Saturday, October 30, 2010


Each day, we ask our children to challenge themselves in new ways. To learn and grow. To take risks. To make mistakes and learn from them. The reason most families have chosen Seabury for their children is that Seabury is a place where their students learn something new each and every day. For children who learn quickly and think deeply, Seabury provides opportunities to stretch themselves that are often not available in programs designed for more typically developing students.

Seabury is all about learning as a school as well. In two weeks, Seabury will host an accreditation visiting team from the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS). This visit is the culmination of a three year process in which teachers, administrators and board members have gathered information from one another and from the school community, have looked at all aspects of the program, administration, services for students, facility, and more, and have asked two key questions.

First, we asked ourselves if everything we do in line with our school’s mission to, “…challenge gifted children in a community that cherishes each individual and fosters a love of learning, discovery and creativity.” Are we challenging our children appropriately through our curriculum, and is it aligned to ensure students meet benchmarks for learning from year to year? Are we supporting students as individuals, celebrating their gifts and building on their strengths? Are we inspiring and providing opportunities for students to take charge of their own learning – to discover new ideas and applications for information and to express themselves creatively?

Second, we asked ourselves if our program, operations, and strategic goals are in line with PNAIS major standards, based on research supported best practices for independent schools. Do we have a curriculum that is clearly defined and articulated, and that is in line with our mission and philosophies about how children learn? Do we have a sustainable financial model for the school and a strategic plan that outlines how we will pursue our mission in the coming years?

The result of our efforts over the past 3 years is a comprehensive self study document which, in nearly 150 pages, outlines Seabury’s program, operations, goals and aspirations. Creating the self study document and preparing for the self study, including completing a comprehensive review of the curriculum, have already been learning experiences for Seabury. Now, as we prepare to welcome our visiting team, we look forward to learning even more about ourselves, and about how we can improve our effectiveness as a school.

Teachers model learning for students each and every day in the classroom. Seabury’s staff and board look forward to learning as an institution as well. Learning is what we value as a school, and we look forward to this amazing opportunity for growth.

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