SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENT
Develop innovative creators through project- and problem-based learning. Engage all students with a rich, integrated curriculum in a community that respects each individual.
NEW TECH NETWORK FOCUS AREA(S)
Supportive and Inclusive Culture
BIG PICTURE STORY
To create a school of innovative creators where all members of the community are respected and all students have warm demanders as facilitators, Compass Academy implemented new cultural practices at both the learner and adult level to establish a more supportive and inclusive culture. School leadership, teachers, and staff challenged students to embrace high standards for learning and college/career planning.
All student subgroups report a sense of connectedness and belonging, feel their identities are affirmed, sense a learning community, and receive support for social emotional well-being. Effective practices are implemented school-wide and continuously improved upon to further support a relationship-rich environment focused on support and inclusion.
Compass Academy adopted and adapted Marzano High Reliability Schools™ framework as a part of student, faculty and staff recognitions; using the framework indicators to empower their school teaching staff and students (Source: Marzano, R. J., Phil Warrik, and Julia A. Simms. A Handbook for High Reliability Schools: The Next Step in School Reform. Marzano Research, 2014.) By adopting such a framework, the school has expanded the framework of standards to include competencies with performance assessments and academic skills that are transferable across content areas. Compass Academy students know exactly where they are and what they need to do next. This is an important component to enhancing supportive and inclusive culture experiences as this added “a level of fun and engagement that [the school] did not predict. It’s been an excellent investment in the human capital of Compass Academy.” This leading indicator can be seen in action through restorative practice in the classrooms, using the “Good Things” protocol from Capturing Kids’ Hearts (Capturing Kids’ Hearts: A Three-Year Program Evaluation, 2016-17 to 2018-19, May 2020, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED606969.pdf). The Project Expo and Senior Capstone Project Showcase allowed for new and potential students to share their best projects of the year to the public and school board; demonstrating Compass Academy’s school teaching tenets alignment to project-based learning.
Staff consistently demonstrated an asset-based mindset and belief that all students can achieve at high levels and continue to deepen internal awareness and empathy. Practices for a supportive environment, individual growth and shared learning, and shared leadership are well-established and continuously improved upon. Staff report high levels of support and satisfaction. Practices are reviewed and refined to continue to build a supportive environment based on staff feedback and needs.
Meeting notes are captured during the Class Meeting or Community Circle, and shared with facilitators (teaching staff) and students. Student feedback informs the final facilitator feedback/recommendations process, affirming students’ constructs of what are effective practices school-wide. There is a system of calibration in place in which teachers regularly engage in collaborative teams to constantly review and revisit the competencies across grade levels and content areas by centering student interests and connections to their community. Teachers are provided with clear, ongoing evaluations of their pedagogical strengths through an all school recognition system called TRR Awards (Trust, Respect, and Responsibility).