Symbols and Hidden Rules of My School

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Symbols and Hidden Rules of My School by Mind Map: Symbols and Hidden Rules of My School

1. Symbols

1.1. Catholic Faith

1.1.1. Crosses: Located with in every classroom, on the outside school building including the doors

1.1.2. Religious Art & Statues: Located throughout the hallways and classrooms featuring major figures important to the Catholic faith (i.e. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, St. Anne, Pope Francis, Bishop Kevin, etc.)

1.1.3. Student Work: Some samples of student work posted in the hallways show student involvement and understanding of the current liturgical season and related activities (i.e. Lent, Stations of the Cross, etc.)

1.1.4. Church Building: The Church Building is visible from any building on campus.

1.2. Academic Achievement and Expectations

1.2.1. Motivational Posters: Posters focusing on character and academic excellence are posted in the hallways

1.2.2. Student Work is posted throughout the hallways showcasing academic progress for every grade level

1.2.3. Academic Decathlon Poster & Trophy: The poster of the current teams and school trophy is located in upper grade hallway for students and visitors to view

1.2.4. SLE Posters and Banners: Student Learning Expectation posters are posted in every classroom and written on student assignments. Banners are posted outside on the fencing surrounding the Grotto for students and visitors to view daily.

1.2.4.1. SLE 1: People of deep faith who...

1.2.4.2. SLE 2: Enthusiastic Learners who...

1.2.4.3. SLE 3: Persons of Integrity who...

1.2.4.4. SLE 4: Globally Aware Citizens who...

1.3. Physical Environment

1.3.1. Secure, rod-iron fencing surrounding the school and parish grounds; doorbell with cameras to allow visitors on the property.

1.3.2. Grounds are kept free of trash and graffiti; classrooms are neat and orderly despite

1.3.3. 4 separate buildings are all painted to reflect and blend with the church building.

1.3.4. The Grotto: An outdoor garden with a statue scene portraying Our Lady of Fatima and the three shepherd children she appeared to. The Grotto over looks the playground area and lunch shelter.

1.3.5. Black top only (No grass); playground structure for Preschool only; Multiple basketball and volleyball nets available, painted boundaries for blacktop games

2. Hidden Rules

2.1. Traditional Catholic Positions on Issues and Topics

2.1.1. The majority of the staff tends to take a more conservative position on many topics and issues. These positions often are in line with the traditions and teachings of the Catholic Church.

2.1.1.1. "When in doubt, go the conservative route." - New teacher, Bridget T.

2.1.1.2. Pro-life

2.1.1.3. Traditional View of Marriage

2.2. Relationships with Families

2.2.1. The school is home to many extended families. It is not uncommon to have multiple cousins within a grade. Many families have been a part of the school for ten or more years.

2.2.2. When needing information on a family, the best person to ask is the secretary. She often knows who the best person to contact in the family or the current situation of the family (financial, social/emotional, living, etc.)

2.3. Curriculum Autonomy

2.3.1. Teachers are given a lot of autonomy on planning their curriculum for their grade level or assigned classes. While they do have to submit curriculum maps that are aligned to standards (CCSS, NGSS, etc.), they are given the freedom to choose how and when those standards are addressed in their classroom.

2.3.2. Teachers are given freedom to try new strategies and programs out as long as they don't cost the school money.

2.4. Discipline

2.4.1. While teachers are expected to maintain order in their classroom, they are allowed to send disruptive students to the current Assistant Principal's or the 2nd grade teacher's classrooms at any point during the day.

3. Impact of Catholicism

3.1. ANALYSIS: The culture at my school is overwhelmingly catholic. Almost every where you turn, there is evidence of the catholic faith whether it be in the physical environment, classroom discussions or activities, or discussions with the staff and families.

3.2. IMPACT: The catholic culture of the school provides a common set of moral and ethical beliefs and expectations for all stakeholders to share. It also helps to build a strong family culture at our school as we see one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our faith is openly discussed and practiced amongst all shareholders - students, faculty, and families.

3.3. PROMOTING POSITIVE REACTIONS: Students regularly participate in and lead various prayers and masses throughout the year. Parents are able to join the school in the Monday morning assembly and prayer as well as the weekly morning mass each grade level attends. Non-Catholic or non-practicing students and faculty members should be provided support via mentors or supplemental instruction to learn of the Catholic faith and ways to participate in faith related activities. This will help to build community and understanding, and prevent isolation and conflict. Furthermore, staff and families who have a more liberal view point on political and social issues may struggle and find themselves in conflict with the more conservative point of views of many staff members and families.

4. Impact of the Academic Expectations

4.1. ANALYSIS: The school makes a significant effort to celebrate and promote high academic achievement for all students. Students are given opportunities to display their academic achievements in multiple subjects and grades. This helps communicate to parents, visitors and other stakeholders of the school the progress and abilities of the students. Teachers, also, have the freedom to adjust curriculum and content topics to the needs and interests of their current students.

4.2. IMPACT: The student work displayed throughout the school helps build pride in their work and provides all stakeholders with evidence of high academic expectations of the school. Additionally, since teachers have the flexibility to plan their own curriculum, they are better able to match the curriculum to topics students are interested in and differentiate the content to meet the needs of the students for that given year.

4.3. PROMOTING POSITIVE OUTCOMES: Not all teachers regularly update the student work displayed. This can lead to disinterest in future work to be displayed. Furthermore, as a result of teachers having lots of flexibility in the curriculum taught, there is risk that not all standards will be addressed. This could lead to gaps in student learning and mastery. It is important the school administration regularly checks curriculum maps and weekly lesson plans to ensure content is standards-aligned as well as working with the faculty to review student data to inform instruction. The administration should also encourage teachers to update student work displayed on a monthly basis.

5. Other Impacts

5.1. ANALYSIS & IMPACT: The school works hard to keep a clean and well-maintained campus despite having limited resources and physical space. The school also works to ensure safety and order through the physical environment and the discipline standards set by experienced staff members. The family culture of the school also gives the staff an opportunity to build lasting and positive relationships with students and families at the school. New teachers and staff are able to learn family history from experienced staff members.

5.2. PROMOTING POSITIVE REACTIONS: Due the the limited playground space and lack of permanent play equipment, students can grow bored during recess periods. It is important that the school provides play equipment (jump ropes, balls, etc.) for students to use during recess. In the area of discipline, having teachers send disruptive students to other classrooms causes more disruption. The school should consider changing the policy to sending disruptive students to the office or principal instead of other teachers as much as possible. As a result of having many extended families attend the school and several staff members who have been on staff for over fifteen years, biases could form. Experienced staff members should maintain a professional and neutral position and relationship with families. This will help maintain a fair environment for all stakeholders.