EDUCATION MATTERS—SANFORD SCHOOL'S PRIVATE SCHOOL BLOG

4 Ways To Create An Inclusive Community

Posted by Abbi Smith on February 22, 2019 at 12:50 PM
The meaning of the word  diversity has been somewhat diluted by overuse and eclipsed by ambiguous interpretations. While some hear the word and think primarily about race or gender, the more expansive definition includes an array of identity markers. Sanford School’s Statement on Diversity utilizes that expansive interpretation:

Throughout the school’s history, Sanford has celebrated and respected the unique talents of our community members. We continue to create an inclusive, nurturing environment that instills a healthy respect for differences. Sanford values diversity at our core, including, but not limited to: culture, ethnicity, race, spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, learning styles, socio-economic status, and interests.

It is widely accepted that there are significant benefits for all who are immersed in a diverse community, from learning how to appreciate and respect differences to acquiring lifelong skills like communication and listening for understanding. Achieving a diverse community, though, does not inherently lead to a community which values inclusivity and equity. Within any organization that values differences, there is work to be done to help each individual feel important, valued, known and respected. This requires high levels of empathy and a commitment to having difficult conversations. So, what are some ways to work towards this ideal? Where there exist challenges, there are also opportunities for education, self-reflection, and growth. Below are four suggestions to take advantage of the opportunity to being an active part of creating an inclusive community.

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Topics: Parenting Tips, Community, Sanford School

Private Schools Build A Strong Sense Of Community

Posted by Janice Payne on January 25, 2019 at 1:07 PM

When searching for a private school, parents should consider more than just what the school has to offer their child. It is also important to look for a sense of community that includes both students and parents. Consider how parent involvement is encouraged and appreciated. While personal circumstances dictate the degree to which adults can share their time and talents, a recent study found numerous benefits to students when their parents had meaningful involvement in the school. These findings include the following:

  • When parents are involved, students achieve more, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic/racial background, or the parents' education level.
  • Schools that work well with families have better teacher morale and higher ratings of teachers by parents.
  • School programs that involve parents outperform identical programs without parent and family involvement.

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Topics: Parenting Tips, Community

Finding the Right School For Your Child

Posted by Heidi McGregor on October 19, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Have you ever wondered what teachers look for when considering a school for their own children?

Consistently, teachers agree it is important to visit a school on a typical school day when students are present. No surprise...these teachers also feel you should do your homework. Start with a list of questions that are relevant to your child’s development. After all, you know your child best. Here are some of the questions they suggest: 

 

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Topics: Education, Academics, Community

Building Connections for a Caring School Community

Posted by Krista Berneike, Jen Bowen and Ann Marie Galasso on October 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM

"Students are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors and succeed academically when they feel connected to school," according to the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.  Having a home and school connection brings positive benefits concerning both academic success and healthy decision-making. Below are a few activities that can be used to strengthen the support network for children in the classroom to create a caring community.

knowledge is power: Learn about your students

  • Collection Museum: During the first week of school we ask students to bring in something they love or collect, like shells, rocks, or Legos. They present to the whole group about their collection and then we display all of the items in a Classroom Museum and give students time to explore all of the exhibits.
  • Star Student Program: Each week we choose a Star Student, and that child shares things about themselves with the whole group, such as bringing in their favorite book for a classroom read aloud. The rest of the students show how much they value the Star Student by writing kind notes to the child. At the end of the week, the Star Student is presented with a bound book that includes all of the notes from students and teachers talking about the things that make that Star Student an important part of the community.
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Topics: Education, Parenting Tips, Community

7 Places for Summertime Family Fun in Delaware

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on June 15, 2018 at 2:13 PM

Every year, students excitedly wait for the arrival of summer, a time when they get to escape the routine of school and try something new. Though the anticipation of summertime freedom can be exciting, often, when summer arrives, kids get tired of having nothing to do and bored with the lack of routine. A great way to get out of a summertime rut is to plan day outings for the whole family. Here are seven fun things for you and your family to do this summer in Delaware.

Rehoboth Beach

What better place is there to bring a child on a sweltering summer day than the beach? Rehoboth Beach, Delaware offers public sandy beaches with access to a boardwalk with food, shops, and an amusement park, “Funland.” This is a wonderful place to get away with the family, enjoy a swim in the ocean, sunbathe, and have some fun on a ride or play a carnival game.

Delaware Art Museum

Bring out your child’s inner artist with a trip to the Delaware Art Museum. In addition to being a non-profit art museum with permanent exhibits and changing temporary exhibits, the Delaware Art Museum is very welcoming of families and children. They have a reduced admissions fee for families of up to 2 adults and 4 children and children 6 years old and under get in free. Museum admission is free on Thursdays from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM and on Sundays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the museum holds public tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. They also offer stroller tours, youth and adult art classes, and storytelling performances for kids. For families this summer, they will also be holding special yoga in the garden events, studio Sundays, and a summer solstice labyrinth walk.

Brandywine Zoo

Any animal enthusiasts in the family? A trip to the zoo can amaze and delight! Spread across 12 acres of historical land in above the Brandywine River, the Brandywine Zoo is one of over 200 accredited zoos and aquariums in North America. It is open year-round and is committed to taking exceptional care of animals and making family visits enjoyable. This idyllic zoo houses 120 different species and is a great place to escape for the day with the whole family. They hold special events every week, such as “Story Time,” held every Thursday, in which the children are read animal stories, “Reptile Shows,” Fridays through Sundays, where kids can find out about the unique abilities of reptiles, and many more fun events focused on the education of children and their families .

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Topics: Summer, Parenting Tips, Community

Finding Great Children’s Books Starring Black Characters

Posted by Tanya Graham on February 23, 2018 at 5:00 PM

With Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in January and Black History Month in February, I have spent the past few weeks talking to my children about classic figures in Black history.  However, this time of year also reminds me how necessary it is that my kids see themselves in the world even when it’s not Black History Month.  Sometimes this can feel like it’s easier said than done. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center found that of the 3,400 new children’s books published in 2016 only 287—less than 9%—featured Black main characters.

As an educator, I know it’s critical for my kids to see themselves in the books that they read. Professor Emeritus Rudine Sims Bishop at The Ohio State University, discussed the importance of children having both “windows and mirrors” in their books, so that they can learn about the world (windows) and, just as importantly, see themselves represented in it (mirrors). There are several excellent blogs and websites that I’ve used to help me find more mirrors for my kids. I was further inspired to keep making Black children’s literature a priority for my family when I learned about 11-year-old Marley Dias, her desire to see more Black girls and women in literature, and the #1000BlackGirlBooks book drive she started last year.

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Topics: Education, Community, Diversity

The Benefits of Student Participation in Community Service

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on January 26, 2018 at 12:30 PM

The benefits that come from supporting one's community are ageless. Community service fosters empathy for people with different needs and encourages good deeds in every aspect of life. No matter the age, students should have the opportunity to experience the sense of fulfillment gained through community service.

The efforts of even one person can be invaluable when it comes to volunteering. Just one student can mobilize a task force, raise money, or advocate for a cause with stunning results. Students are uniquely qualified to take up such a cause as they have access to a serviceable community and willing participants. Schools can provide many outlets for volunteering such as service clubs and fundraising groups. This is an easy way for students to get started helping their community without having to break from their routines.

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Topics: Education, Health & Wellness, Community

What to Look for When Choosing a High School

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on January 12, 2018 at 12:30 PM

sanford_school_high_school.jpgHigh School is one of the most important influences on the lives of adolescents. It becomes a student’s world at an age when they are still developing their identities, growing into adults, and learning about life. The teachers, students, and learning material serve to influence how teenagers think and view society as they adopt more responsible roles in their own lives. Something that has such a large impact on students' lives should be chosen with careful consideration. A student’s school should be welcoming and tailored to their needs with many exciting opportunities to take risks, make connections and be creative. There are many factors in this monumental decision to consider in order to get the most out of the experience, including:

Classroom sizes
Whether big or small, this choice should be influenced by a student’s learning style. If they do well working in groups with more peer input, having many classmates may be best suited to them. If they do better in a calmer environment with more personal attention from the teacher, a small number of classmates may be the right choice.

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Topics: Education, Admission, Community

Make the Most of Your Parent-Teacher Conferences

Posted by Christine Yasik on November 1, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The parent-teacher relationship is Key in your child's success

A positive parent-teacher relationship is vital to a child’s success in school. Parent-teacher conferences provide an opportunity to strengthen the home and school communication. You and your child’s teachers are a team, and a conference is similar to a team huddle where a game plan for success is being reviewed and, if necessary, revised. Both the parents and the teacher are highly invested and interested adults who will use the meeting time to exchange information that will ensure that your child’s academic and social-emotional well-being are moving forward. This spirit of collaboration and cooperation between home and school will go far in enhancing your child’s opportunities for success. There are a few strategies that parents can do to ensure that your private time with your child’s teacher is used to its maximum benefit. 

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Topics: Education, Parenting Tips, Community

4 Ways Diverse Schools Benefit Kids

Posted by Tanya Graham on October 6, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Many schools take the time to highlight the amount of diversity on their campus, and with good cause: time and again research shows that all students benefit when the student body is diverse. Below are four reasons that it’s worth your while to take notice when schools affirm that diversity matters.

Reason 1: Working with people who are different than you builds problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
It’s easy to have a conversation if everyone agrees with you, but when classrooms include students from many different backgrounds and lifestyles then all of a sudden discussions get more interesting. Different people think differently and it takes significant mental work for students to listen and respond to those whose experiences aren’t the same as theirs. Doing these kinds of cognitive gymnastics—forcing themselves to consider new ideas and understand unique perspectives—means that students have more opportunities for intellectual growth. 

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Topics: Education, Community, Diversity

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