Our recent Parent Orientation was an update for “stakeholders” (parents) about what the Staff of QPS thought about over the summer. We did not changed our curriculum or how we implement it, though we did make some tweaks to our systems and operations, as any school would and should, to maximize learning, ensure safety, and enhance feelings of well-being where/when possible. The real update we wanted to share with our community-at-large was a reaffirmation of what the big picture of QPS is about.
Forest through the Trees
It’s easy to get lost in the details of an education, such as why a child isn’t automatic with the division algorithm yet, or why they are still randomly capping words within a sentence. Or, parents may feel frustrated about their child’s social-emotional development, and, in an attempt to alleviate concern, view the school as the obvious culprit. The reality of a child’s growth on the continua of academic achievement, social emotional maturation, and self-management development is always far more complicated–and drawn out–than what any person (or parent) can see on any given day, week, or even month. It is why QPS actively seeks ongoing dialog with our parents; many heads are better than one when it comes to understanding what’s going on for a student and coming up with what they can do next, and what we can do next.
Our perspective encompasses not only the details but also the totality of the QPS experience, which is a systematic, detail-driven curriculum replete with enriched discussion and activity, rising degrees of freedom and choice as students get older, and shared or developing humor, consideration/kindness, and other important social modeling and enactment. Just as important in the hierarchy of QPS’s philosophy and approach, it’s an educational experience firmly grounded in meaning: our students belong to and feel part of something larger than themselves–and the security of that belonging and feeling enables them to practice being more of themselves and get better at being with others.
We embrace the essential elements of our philosophy and practice with certitude and confidence because we’ve seen the results–students who leave QPS and stay true to their love of learning and pursuit of meaning through it, and who can evaluate social situations with a relatively attuned critical eye. They are, in short, not at a complete loss as to how to navigate novel situations, including ones that are more about fitting in than being with. So many current educational paths are riddled with anxiety and extrinsic motivators, i.e., superficial markers of achievement. They are not about the deep learning and personal compass that come from knowing more, getting better at something, and genuinely confronting the questions that life throws at a person of any age. We are proud to help make this happen and of who our students are becoming as they get older.
Great Reviews Are Nice, but…
The “reviews” for our Orientation were good to hear–just take a look, below. But we never rest and are never “there.” There is always more to be done; we always see ways to improve what’s already regarded as very good. We believe and hope we are modeling this joyful, committed work ethic for QPS students too.
Great presentation by everyone last evening! You spoke so well and with sincerity. We are truly lucky.
Last night’s orientation was the best informative event at QPS yet!
I was very impressed with the presentation last night and with the really smart people who are working with my son.
You almost had me in tears last night talking about how much the kids care about the school & vice versa! The other day I was thinking about how great it is to keep the middle/jr high kids in the qps bubble & away from all the drama that can happen (I even started hearing about it in 3rd grade at [previous school]) in those years. And it’s not like they’re in a complete bubble…it’s more like qps is a safe space/home to thrive in after life in NYC!