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School Culture

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What does the ideal school look and feel like? That's a fantastic question and one that has many different answers. Clearly, schools want to be places of learning and development which allow students to reach their full potential. This learning and development should occur not only on the intellectual level, but on the social-emotional level as well. A school driven only by learning outcomes, but without compassion and empathy, does a disservice to students and to the greater community.

During the Spring of 2014, Breeze Hill staff, parents and students engaged in a School Culture Task Force to define the characteristics of the school that we aspire to become. The task force met four times between March and June. During that time members of the task force engaged in conversations about current realities and challenges. The members also read research and were presented with different models of school culture. Surveys were also administered to parents and students in order to collect data regarding the current school climate and culture. After reviewing the survey data, participating in professional reading, and conducting research the task force came to agreement upon a model of school culture based on the book, How to Create a Culture of Achievement, by Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Ian Pumpian.

The Task Force adopted the 5 Pillars outlined in the book and Breeze Hill Elementary School is implementing them beginning in the 2014-15 school year. Our School Pillars are: #1 Welcome, #2 Do No Harm, #3 Choice Words, #4 Never Too Late to Learn, and #5 Best School in the Universe.

Our goal is to cultivate an atmosphere that is, "so welcoming, so inviting, and so comfortable that all who enter our school believe they are about to have an amazing experience." (How to Create a Culture of Achievement: Fisher, Frey, Pumpian. Pg. 19).

Each year we continue to develop positive behavior systems while utilizing Restorative Practices. We are very aware that we will not arrive at our destination of being the Best School in the Universe over night, but we are committed to growth over time. So, as we continue to practice our Pillars each year, feel free to provide us feedback. If we are doing a great job, let us know...if we aren't let us know too, so that we can continue to improve.

Thank you and we invite you to join us in making an amazing positive school culture here at Breeze Hill Elementary!


Choice Words

Why is Choice Words one of our pillars? Simply stated, "language creates realities and invites identities". The words we use have a dramatic impact on how we perceive ourselves, how others perceive us, and how others perceive themselves. Are the words we use, words that encourage, support, instill hope and a belief in potential? Or, do the words we use cause others to feel that they are not good enough, do not possess the capacity to succeed and ultimately limit their possibilities? What words do you use to describe yourself and your potential?

Here's a thought to keep in mind this month: "Choose your words wisely--they matter!"

During school culture assemblies, students and staff viewed videos which demonstrated the power of words and ways to bring support, happiness and hope to one another. Take a few moments to view the videos yourself to gain a sense of what we are aspiring to develop through the careful use of words.

Choice Words Video Roulette


Do No Harm

There are three components to Pillar 2, Do No Harm, that all students and staff will focus on all year, they are:

Take Care of Yourself

Take Care of Others

Take Care of This Place

During school culture assemblies, students and staff viewed this video which shows people taking care of others. Take a few moments to view the video yourself to gain a sense of what we are aspiring to become as a school and community. Learn more about INTERNAL LINK Breeze Hill's School Culture Initiative.

School Culture