Setting a new standard - Westminster School leads the way
Westminster School, Connecticut, seeks to engage the Greater Hartford region by entering partnerships with several public school peers and various other non-profit organizations.
As part of its recent accreditation cycle, Westminster proposed a “special focus”: civic engagement. This is an exciting move. The proposed “special focus” signals a willingness to extend the school’s definition of community.
Accreditation seeks to identify, affirm, and uphold best practice. At the same time, accrediting agencies encourage creative school initiatives to meet emerging opportunities. Westminster offers one model for schools to balance tradition and innovation.
SPECIAL FOCUS STANDARD: Civic Engagement
In an attempt to honor both its mission and its core values, the School seeks opportunities for civic engagement in Greater Hartford.
Civic Engagement – A: The School provides systematic and ongoing outreach programs, as distinguished from episodic efforts, that engage students, faculty, and staff in the world beyond the School’s borders.
Civic Engagement – B: The School also honors episodic outreach events that are consistent with its core values of “Community, Character, Balance, and Involvement” and that give students, faculty and staff opportunities to participate in social service.
Civic Engagement – C: The School incorporates civic engagement in its academic program, in its chapel program, and in its afternoon program so as to instill in all of its constituents a desire “to reach well beyond the ordinary, to live with intelligence and character, and to commit to a life of service beyond self” (from the School’s Mission Statement).
Civic Engagement – D: The School allocates resources and makes a consistent effort to bring the outside world to campus in the form of visiting writers, artists, educators, scientists, and community leaders.
Civic Engagement – E: Through the Westminster Crossroads Learning Program (WCLP), the School attempts to provide educational services and assistance to students from Hartford — primarily, but not exclusively, students from Hartford Public High School.
Civic Engagement – F: The School seeks to create dialogue and kinship with members of the Greater Hartford community so as to better meet the needs of those it attempts to serve.
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