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Environmental Charter School Foundation for a Culture of Excellence: A Clarifying Process for Moving Forward
It has been a journey. Introduction • Thank you…to all of you, past and present • Outgrowing Imagine • Moving forward with clarity and consistency
Objectives for Tonight: Where are we now? Where do go from here? • Review the process faculty have gone through over • Connect governance and operations • Begin dialogue around stakeholder roles in moving the institution forward
ECS Moving Forward: Why has our identity been unclear? • How We Came to Be… • Our history, Our story • Multiple Forces of influence … • Founding Group • Founding Board • Imagine • Charter • Teachers • Parents • Pittsburgh Public Schools
ECS Moving Forward: Why has our identity been unclear? The Results of Multiple Forces of Influence: • Identity Crisis • Different interpretations of mission • Disjointed systems • Important decisions made without a clear organizational foundation • Rapid Expansion - $, people, buildings
ECS Moving Forward: Where do we need to go? • Lack of shared direction • Lack of a common roadmap • Lack of shared language for the journey
ECS Moving Forward: Why is this so important? • Starbucks Analogy • Two Buildings - One Culture • New faces, new structures - One Culture. • No decision lives in isolation
How do we clarify our vision and move forward? • The Survey Results • The Common Adjectives • The Common Themes
ECS Guiding Principles • Catalyst: As a charter school, we are innovators in public education. We are a passionate and progressive group of educators who work to develop individuals into global thinkers with diverse perspectives • Character: We are dedicated to making the world a better place, socially and environmentally, for future generations. We engage students in character development through educational experiences that evaluate the impact of individual choices and that are born from collective discussion and the investigation of diverse perspectives.
ECS Guiding Principles • Collaboration: We value collaboration with our community and recognize the power of systems thinking. We believe that respectful, transparent, and reflective dialogue among our constituents (students, families, faculty, neighbors, and regional partners) is necessary for elevating educational experiences for all learners. • Commitment: We are a dedicated community of passionate leaders who are committed to defining ecological literacy in an educational setting. Our educational model endorses an interdisciplinary view of complex environmental systems.
Next Steps: Defining our Guiding Principles for all stakeholders • Phase 1: What do we believe? Who are we without Imagine Schools? • Phase 2: How do the ECS Guiding Principles translate into our work as a board of trustees? How do we build consistency and efficacy? • Phase 3: What framework and/or systems will support action and advocacy? • Phase 4: What resources will we need to translate our roles into action?
Next Steps: Short Term Expectations…Begin with the End in Mind! • Guide this process over several months • Revamp our monthly Administrative Report to the board based on information that you need to do your work • Defining clear roles of how governance and operations exist and support each other
Moving Forward “We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood, the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.” – Otto Neurath