As we approach the end of the calendar year and look forward to rejuvenating time with family, friends and loved ones, I wish you all peace and send thanks for the incredible support you provide for each of our students. Our mission inspires us to uphold each and every member of our community, recognizing each student for who they are rather than who we think they should be.
We don’t rest on our laurels here. We are guided by the belief that there is always a better way to ensure each of our students has the best opportunity to grow intellectually and academically, and interpersonally. Whether it’s within our academic program, in our work to build a truly equitable and inclusive community, or in the way we think about our facilities and our approach to health and wellness, Vistamar is committed to building a place that truly represents a better way to do high school.
As part of our commitment to leading edge practices in education, we engage in a thorough subject study of each academic department every three years. This year, through our subject studies, World Languages and Mathematics departments are engaging in focused research and reflective work to ensure our curriculum and academic program remain exceptional and that we continue to offer the kind of educational experience that changes lives. Beginning with the end in mind, we are guided by the idea that if a ‘portrait’ of a graduate in these departments is the desired endpoint, the curriculum and the way we teach should be focused on achieving that goal.
Diversity, equity and inclusion work has been a central value of the school since our founding in 2005. The work isn’t always comfortable and yet we embrace our responsibility as a community to ensure each member of our school community feels valued, has a voice, and is supported. It’s a central and abiding priority. Our cultural assessment completed last year resulted in a number of priorities: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work to promote equity and inclusion through stronger affinity group support, a deeper understanding of cultural competency, and strengthening the way we attract, recruit and retain excellent teachers who bring diversity of experience, passion for teaching, and a belief in our mission.
And as we plan for the new Viking Commons which will include a new kitchen, a redesigned entrance to the school, and a lunch program to serve all students, I’m inspired by the opportunities this will bring, from healthful meals to community-strengthening shared lunchtime for all. Early support for this project has been amazing and as we move into the new year, we’ll be sharing many more details about it and our plans for implementation. We hope you agree that this is a natural direction for the school and that it will enhance an already outstanding educational experience.
Looking forward to seeing you when we return in the new year.