The vision of the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) is to provide all students with a rigorous, standards-based curriculum in arts and academics that instills a life-long passion for learning and a respect for diversity. Our mission is dedicated to providing a challenging interdisciplinary curriculum, which inspires academic and artistic excellence for a culturally diverse population. We are committed to a personalized atmosphere of self-esteem, respect, enthusiasm, and cooperation.
The challenge we face is to balance the love of the arts with academics and to welcome all stakeholders in both of these ares so that the arts and academics really do share center stage, and all students have the opportunity to excel artistically and academically.
To personalize the artistic and academic experience for SCPA students and build self-esteem, enthusiasm, and cooperation, our staff is in the process of revisiting our school culture and the extent to which it is welcoming. This year we added a 7th grade retreat to help unite the 7th graders and to start building a more welcoming culture for our middle school students. Last year we implemented an 8th grade promotion. Because we are a 6-12 grade school, our middle school students did not receive the same recognition and attention as our high school students. We are implementing programs to change this. We also have several programs in place to reduce bullying. Much of these efforts are promoted by our ASB students, our school webpage, lessons on digital citizenship, and Circle of Friends. We have also started a school-wide student of the month recognition and validation of their achievements. Finally our new Principal is holding Principal chats between all stakeholders.
Based on my assessment of which stakeholders could be more effectively welcomed, parents of EL students were the subgroup that seemed less welcomed. There is also inconsistency with parents being welcomed on campus by all stakeholders, as well as inconsistencies between teachers, staff, and administration).
Future Sphere of Influence: If I were the school Principal, I would assemble a subcommittee to create opportunities to welcome parents of EL students and provide better support to this group.
Current Sphere of Influence: In my present position to enhance welcoming parents of EL students, I would re-establish a monthly on-sight ELAC meeting. This would include access to resources, ELL supports, cultural celebration, assistance with technologies students are using.
FIVE Things I am Willing to do this Semester that Will Make my SCPA a More Welcoming Place:
1. Reach out to the EL parent community.
2. Get to know staff new to SCPA (I tend to stay on one side of the campus—need to get out more).
3. Think about relationships based on respect and mutual accountability rather than on an “us” verses “them” mentality.
4. Provide verbal and written communications to follow up as needed.
5. Teach and model understanding, respect, and tolerance.