Seattle Girls' School

News and happenings in education from the Head of School, Rafael del Castillo

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Today I attended the Women’s Funding Alliance breakfast, Amplify: Raise the Volume, Up the Impact. Seattle Girls’ School is currently the only school recipient of WFA funding. I believe that it is a testament to the scope and reach of our mission. We do indeed exemplify their definition of amplify:

• To make more powerful, stronger or louder
• To magnify intensity, heighten, deepen, compound, raise
• To add to; make complete
• To increase the volume

As our families converge on the school next week to interface with teachers, but led by students who “chair” their learning teams; I want to share with you some communication from our Curriculum Council. These are the school’s core standards that we use to inform both planning and assessment at SGS. Our faculty revisits these standards every year to ensure viability and relevance.

• Democratic Citizenship: The student actively works to create an environment in which there is respect and equity for all. The student works to create equitable social interactions and strives to be a critical consumer of information about issues. She consistently works with others toward a common goal while balancing both individual and group needs.
• Analytical / Critical Thinking and Problem-solving: Analytical/critical thinking involves the ability to make accurate observations, draw inferences, identify relationships and integrate knowledge. Problem solving includes the ability to examine possible solutions, choose effective courses of action, plan ahead/strategize, integrate skills into a functional process, monitor that process, document results, and accurately evaluate and verify.
• Communication: Communication involves the ability to clearly and effectively impart or exchange information through a variety of methods and modes: verbally - in both speaking and writing, active listening skills, and visual representations. Effective communication results in a two-way exchange of pertinent information as well as in the potential to positively influence others or reach a desired outcome.
• Effort (Work Habits): Effort involves consistent evidence of follow-through and responsibility. Evidence of effort includes meeting deadlines, possessing required class materials, arriving promptly, paying close and consistent attention, adhering thoroughly to verbal and written directions, completing all prescribed tasks, posing pertinent, provocative questions, and participating actively.

I believe that our focus on 21st century skills helps insure that this amplification effect starts happening in grade 5, 6, 7 or 8. We are not just preparing the girls for some distant future endeavor. The future is tomorrow; and these girls are ready to shape it!

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