Strengths Of St. Gregory

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Strengths Of St. Gregory

  1. 1. Strengths of St. Gregory Survey: Responses from Teachers, Parents, and Trustees Compiled by Jonathan Martin, Head of School September 14, 2009
  2. 2. Survey details <ul><li>Respondents asked to share 1-3 greatest strengths of the school. </li></ul><ul><li>40 teachers, 30 parents, 11 trustees responded </li></ul><ul><li>Individual answers grouped into categories, and for each constituency, the categories are ordered from most popular to least. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Teacher Responses
  4. 4. CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS-TRUST <ul><li>Close family-like culture…traditional boundaries are blurred, we are beyond “day school” mentality. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers maintain relationships long after students graduate. </li></ul><ul><li>Close relationships between students, faculty, and coaches builds a trust that helps students gain skills and confidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Exceptional faculty and their willingness to bend over backwards to work with students to maximize their full potential. Next, the close relationships we can have with our students. In some cases we are more like partners, at least in my case in the upper school. </li></ul><ul><li>We have time and resources to push kids to the max on an individual basis. </li></ul><ul><li>The relationship between students and faculty. There is rapport between students and faculty which grows stronger over time and supports students in their personal and academic growth. </li></ul><ul><li>Unique and special relations among teachers and students. </li></ul><ul><li>Kids are nurtured and do not fall between cracks. </li></ul><ul><li>Students and teachers have genuine respect for each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Intimacy of environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>The personal dimension—strong relationships between faculty and students. </li></ul>
  5. 5. BREADTH OF PROGRAM <ul><li>Offers a variety of educational experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>A balance between core subjects and the visual and performing arts classes. </li></ul><ul><li>We are able to be flexible in structuring a student's academic program while maintaining graduation requirements which guarantee that a student has had a strong program and is well-prepared for university.  </li></ul><ul><li>Quality arts and sports, variety of educational opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Fantastic curriculum and large number of offerings, varied and meets diverse needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Great flexibility within and beyond curriculum, scheduling, et cetera </li></ul><ul><li>We encourage student-led clubs, activities. </li></ul><ul><li>High academic standards combined with a holistic approach and a focus on the person, including extra-curriculars.  We try to focus less on grades and assessments than learning. </li></ul><ul><li>We produce well-rounded students, by and large. Students experience multiple facets of curricular and extracurricular activities, even if they aren't very strong in all areas. Most of them &quot;try&quot; lots of things and discover new interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to thrive in academics, the arts and in athletics. It may not be easy, but for the determined student he or she can juggle all three. </li></ul><ul><li>Travel opportunities for language/culture study. </li></ul><ul><li>Solid curriculum in a variety of areas including an excellent arts elective program that you can't find at other schools around Tucson; a positive athletic program focusing on quality participation, fitness, skills, and good sportsmanship; and various cultural experiences through foreign trips and community service. Thus, we are educating our students to be academically strong, as well as strong, positive members of society. </li></ul><ul><li>Art, music and sports…because they’ve been cut in public schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for students to excel in lots of areas (there are few “specialists”) thus fewer impenetrable cliques. </li></ul>
  6. 6. SMALLER CLASSES <ul><li>Smaller class sizes=more individual time with students. </li></ul><ul><li>Small classes with extended block meeting time. </li></ul><ul><li>Class sizes scaled to robust teacher-student interaction and immediate feedback about achieving learning goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of faculty- expertise in their respective fields coupled with small class size. </li></ul><ul><li>Small class sizes allow us to assign more in depth assignments leading to deeper learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Students receive immediate feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Small numbers and class sizes allows us to attend to all students personally. </li></ul><ul><li>Small class sizes, which promote a strong and steady pace, powerful collaborative relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Small class sizes. smaller classes/bigger campus/more time with students on a personal level. </li></ul><ul><li>Class size does differentiate us; we have smaller classes than public schools, certainly, and most charter schools, and that affects the quality of everything that we can do for our students. </li></ul>
  7. 7. INDEPENDENT CREATIVE INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM <ul><li>The educational program at STG is intentional and organic rather than proscribed by another entity. </li></ul><ul><li>The creativity teachers bring to their classrooms and to the school. The school supports new programs and initiatives which provide our students with a wide range of opportunities to learn inside and outside of the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Academic rigor different from public schools tied to AIMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility that an independent school offers, no stifling bureaucracy - Leads to awesome, experiential authentic education. </li></ul><ul><li>Forward thinking philosophy of education, professional development, and technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Education intentional and organic. </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom from oppressive standards means more creativity, more time to explore and foster curiosity. </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility in teaching styles and  curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>No state mandated testing. </li></ul><ul><li>A 4-block/day schedule that is more manageable as an 8-block/day schedule. This lends towards quality lab activities and other inquiry-based lessons. </li></ul>
  8. 8. COLLEGE PREP <ul><li>We do a good job of preparing kids for college.  This is consistently something that alumni return to tell us. covers the requirements for entry to college classes. </li></ul><ul><li>We offer a little bit of everything, multiple languages, sciences, maths, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Providing students with the skills not only to survive, but to succeed, thrive, and excel in post-secondary settings. </li></ul><ul><li>We prepare students better for college, as we should. </li></ul>
  9. 9. EXCELLENT TEACHING <ul><li>Quality teachers for the most part. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality teachers who strive to improve their own learning towards their teaching, as well as their students learning.  </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of faculty- expertise in their respective fields coupled with small class size. </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty strength in subject areas and passion for subject. </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty enthusiasm, creativity, expertise. </li></ul><ul><li>Our middle school is loaded with faculty that care about nurturing wholeness, being kind, and coaching students to high levels of academic achievement. </li></ul>
  10. 10. CAMPUS <ul><li>Campus is amazing. </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of outdoor learning environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical beautify. </li></ul><ul><li>Beautiful campus, well-planned, sufficient space, open buildings that promote creativity, safety, security, conducive to community, peace, solitude, more like a community college in size and space, well-maintained buildings that are sufficient to our needs. </li></ul><ul><li>A beautiful and peaceful campus that is a wonderful retreat as well as an up-to-date facility. </li></ul><ul><li>Beautiful / green campus – lots of teachable & meditative, contemplative space. </li></ul>
  11. 11. WRITING INSTRUCTION <ul><li>Writing/editing skills of our students are strong leaving STG and heading to college. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong emphasis on writing skills; alumni frequently comment on their preparation for college in this area. </li></ul><ul><li>Our students really learn to write. </li></ul>
  12. 12. SAFETY <ul><li>School is safe, no dark corners, no cruel students. </li></ul><ul><li>Positive peer pressure, not negative. </li></ul><ul><li>MS—emphasis on safety and kindness. </li></ul><ul><li>We have created a safe environment for learning and exploring interests. </li></ul>
  13. 13. COMMUNITY SERVICE <ul><li>Giving back to the community. </li></ul><ul><li>We encourage environmental stewardship, community awareness, strong. </li></ul><ul><li>Citizenship skills. </li></ul><ul><li>We encourage investment in community and community connectedness. </li></ul>
  14. 14. LEADERSHIP <ul><li>The students are good leaders in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>We make leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>Our challenge course program running throughout all 7 years is something that doesn't happen in other schools. Some have retreats, but over the years, we have built a program that promotes leadership, teamwork, and interpersonal dynamics outside the classroom that does have an impact in the classroom. This is very challenging to quantify, but outside facilitators &quot;see&quot; it. </li></ul>
  15. 15. GOOD STUDENTS <ul><li>Good students, good people. </li></ul><ul><li>Students are motivated, so less “management” is required and more teaching takes place. </li></ul>
  16. 16. CRITICAL THINKING <ul><li>We teach our students to ask good questions. </li></ul><ul><li>They become critical thinkers in their time here, whether it's a couple years or 7 years. </li></ul>
  17. 17. SERVING “B” STUDENTS <ul><li>The student who would be average, unnoticed, and not challenged elsewhere is pushed to do his / her best work, rises to a level academically that would not be required or possible at another school, and goes on to do extremely well in college. I have always felt that this is our greatest strength, and a parent reminded me again today, telling me about his son who was not one of our top students but was SO ready to do well at university and earned a degree in four years. </li></ul><ul><li>Balance between structure and tolerance so that students have opportunities to take emotional risks, even not all of them choose to do so. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Parent Strength Survey
  19. 19. EXCELLENT TEACHERS <ul><li>Passionate teachers creating an atmosphere that breeds interest / curiosity in their given subject / areas of interest. Competence and confidence in their subject area (use of technology). </li></ul><ul><li>GOOD TEACHERS </li></ul><ul><li>Strong teaching staff </li></ul><ul><li>Creative, fun teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Interested faculty. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the teachers are excellent. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Quality teachers </li></ul><ul><li>The teachers - solid instructors. </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Several inspiring teachers, many of them male, which is a nice change from elementary school, and very beneficial for male students </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Great teachers, faculty </li></ul><ul><li>The teachers, the teachers, the teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>The teachers, we are new (6th grade), but my daughter loves her teachers...she is inspired! </li></ul><ul><li>good teachers </li></ul>
  20. 20. SMALL CLASSES—LOW RATIO <ul><li>Small classes </li></ul><ul><li>Individualized attention- if students seek help, they will get it. </li></ul><ul><li>Low Student-Teacher Ratio </li></ul><ul><li>Small class size </li></ul><ul><li>small class size </li></ul><ul><li>small classes Small class sizes for greater individual attention </li></ul><ul><li>Small classroom sizes </li></ul><ul><li>Small student body and a good student - teacher ratio, which allows students to feel &quot;known.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>small class size and teacher availability to students (tutorial) SMALL CLASS SIZES. </li></ul>
  21. 21. TEACHER-STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS <ul><li>Teacher support </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers take the time to see potential, interest, special abilities of student and can encourage each child individually..(have seen this w/our daughter over 2 1/2 yrs @ STG). </li></ul><ul><li>A genuine interest in the students well being. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher-student relationships / willingness to cooperate with the schedules of our busy students. Our students over-work themselves in the attempt to be rounded. This means playing multiple sports, while volunteering and participating in clubs. </li></ul><ul><li>Sincere concern and attention to my child as an individual first and then as a student. That sense of care and concern creates and environment that a student can feel safe to explore and grow in, free of criticism, judgment, and negativity. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual support from teacher and access to them when needed. Support from faculty and staff - Individual attention to student. </li></ul>
  22. 22. EDUCATIONAL CREATIVITY/INNOVATION <ul><li>Block scheduling </li></ul><ul><li>The freedom to teach 21st Century Curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Staying current and using innovative and relevant methods and information to teach students. Using hands on practical projects to gain knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Block Instruction - allows more time to focus on each subject. </li></ul><ul><li>BEST AND LATEST THEORIES IN EDUCATION. </li></ul>
  23. 23. BREADTH OF PROGRAM <ul><li>Programs- Africa experience, Leadership (ropes), iMap (though that seems to be discontinued). </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent Fine Arts and all-inclusive sports programs - wide variety of curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse opportunities to get involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual and emotional balance in learning - or leaning toward that more and more. </li></ul>
  24. 24. CHALLENGING CURRICULUM <ul><li>Challenging and thoughtful curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging material with vested faculty. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>The traditional curriculum is one that is strong at St. Greg's and we hope will remain so. </li></ul>
  25. 25. PREPARATION FOR SUCCESS <ul><li>Positioning students to succeed.  </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on college. </li></ul><ul><li>Performance expectations. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Board Strength Survey
  27. 27. EXCELLENT TEACHERS <ul><li>Quality of the middle school faculty. </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated faculty. </li></ul><ul><li>The fabulous teachers -- interesting and intellectual people who give time and attention to each student. </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated teaching staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers inspire achievement of student potential. </li></ul>
  28. 28. WHOLE CHILD—BREADTH OF CURRICULUM <ul><li>Never losing site of the growth and development of the whole person, intellectually, interpersonally, physically. </li></ul><ul><li>Well rounded – liberal arts – program. </li></ul><ul><li>At St. Gregory students can participate in a greater number of activities than in larger schools - allowing them to explore areas they may not have otherwise experienced. </li></ul><ul><li>Not just about academics. </li></ul>
  29. 29. INNOVATIVE AND EXCELLENT CURRICULUM <ul><li>Focus on 21st Century Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on deeper probing in fundamental areas. I loved Dr. Menke's response to what's the purpose of the bio course: response – see / understand how physics and chemistry connect fundamentally into biology. </li></ul><ul><li>Very high standards of expectations combined with support. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on leadership, character, and scholarship. </li></ul>
  30. 30. SMALL CLASSES <ul><li>Small class sizes. </li></ul><ul><li>The low teacher to student ratio creates relationships - allows greater depth of learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Small class size with many opportunities for individual attention. </li></ul>
  31. 31. PREPARATION FOR SUCCESS <ul><li>The meaningful approach to the curriculum -- kids are well versed in how to navigate college and beyond. </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare students for college and life.  </li></ul>
  32. 32. WRITING INSTRUCTION <ul><li>The amount and scope of the writing that the kids are taught. </li></ul><ul><li>Students learn to like to read and write. </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting “B” Students. </li></ul><ul><li>Improves students at all levels. </li></ul>
  33. 33. TEACHER-STUDENT RELATIONSHIP <ul><li>Individualized attention that students get. </li></ul><ul><li>Caring </li></ul>

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