By Andrew Callister, Springhouse Parent
To what are we committed? The answer to this question reveals much about our identity and values. As a parent, I am committed to providing my children with the best possible foundation upon which to create a purposeful and rewarding life for themselves. Fortunately, I can say that my teenagers’ school is also committed to this holistic development of its students and adult participants.
Springhouse Community School is dedicated to all four of the universally valued outcomes that Joanne McEachen and Matthew Kane write about in this article: self-understanding, competency, knowledge, and connection. The result of all four outcomes is the development of well-rounded, grounded, and informed young people. It also fosters core skills such as problem solving, self-reflection, and collaboration, combined with attributes of fortitude, perseverance, and flexibility. These are critical to successful tertiary education, for example, and universities are increasingly looking for these attributes in their applicants.
Springhouse Community School maintains this focus on holistic development through demonstrating commitment to six values: connection, individuality, creativity, resiliency, integrity, and trust. It is expected that all members of our school community commit to these values and I was part of a lengthy process this year to clearly define how these values should be expressed in practice. It was a rare and curious honor to sit down with staff and student representatives and other members of the Board of Trustees month after month, fleshing out how we practice commitment to these core values in our community. Springhouse Community School offers not only the promise of an amazing education for my children, but also this precious gift to me: the opportunity to experience deep connection, to express and honor individuality, creativity, resiliency, integrity, and trust in a community holding space for me, and to feel myself growing in life-long holistic learning.