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Principal Message

Archived Principal Message: October 2014

The Importance of Community Building
Glendale School Michelle Speight
When any visitor walks into the doors of Glendale School, we often hear that it is immediately evident that we hold community as a core value. In my experience as an educator and parent, I can say whole heartedly that a learning community does not just happen; it is created intentionally at every level of a school and organization.  As with most aspects of high-quality schools, building community begins with a vision and happens because the school leaders, parents and the teachers intentionally design structures and activities to reach this vision.  In an ever changing society, people often report experiencing a loss of community.  As schools reinvent themselves in order to establish a sense of community as the foundation for all curriculum and instructional decisions, students reap the benefits in their personal and academic development.

In Thomas Sergiovanni’s book, “Building Community in Schools,” Sergiovanni notes that in order to create community, we must all make a commitment to personalized relationships and a willingness to embrace diversity.  He notes that “schools must first become places where members have developed a community of mind that bonds them together in a special way and binds them to a shared ideology” (p. 17). 

Together, the staff at Glendale School acknowledges the importance of creating continual opportunities for students, teachers, and parents to engage in meaningful and communal relationships. This year we have already had the pleasure of participating in the parent-sponsored “Muffin Mixer,” a whole-school family grouping activity and most recently, the Terry Fox Run/Walk.  We know that these types of community building activities exemplify the shared values that we hold deeply and as a result, we are providing students with every opportunity possible to learn.

Together, we believe whole heartedly that students come first.  We recognize that each student is unique and worthwhile. We acknowledge, recognize and celebrate the diversity of our learners and we believe that success for each and every student is the goal of our work.  We recognize that learning is central to our purpose. We believe that learning empowers students to achieve their potential and that attention to continuous improvement, high expectations, innovation and relationships will enable all students to reach their potential. And finally, we believe that public education serves the common good and that it is essential for a vibrant democracy. We also know that the principles of democracy drive our accountability to the public and the public's participation in our work (Calgary Board of Education, 2013).

Together as a learning community that is defined by these shared values, we will continue to foster an atmosphere that helps teachers, students, and parents know where they fit in and how we are all connected.  Furthermore, by working together as a community we will ensure that our children become lifelong learners and take ownership for their learning by discovering and developing their potential, passions and gifts.

I sincerely value being a part of this wonderful learning community with each of you. 

Most sincerely,
Michelle Speight

Proud Principal of Glendale School
mmspeight@cbe.ab.ca

Archived Principal Messages