May 7-11 is national Teacher Appreciation Week. At New School High, respect for teachers as creative, committed professionals is at the center of our philosophy.

Although teachers are expected to be key transmitters of a society’s knowledge and culture, many in the teaching profession do not feel supported. Recent news has highlighted the plights of teachers in Arizona, Oklahoma, and West Virginia who simply cannot support their families on a teacher’s wage.  Through their demonstrations and walkouts, teachers are also drawing attention to the deplorable state of school buildings, unsafe working and learning conditions, and lack of basic materials. Today’s teachers also find themselves overwhelmed by the increasing demands of federal and state mandates and standardized testing, upon which the fate of their school and their job depends. 

One of the reasons our school was created was to challenge this scenario. To create change and nurture innovation, New School High was designed to be teacher-led. This means that teachers have the autonomy to make decisions about the curriculum, assessments, schedule, policies, structures, tools, and other aspects of a school that contribute to its success. While teacher-led schools are rare, the movement is growing.  The Teacher-Powered Schools organization counts 120 schools nationwide that are teacher-powered. For more information on this innovative model for schools, you may want to visit the Teacher-Powered Schools website at https://www.teacherpowered.org/

This week I want to send a special thank you to our parents, students, and community partners for all the ways they honor our teachers. The education of our children is a collaborative effort and we count ourselves at New School High fortunate indeed to have your steadfast support.

-Cynthia