One of the most important aspects of being a community is having a common understanding of the key values and expectations that guide the group’s actions and decisions.
In 2017, we began the process of re-examining the Student Learning Expectations that were created in 1997. Our purpose was to update these expectations to align with current understandings about teaching and learning, while maintaining the principles and vision of our founder. The staff held deep conversations about how to identify and define student learning. Students were consulted and shared their thoughts about the attitudes and approaches to learning that they felt were most important and powerful in preparing them for the future. From these conversations, we identified the five Nishimachi Learner Expectations.
The change from “student learning” to “Nishimachi learner” was also a deliberate choice. All members of the Nishimachi community, including students, teachers, support staff, parents, and the larger community, are part of the continuous process of growth and learning. We are all learners; we all realize the value of the following expectations for learners:
Our new Nishimachi Learner Expectations are based on the beliefs that, as learners:
We make connections. We cultivate meaningful connections between people, cultures and ideas.
We take ownership. We take initiative, we explore our own questions and accept responsibility for our actions.
We pursue challenges. We take risks and persevere.
We act ethically. We respect differences, are empathetic and work to find solutions on a global and local levels.
We are creative. We use multiple processes to think, innovate and reflect.
Posters that include Japanese symbols and Kanji, as well as the Learner Expectation statements are displayed throughout the school, and teachers incorporate these principles into their classroom activities.
The finalization of our new Nishimachi Learner Expectations takes us into our seventieth year as a school, respecting the traditions of our past and embracing new directions for learning, as we prepare our students for their future and their responsibilities as citizens of the world.