Focus on Culture – The Sound Mind

Focus on Culture - The Sound Mind:

The organizational and classroom culture that will succeed in this work will:

  • focus on relationships, collaboration, and celebration
  • maximize student opportunity through inclusivity rather than gatekeeping
  • communicate an authentic picture of life at Central
  • engage students in decision-making

To those ends, we adopt several strategies.

  • Focus classroom and organizational culture on relationships, celebration, and collaboration. Sadly, some parents responding to our administration of the New Jersey School Climate Survey felt that their child had not found a strong relationship with an adult at Hunterdon Central. Relationship are crucial to student belonging. Adults working at our school must engage in and model effective strategies for organizational problem-solving in the adult world. This effort must include trust-building, communications skills-building, and relationship-building for the adults who work at the school. We have begun to engage in training with expert consultants to reshape Central’s culture to support our important work.

  • Design and implement HCLive media platform. In addition to providing a resource for our community, our broadcasting and media platform will be well-positioned to provide reiterations and celebrations of positive culture. We have already utilized our television studio to introduce our culture work to the community, and look forward to resuscitating best practice videos and other broadcasts to further our efforts toward a more positive climate.

  • Align placement and leveling to equity and opportunity goals. High schools still suffer from placement and leveling practices that sort, despite strong evidence on the benefits of offering rather than closing off opportunity. We will examine and adjust leveling and placement to close gaps, better align to student strengths and aspirations, and foster an academic culture focused on growth and collaboration.

  • Initiate student wellness summits. Many of our students are involved in wellness programs, but sometimes work in isolation or in silos from their peers. We will create a structure through a regular student-led wellness summits to bring disparate groups and individual students together into common programming. This will be the culmination of this plan’s efforts in the priority of Wellness, as it will leverage all of our partnerships, broadcasting tools, and cultural reframing.