Weekend do-it-yourself, stay-at-home art projects, or SATUR-DIY, has become a regular part our online programming. We hope you’ll join us for these virtual opportunities to create art and learn about our charter school’s core philosophies and arts-based curriculum.
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This past Saturday, we combined our SATUR-DIY art project with a chat on discipline! One of our core values is accountability
At Wilmington School of the Arts, students and staff work together on developing a behavioral contract for each classroom— classroom expectations reflect a collective consensus, thereby promoting accountability. Our intention is to grow actualized young learners, whose positive coping and decision-making skills will impact all aspects of their lives.
From mindfulness meditation to circle time discussion of classroom norms or the day’s challenges, both staff and students provide valuable input in creating the classroom environment.
By asking guiding questions to determine student’s values and concerns, our teachers help students determine norms that promote compassion and safety for all.
As such, each classroom develops a ‘behavioral’ contract that reflects what’s important to the members of that classroom. And when community volunteers, parents, or other teachers visit, they’ll understand the collective culture of that environment.
Children are the future, they’re also the present. At WSA, we want to give kids the tools to set their own boundaries and make their voices heard. By promoting a culture of accountability over punitive discipline, we help children understand concepts of partnership and consensus.
At WSA, a core value centers around non-violent communication. Non-violent communication refers to more than just physical behavior. It includes violent language and negative adjectives that label or marginalize an individual. At WSA, we value tone and word choice when facilitating constructive communication.
Consider the notion of sportscasting, or using objective, non-judgmental language to elicit student input. “I notice you keep drumming your pencils on your desk.” Framed as an observation, this type of statement becomes an acknowledgement– not an accusation. With the focus on eliciting and interpreting student thinking, a teacher creates an environment where the student feels heard.
Accountability aligns with upholding a desired culture—it’s an agreement-based contract, as opposed to a negatively reinforced way of communicating. With in-house support via a school interventionist, teachers’ assistants, and the notion of peer mediation, our school continues to promote the notion of non-violent communication.
Young children make mistakes and sometimes, poor choices. This means they’re human; not good or bad. Leaving room for improvement, growth, and problem-solving aligns with evolving needs and expectations.
A behavioral contract is fluid and dynamic, open to changing with classroom needs or concerns. Because they stem from a collective culture, our classroom norms accommodate new input, and leave room for growth.
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Remember to join us for SATUR-DIY via Instagram of Facebook—we’ll keep you updated! Create, learn, and interact with WSA.
FYI A couple of in-person community events are on the books too! With social distancing measures in place at all WSA gatherings, you’re invited:
- June 13: Community cookout at Creekwood
- June 23: Enrollment Carnival—family fun and food at 231 Central Blvd., Sunset Park
For future events and details, check out monthly calendar at wilmingtonschoolofthearts.com.