Our Community Values
Any community needs a shared language. Through this language comes deeper conversation, connection, communication and understanding. Every year, the entire school community explores, unpacks and discusses the values below, both as a whole, and within individual classes. This important work strengthens our community, builds character and helps us to attend to the social and emotional learning of each child.
Building resilience is a core component of our mission. One of the essential pieces of resilience is helping children to learn how to push through challenges. A child might be struggling to read a book, solve a math problem or work out a conflict with a friend: every child at PCS knows what we mean when we ask them to persevere through that. And they also know the reward that comes from having done it.
Practicing mindfulness is one of the primary ways we help students understand the value of patience. By taking the time to help children check in and take calm, quiet reflective, peaceful moments, they can regulate their thoughts and behaviors and gain new perspectives on problems. Our students know that patience is required in multiple situations throughout their day, whether it is waiting for a friend to finish their sentence before they can share, or patiently waiting on line to go outside for recess. By practicing patience, we strengthen not only our ability to wait but how we act while we wait.
Compassion means caring for people and helping people. - Sawyer, age 6
Our world can only become a better place through compassion. It is our mission to build this muscle in every student, because no education is complete without one that considers the wellbeing of the world, and our impact on that world. Students work towards building compassion with one another, within the broader community, and the world. Whether by noticing a child sitting alone at lunch, or collecting food donations for the local food bank, or caring for a class pet, our students do not go a day without this value being incorporated in a deep and meaningful way.
Gratitude is saying thank you for something. We showed our gratitude at the Milk Pail when we all said thank you! - Greyson, age 7
A great source of pride, accomplishment and wellbeing comes from appreciation. PCS students share an understanding of the importance of gratitude. Teachers consistently recognize students doing the "right thing" by thanking them. This encourages us all to be our best selves. We also remember to be thankful for the work that happens all around us that makes our lives easier. Students write thank you notes to the individuals who help them keep the school clean, to each other for being good friends and to their teachers for helping them learn. After every field trip or visit from a special teacher, students write thank you cards and notes. Our Thankful Feast is a beloved annual tradition in which all members of the school community come together to appreciate the many gifts and opportunities in our lives.
At PCS we start the school year focusing on community. What is community? What responsibilities do we have as a member of this community? We believe that building a sense of civic duty begins hyper-locally, with themselves, their peers and their teachers. They learn how to be responsible for their own materials, for the furniture and rooms that they use. PCS students understand that they are respected members of the school, and with this comes a duty. Once this foundation is built, students have internalized the value, and can understand its application to citizenship and civc duty in their community, their country and their world.
Any successful relationship is predicated upon honesty. In children, it can take time to define the boundaries between imaginative stories and sincerity. At PCS, we help children navigate that understanding and to learn when, how and why honesty is a fundamental building block of a strong community.
If we can learn to truly respect one another, we can be open to communicate freely, and to truly learn from each others' experiences and perspectives. We work hard to build this value into every interaction and relationship at PCS. Through play, conversation, presentations, we aim to always discuss, model, and practice respect with the self, peer-to-peer, peer-to-staff, staff-to-staff, staff-to-families, and community-to-visitors.
A strong community understands that no accomplishment is achieved in isolation. By using teaching strategies and projects that require teams and partnerships, children learn the skills required to effectively work and succeed together.