Featured Community Mar 22

California charter educators value school culture

The Along team at the CCSA conference (l to r): Jocelyn Kirkland, Jill Kipnis, Grace Kuo, and Kendra Nwosu.

Creating a strong school culture that values students and educators as individuals is a top priority, according to attendees at the California Charter Schools Association conference (CCSA) March 18-21 in Long Beach, Calif.

“Making connections with students creates community and that can be contagious,” said Felix Bobo, an educator who led a panel entitled, “School Climate and Culture: What Really Matters.” 

He shared that building relationships is “vital” as a foundation for academic excellence, student growth, and overall school culture. “When school leaders focus on prioritizing a climate where people matter, the culture improves because everyone knows that they have a voice and are valued,” he shared.

The theme also emerged during the panel, “Check in Before They Check Out – Creating a Staff Wellness Framework.” Scholarship Prep Charter Schools principal Dennise Allotey and deputy director Andrew Crowe shared their vision around focusing on staff support to ultimately create positive culture for both teachers and students on their campuses.

Their four-part staff wellness roadmap involves 1) building trust, 2) identifying needs, 3) monitoring well-being, and 4) providing support. The administration believes strongly in providing ongoing touchpoints with staff, such as regular shout-outs, monthly mindfulness activities, and self-care challenges, to help support physical and emotional health, manage and reduce stress, and to foster and sustain relationships. 

The Along team heard similar sentiments from the school leaders and educators who stopped by our booth in the CCSA exhibitor hall. Throughout the conference, attendees shared their answers to one of our reflection questions: “What does community mean to you? What does it look and feel like?”

Some of the shared responses included:

  • “Community means being connected and supported”
  • “A place where everyone feels like they belong and can participate”
  • “Supportive. Looks like a diverse background of people coming together to support and encourage”
  • “Community means people I can count on”

Here at Along, we believe strongly in strengthening teacher-student connections to help transform schools into communities.

We loved meeting so many California educators who share this mission and are working every day to make positive impacts on their students’ academic growth, well-being, and social development.

See you next year in Sacramento! 




Keep reading Next

Related Articles