As the new school years begins, we enter it with a new clarity and vision for our students and their future. Our visioning work is shifting to emphasize a whole-person view. Our work cannot solely look at the kindergarten through high school experience, but must be seen as only part of the whole life of a child.
We are adding a Preschool and Early Childhood Center to support the development of children and ensure a successful transition into kindergarten. At the same time, we are working to develop a seamless system for students to transition from elementary to middle school, and from middle to high school. Ultimately, all this work is to support a successful transition into adulthood, so that students leave us with the tools needed to achieve their goals and live fulfilled lives.
This past school year, we engaged in a visioning process that included school staff, board members, students, parents, community members and educational consultants to help us clearly define our cultural identity so we can more deliberately embed the culture of our community into our daily work. A strong identity sets the tone for all we do and what we value.
This collaborative process led to what we are calling “Life Ready Maxims,” which are short statements that act as our core drivers and values we hold for our students. These maxims highlight areas of strength within the Santiam Canyon, and come directly from our community. They are meant to be inclusive. They are written for staff, students, parents, guests and our community. These maxims will help tighten our practices by having a cohesive shared identity.
The new Santiam Canyon Life Ready Maxims are:
- Stand Together
- Find Your Path
- Never Give Up
These Life Ready Maxims are our driving statements for Santiam Canyon to help us make decisions and refine our practices. Not only do these words represent our community, but they are also backed by research showing they support achievement and provide lifelong skills for success. Our job now is to take these words and make them our practice. As I reflect on the process and outcome, I feel strongly that these words reflect our community, and that this cohesive language will pull us together as a staff and as a community, for the betterment of the kids of Santiam Canyon.
The more these maxims are built into daily practice, the deeper their impact will be on our cultural identity. Please join us in using these maxims, as we prepare our students for a successful school experience and life beyond.
Todd A. Miller, Superintendent