March Communique

Posted by Peter Burrows on 3/1/2020

ACSD Youth Summit
The ACSD Youth Summit happened this past week, and it was so incredibly inspiring to see our 5th and 6th grade students engaging in human rights issues through their inquiry into the IB unit How We Organize Ourselves. Students had the opportunity to attend sessions on constitutional law, fake news, taking action & action planning, United Nations mission and work, gender rights, health care rights, developing leadership skills, Special Olympics, gerrymandering, civil rights, Bill of Rights for Children and Youth, and more.

What was most exciting about the Summit was that it was a culminating event that reflected the deep inquiry that students are engaged in in their classrooms daily. Rather than being a celebration in and of itself, this event was an expression of the continued inquiry, reflection, and action cycles that I've seen students embrace in classrooms throughout the year. As we face considerable challenges as a nation in 2020, I feel grateful that our students are learning the skills and applying their thinking to be positive and impassioned leaders to make a difference in the world.

Thanks to all who helped to make this event a reality!

PYP Verification Visits!

From March 30 - April 10, our Primary Years Program verification visits will be happening in our seven elementary schools. These visits are the culmination of the work we've done to prepare for the authorization of all of our schools, and represent the learning and development we've done over the last four years to be ready for IB to grant us our initial five-year authorization.

There's much to reflect on when you consider just how much time has gone into being ready for this moment: (a) the tireless work of all of our elementary staff to collaborate in new ways we've never been able to, (b) the thoughtful leadership of Jess, Joy, and Caitlin, our  PYP learning team, (c) the re-envisioning and establishment of systems that frame learning in a way that engages students in inquiry to grow as individuals and be leaders in reaching for equity, understanding, and excellence in our communities (d) and the real analysis we've done to be sure we aren't just "doing IB," but rather are fully present in the work and continue to critically reflect on our journey.

There's not enough space here to highlight the many transformations that have taken place and continue to blossom in our schools. This is a true moment of celebration and reflection, and I thank all of our staff for being in this change that we will build on and grow through in the years ahead.
Say Something Week
This year, ACSD is participating in Say Something Week , a "national call-to-action week to celebrate students being ‘upstanders’ in schools and communities by speaking up when noticing warning signs and threats of potential violence."  Building a culture and community that looks out for each individual and recognizes that we all need to communicate when we see something that is unsafe to individuals and our community is critical. By working more closely together, we can increase the safety and security of our schools, and be sure that everyone in our community is taken care of and supported.

Look for information from your school to learn more about how to get involved.