The kids. Definitely. Have you ever heard, “That is a great school, fantastic program, but the kids…eh, horrible, really what a terrible bunch” ?
A school is only as great as its students. Beautiful building, top-of-the-line technology, every curricular resource imaginable, teachers with master’s degrees and credentials… all add up to nothing if kids are bored, not learning, and counting the minutes until they are ‘free’ from school grounds.
In this blog, I’m taking it as a given that the kids are the coolest part of the school. Therefore, I consider a ‘cool school’ one which recognizes this fact and puts student needs front and center. In other words, a ‘cool school’ strives to provide engaging learning experiences and a healthy community designed to bring out the best in the kids. And by ‘best’ I mean, achievement on the standardized tests tax payers have been spending millions on, and also visible signs that students are developing and exhibiting qualities we know are truly valuable – curiosity, thoughtfulness, responsibility, focus, creativity, perseverance, discipline, grit.
In this blog, I hope to highlight those places – an entire school, a single school component, a particular class, or a moment in time – worthy of an Academy Award in creating these types of learning environments.
If you know of any cool schools, please send that info my way.