Year of the First Element

Welcome back! Together we are inviting the school community to join us this year as we reconnect to what makes ANCS such a special and unique place. We are an exceptional school held together by a five-part mission that sets a path for our students that is thoughtful and ambitious. Each of these five elements is important, and each one is an active part of what makes us who we are.

Build an empowered and inclusive community of students, parents, and educators
The first of the five elements is the foundation of a successful school. As we pursue this ideal, we work to make sure we communicate with families openly and frequently. We empower our Parent Teacher Community Association to unite the school family and support teachers. We give students the latitude to start their own clubs at the middle campus, we invite parents and community members to participate in the committees and task forces convened by our Governing Board, and we open up morning meetings to parents and families at the elementary campus.

Help all students to know themselves and to be known well by their community
This element calls on us to remember that our students come to us with their own experiences and identities. We meet each of our students exactly where they are, helping them to communicate effectively and honestly about their needs and desires in order to be their best selves. Students are proudly sharing their cultures through Friends and Family boards posted in classrooms and hallways across both campuses. Student voice is paramount and helps drive our decisions.

Collaborate with the larger community to advocate for student-centered schools
This commitment means learning from and with local, regional and national organizations, schools and districts to define student-centered learning. Collaboration benefits the broader school community, but also ensures that our students are always benefitting from innovative solutions and ideas.

Engage the whole child – intellectually, social-emotionally, and physically
It takes multiple strategies to effectively reach this goal. This is why our middle campus students engage in guided dialogue in their advisories and why each day begins with a mindful moment. It is why we focus on Conscious Discipline every day and students participate in Related Arts every week. Culturally responsive teaching and a constructivist, inquiry-based curriculum spark curiosity amongst our students and spur growth and development.

Challenge each student to take an active role as an informed citizen in a global society
Being an informed citizen not only means being aware and engaged; it also requires students to be armed with the quality of knowledge and information that will hone their perspective and guide their actions. This element was a key driver of our successful push to bring the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme to the middle campus. It is why we have grade level and schoolwide service projects, and why we remind students of the importance of using their voice to make positive change.

The 2019-2020 school year will be the Year of the First Element. We will focus on how we build an empowered and inclusive community of students, parents, and educators. We will:

  • look for opportunities to strengthen relationships among parents, teachers, and the entire school community;
  • clarify and hone our equity initiatives;
  • improve how we communicate within our school community; and
  • further strengthen our community-building work.

We ask you to join us in committing to this first element and taking an active role in building the kind of community that will help our students thrive. We look forward to collaborating with you throughout the year as we continue this important work. And we thank you for all you do to help make this school community so special.

– Chuck Meadows, ANCS Executive Director
– Eric Teusink, ANCS Governing Board Chair
– Brittney Gove, ANCS PTCA President