- All School
“As a part of this community, you have seen growth and change. But we don’t want you just to witness it. We want you to be a deliberate part of it,” Head of School Dr. Catriona Moran tells participants as she looks out over the room during “Data in a Day.”
Scheduled just days before the new health and safety regulations were directed by the local government, and while parents were still allowed to enter campus by invitation, our recent half-day workshop “Data in a Day” included more than 60 community members with representation by students, faculty, staff, administration, parents, and alumni.
After an initial introduction with instructions, the groups were asked to discuss the “why” of our mission statement “...purposeful life as a global citizen” and what it might mean. The phrase was broken down word-by-word, and each person shared what they thought goes into the words ‘purpose,’ ‘life,’ ‘global,’ and ‘citizen.’ The results became a part of the form that the groups later used to categorize their real-time on-campus observations.
Each group of 4 - 5 people included one student from Elementary School and one from Middle or High School. The student lens was an essential part of this process. Having the student perspective provides a mirror of the reality of the work that SSIS does. The groups were deliberately diverse, ensuring a proper mix of ages, gender, faculty subject areas, division, and time at SSIS.
“You will each notice something different,” Dr. Moran reassured participants before they headed out to make their observations. “Your unique perspective is exactly what we are looking for. There are no wrong answers.”
For three hours, the 15 small groups crisscrossed the campus, ducking in and out of classrooms, observing how our students experienced our mission statement, “preparing students for a purposeful life as a global citizen,” on a given day. Once outside of the classrooms, the groups stopped to discuss their observations, which they record into a live Google form.
This way of collecting data, known as “Data in a Day,” lent its name to our day. It is a method used to collect large amounts of data on a set topic in a short period of time. And our participants certainly achieved this goal, providing nearly 200 observations.
From SSIS alumna Samantha came this observation from a Middle School class in Digital Literacy: “They’re making their own websites. These are things that they should be aware of now, as they form their identities in the digital world.”
Parent and Grade 2 teacher, Virginia, also came away from a Middle School Math class with a compelling observation: “I was impressed with how one MS Math teacher used vivid storytelling to get students engaged in a lively discussion about negative numbers.”
“Something I discovered today is that there is a second gym in the High School building. Downstairs. In the corner. I did not know that,” said Aiden, grade 4, as he mused over his discoveries.
SSIS parent Quoc, who has been a part of the school for 15 years, spent time talking to teachers and observing students as he moved through the day. It was obvious that he appreciated being a part of this process, as much as we appreciated having his candid eye. “This is such a luxury,” he told us. “To be able to check out the entire process, the road map. As parents, we tend to hone in on one piece. So, to be able to see how it aligns and fits in the overall image is a great experience.”
Once compiled and analyzed, all of the observations from the day will be part of informing our Board Chair and the strategic planning committee in developing the “Profile of a Graduate of 2030” and our strategic plan.
We are truly grateful for our community’s participation in this crucial step towards building the vision for SSIS and the people, places, and programs that will prepare our students for the world of tomorrow, our Vision 2030.