(our belief system that focuses and aligns our decisions)
These beliefs are established by the Board to reflect the priorities of the community. Although they do not contain accountability measures within themselves, the beliefs provide the foundation on which District Strategic Plans are established. The beliefs also guide those in the district when making complex decisions by providing a framework of expectations. This helps keep the entire organization aligned. The beliefs are organized in three related categories:
Development of the Individual Student
We believe all students are individuals who must be developed to reach their fullest potential and to create in them the desire to make the most of themselves.
- This belief highlights that all students should be addressed as individuals(i.e. diversity, economics, kids in the middle, etc.). While potential forevery child could be different, the organization must be very careful not to predetermine potential for fear of mislabeling students.
We believe that strong academics are supported by the development of the whole child, and that these areas of development will be clearly defined and deliberately strengthened.
- Developing the whole student is a priority of the District. Rather than merely speaking about this goal, the expectation is that direct interventions and assessments will take place to impact successful growth.
We believe that district success is created through the individual development of life-long learning; self-managed advocacy; divergent, inquiring, and creative thinking; and collaborative relationship building.
- Developing the whole child includes helping a student develop personal attributes that will ensure self-initiated success after graduation and into adulthood.
Development of the Learning Community
We believe that evidence-based decision making, which is regularly validated, leads to student success.
- The expectation is that actions taken to develop students will be established with the best understanding of available research, an assessment system to highlight program success/shortcomings, and a proactive process of regularly confirming that efforts are moving forward as expected. Rather than assuming that everything is on track, the organization needs to prove it is on track.
We believe that it is the district's fiduciary responsibility to continually look for better ways to effectively and efficiently service our students and to promote partnerships with other parts of the broader community to create strength.
- Efficiency, excellence, and community partnerships strengthen both the District and the broader community in a manner which ensures the greatest return on invested funding.
We believe that our students must have access to effective, knowledgeable, and highly qualified teachers.
- A successful teacher-student interaction is critical for student success. The District must invest in hiring and developing quality teachers and support personnel.
We believe that our students should have access to resources and facilities that support optimal learning.
- A conscious connection should be made to procure and allocate quality facilities, tools, and resources to create opportunities and amplify the efforts of students and staff.
We believe in providing a challenging, exciting, creative, and secure atmosphere in which students, administrators, teachers, and staff can learn and grow.
- An optimal learning environment assumes a surrounding atmosphere that is physically and emotionally safe, healthy, and where differences are embraced.
We believe an investment in early childhood development benefits society in the long term.
- This belief speaks to the importance of having students ready to enter the District prepared to be successful. These early investments expand individual potential and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of future efforts.
Development of the Culture
We believe diversity provides Groton with a unique strength as long as it is actively cultivated.
- This belief moves beyond a simple declaration that diversity is good. It highlights that we need to embrace diversity through deliberate actions to gain strength (the reverse is impliedthat we become weaker if we sit passive).
We believe that organizational success is created, through the fostering of diverse ideas within the structure of authority and accountability.
- A healthy and successful organization seeks diverse viewpoints in which to make informed decisions. In order to foster divergent ideas without fostering conflict or gridlock, those in the organization have to clearly define and respect roles and responsibilities, as well as authority and accountability.
We believe in a culture that encourages respect, risk-taking, shared decision-making, hard work, and perseverance; where we treat others as we wish to be treated.
- An optimal learning environment also has a set of personal expectations. These attributes are meant to be taken together. For example, risk-taking on its own may be dangerous, but when combined with the other attributes very often leads to unanticipated excellence and opportunities.
We believe that it is important to build trust through transparency, active listening, and commitment of purpose.
- In order to foster trust and support within the broader community, transparency (the action of being open), active listening (the action of listening and understanding the ideas of others), and commitment of purpose (being clear about what is important) must exist from all representing the district.
We commit to these beliefs as individuals and as a collective board; and we will hold these as high standards for all adults who impact our students.