by Ross Peters, Managing Partner, EXPLO Elevate
The big headline this week is that Sara Mierke, Founder of the Anchor Schools Project, has joined EXPLO Elevate as a Senior Consultant.
Sara and I worked together at Hawken School at a critical moment in its history, and while I was Upper School Director, she played a central role as Director of Community Partnerships and Service Learning. This means she was on the ground floor of the creation of and infancy of The Griese Center for Experiential and Service Learning in the vibrant University Circle area of Cleveland. Sara is a remarkable school thought leader, and it is our good fortune to have her with us. (Please read a more thorough bio linked below.)
On Monday, in an event set up by Sara and Co-Founder of the Anchor Schools Project Segun Olagunju, I was part of a conversation with Ira Harkavy and Rita Hodges (what a resource they are, by the way!) from the University of Pennsylvania Netter Center for Community Partnerships, and like refrains that rise within me every time I engage this topic, several questions came to mind:
- How does an independent school, that can elicit deep feelings of ambivalence in the larger community, become a helpful community partner such that people not connected in any way with the school enthusiastically name it as a critical and necessary neighbor?
- How might independent schools decenter themselves in their effort to be vital community partners?
- How do they make their efforts symbiotic with the actual needs of the communities of which they are a part?
- How can we use the word ‘anchor” as a fully accurate metaphor for the role independent schools should seek to play in their community?
- How do we breathe good oxygen into earnest efforts to get this key part of our work right (at last)?
Illustration: How might independent schools decenter themselves, and become one of the many “anchors” moving the vital work of the community forward? This is our first attempt at representing this metaphor through an image – tell us what you think, create your own – share back with us.
Please take a look below the links (also…click the links, please! And sign your team up ASAP for our course this summer with Meghan Cureton!)
Here’s to a fun and healthy end of the school year!
How to find The Grail: Creating the Path to Student Engagement (Part One)
There is an equation for engagement. Place + Connection + Expectation. A school’s ability to excel starts with this simple math. Read ON!
Improve Your Teaching with One Piece of Data
Making progress towards a teaching goal can benefit from less is more. Track just one piece of data for greater impact. Read ON!
Supporting School Leaders Through Strategic Change
Join us for a three-day, action-packed, highly facilitated workshop to help you create your school’s strategic roadmap for implementation! Drawing on their experience with schools across the country, Meghan Cureton and Ross Peters will provide the structure and framework for your team to develop:
- A set of milestones
- Key performance indicators or metrics of success
- A dashboard to manage your strategy
- Actionable roadmap to make your vision a reality