a school can help students succeed in a sustainable way, it has to have an Intentional School Culture to con- sistently apply conscious intent to all their school activities and behaviors.
We believe that a transformation to an Intentional School Culture needs to be the goal of any fundamental school change strategy.
We believe that the performing and visual arts are central to the success of any effort to implement a sustainable school transformation process.
We believe that one of the Intentional School Culture's most important goals ought to be placing students first and treating teachers fairly during all school transactions, and establishing parent relationships that result in them becoming members and leaders within the school community.
We believe in Cognitive Affective Coupling: integrating what the child feels, enjoys, and knows into the child's academic and intellectual life.
We believe that instruction and curricula focused on feelings must be equally valued and integrated with curricula focused on cognition, and the learning organization's evaluation strategy needs to reflect this equality.
We believe that schools must have the capacity to help their students become life-long learners, able to respond humanely, ecologically, and successfully to a rapidly changing global marketplace. This will not be possible without giving emotion and cognition equal status in our schools.
We believe that the solutions that work best are those that are created and owned by the school members who use them.
We believe that a school culture needs to give regular, special, and English language learners the capacity to attain academic proficiency in real life and in testing situations.
We believe that no student, school staff member, or parent can realize their full learning or teaching potential if they are verbally or physically assaulted, oppressed, or discriminated against, and this is especially true if this injustice takes place in the school or classroom community.
We believe that a school culture must be structured in ways that shield its members from oppression based on class, sex, race, and all the other forms oppressive institutions take.
We believe that making academic content more likable makes the content more learnable, and this instruction strategy socializes students to become life-long lovers of learning.
We believe that at-risk students need structured, nurturing, and engaging aca- demic and social experiences in the school and the home that counteract experiences that teach them not to respond in a socially and academically responsible manner.
We believe that adults are responsible for working with students to develop and implement these positive academic and social experiences.
We believe that schools must provide learning experiences and environments that help children be a success at being children and adolescents be a success and being adolescents.
We believe in school strategies that are based on "working with" (Alfie Kohn) each other. The PWSC avoids strategies that "do to" students (using force and/or the threat of force) or "do for" students (using bribes and/or instruction practices designed to maintain the adults' comfort level at the expense of the students' need to develop and learn).
We believe that "we are the ones (leaders) we have been waiting for" (Alice Walker). School members that are engaged in the trans- formation process need to approach challenges with this attitude; it helps them own their leadership and support the leadership of their colleagues.
We believe that this work is critical, fascinating, and challenging, and it is an opportunity to be a part of something that provides a legacy we all can look back upon with pride.
The children at play artwork pictured above was done by students at the Agassiz Elementary School, the dolls by Belinda Lyons, and the flower paintings were done by Linda Cohn.