C3: Student-teacher-parent agreements

Creativity Challenge Community
Alan Gottlieb, Compositive Staff

Creativity Challenge Community places a high value on creating a strong sense of community. School staff is far more intentional about community-building than what you might see at a more traditional public school.

One example: Everyone involved in the school from staff to parents to students, must sign a student-teacher-parent agreement. Under the agreement, all members of the community pledge to be kind, courageous thinkers, “to ensure academic and social growth for all.”

How being kind, courageous thinkers manifests differs for each group.

Students pledge to be kind by respecting teachers, staff, parents and classmates, the school campus and themselves, courageous by “asking questions to help me understand and share my thinking with the classroom community;” and thinkers by contributing their own creative ideas to classroom discussions, and by working collaboratively with their peers.

Parents agree to be kind by demonstrating respect to teachers, staff, children, and other parents; courageous by “assuming positive intentions of teachers, staff and parents;” and thinkers by working collaboratively with teachers, staff, and children to solve problems. Parents also commit to contributing 20 hours of “family service” to C3 each school year.

Teachers, administrators and school staff, pledge to be kind by respecting students, parents, and C3 colleagues, as well as having open communication with parents; courageous by (as with parents) assuming positive intentions of others; and thinkers by contributing to the creation of a culture of thinking creatively, considering diverse perspectives, honoring specific learning needs, and working collaboratively to solve problems.

The school reinforces the agreement by holding a workshop about the meaning behind the commitments. This year, about three-quarters of the school’s parents attended, according to Principal Julia Shepherd.

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