Finding Our Way “Home” – Returning to a New Normal at School

Mar 20, 2021

As we help our students thrive, grow and flourish, as the Beacon Network, we are well aware must address their entire experience through our interactions and learning plan. As we continue to traverse the COVID19 pandemic – its impact and its aftermath- we must recognize the fear, anxiety and trauma many of us as adults have felt mirrors the feelings of countless children and teens. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has been a powerful part of the Beacon Network Schools’ curriculum for over a decade, with our focus on character development, and weekly recognition of those who embody and demonstrate our Beacon Character Traits. We celebrate, expect and model the following behaviors as our core BNS Character Traits:

  • Leadership
  • Perseverance
  • Integrity
  • Curiosity
  • Kindness

Each of these characteristics is vital to an individual’s development and success, requiring practice and often strong role modeling. Across the Beacon Network, students are continuously reminded of these expectations as evidenced by our LiveSchool program, affording each learner the chance to earn points and ultimately, awards for their character development. Advisory teachers hold weekly discussions with students specifically focused on one’s CPA – Character Point Average. Like one’s GPA – Grade Point Average, the learner’s CPA is a constant reminder of how one’s choices and behaviors impact not only himself or herself, but the larger community. 

As we move beyond the isolation and unpredictability of the pandemic, we are keenly aware of the probable necessity of placing additional emphasis on character development. Remote Learning has allowed us to continue to advance students along the scholastic continuum in multiple ways. However, the distance associated with this setting poses challenges when working to create a true sense of community, and when teaching concepts such as kindness, collaboration, empathy and compassion. These are all part of the mentality we seek to develop and expand within all of our Beacon family members.

As we return to campus and begin to interact with a portion of our students in-person once again, we will be devising methods of re-emphasizing the importance of positive, productive interactions with staff and equally important, with one another. This crisis has caused all of us to pause and reflect on our priorities, realizing how invaluable our relationships, connections and contact with others truly is with regards to the individual’s mental, emotional and social well-being. The apprehensions and uncertainty many of us continue to experience is also common among our students. We will embrace this chance to guide them as they refocus on the routines of the school day, re-establish friendships and peer relationships and as they work to discover a post-pandemic new normal. As always we will be inspired by the resilience and tenacious spirit of our learners. They absolutely are the bright future not only of our community, but of our nation

Be. Creative. Be. Intentional. Be. Innovative. Be. Beacon. . . 


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