Considering Rashi's Goals and the Days of Awe
"I've always loved the alignment of the new school year with the Jewish New Year. I like beginnings, seeing a clean slate ahead of us, imagining how and who we will be ...
I've always loved the alignment of the new school year with the Jewish New Year. I like beginnings, seeing a clean slate ahead of us, imagining how and who we will be. The month of Elul leading up to Rosh Hashanah gives us a planful way to enter the new year, much like all the planning and discussion and creativity that teachers engage in as they get ready for the first day of school. Indeed, while we focus on Yom Kippur as a day set aside for atonement for our mistakes, the entire period of time spanning the end of the old year and the beginning of the new offers us time to reflect on how we might grow.
Over the summer, Rashi’s Administrative Council - the senior leadership team of the school - spends time in a similar process, taking stock of the past year and identifying ways we want to continue to grow as a school. Each year we frame these as "School Goals" and pursue them throughout the year. We have four overarching goals this year:
Continue to Strengthen Student Learning - strengthening our capacity to stretch every learner, and keeping that focus at the heart of professional development and curriculum review;
Assess and Improve Communication - including learning about how parents experience our communication and where we might improve it;
Advance the Institution - including connecting people across the Rashi community to strengthen how we share Rashi’s story, within the school and beyond;
Focus on Equity and Inclusion - making sure our Rashi kehillah welcomes and includes every member with vigor, warmth, and kavod (respect).
These are big goals, emerging from our commitment to constant growth. We enter this time Jewishly knowing that every single one of us can move even closer to the person we hope to be. We enter this time educationally knowing that every teacher, every staff member, every student - and every school - can grow and improve; we see growth as a sign of strength, not weakness. I am inspired each new school year by the chance to step back and frame our direction, to chart a path that will move us just that bit closer to reaching our aspirations. Thank you, as always, for partnering with us in that work.