Welcome back to Calhan School and the 2019-2020 school year. We’ve been preparing all summer, and we are ready and eager to begin, what we believe will be, an exciting new school year. As we begin the new year, please consider once again the partnership into which we must all enter to make our school successful. The work we as a community must do to ensure and a valuable educational experience for our students cannot be done in isolation. The partnership must include teachers and administrators who are willing and able to teach, parents and guardians who are willing and able to be supportive and students who are willing and able to do the work required for learning. Communication between the partners must be open and fluid. If any of these components of the partnership is missing, the process is compromised. You have our commitment that we will do everything in our power to fulfill our role in the partnership, and I urge you to join us. With that in mind, I’d like to state some things that we believe.
We believe that:
- Everyone has inherent worth – Every one of us in this community; teachers, parents, students, leaders, and residents, has a role to play and a contribution to make in our school, our town, our state and our country. Furthermore, our individual and unique roles are, ultimately, critical and important. Even if we don’t know yet what they are.
- Everyone can learn – Even though we all differ in talents or interests, every one of us can learn something, in some way, if we so choose, and we can do it every day.
- Learning is something we choose to do, not something that is done to us – The choice to learn is a choice to act. It is something we do with the help of a school, teachers, parents and peers, but they can’t, do it for us. Real learning is not passive. It requires work and sometimes even productive struggle. The greatest learning tends to happens as a result of the greatest struggles. Embrace the struggle.
- Opportunity to learn is a right – Every human has a right to know, to question, evaluate, to understand, to come to their own conclusion, to their own belief based upon what they know, and to come to a different conclusion and believe based on what they’ve learned.
- Choice is a right and a responsibility – We all have the right to choose to learn and improve or to do nothing and remain the same or regress. We all have the right to work and advance or be idle and put ourselves at risk. We are then entitled to all the privileges or penalties of our choice. Not choosing, or letting someone decide for us are choices. The choice is ours. The choice is always. No one can choose for us. The choice is everything and choosing is sacred.
- Success is a choice – Learning, getting better, trying, failing and trying again are the unavoidable and undeniable elements of success, and we all have the choice to do these things or not to do these things every day.
- Education matters – In a world that is changing as fast as ours is, the skill of learning, of coming to terms with something new, or about which we don’t not know, and doing it independently, is more important than it has ever been. Knowing where to go to get in information we need, and what to do with it, is critical. That entire process is what we call education, and, for reasons presented, it matters. And, as much as it matters now as the rate of change increases, it will matter more in the years to come.
I invite you all to bring your ideas, your observations and your concerns to the process. Whether we agree or disagree, I believe the collaboration will make our school better and our community stronger. I am looking forward to the coming school year and continuing our work together.