Head of School's Corner - August 2018

Dear Gulliver Community,

I hope your summer has been both relaxing and rejuvenating! I have enjoyed time with family, doing some "beach reading" as well as more professional materials, and spending time on our campuses as summer programs and construction have been underway. As we look ahead to school in just a few weeks, there is much to be excited about in the coming year. We have had a productive summer planning a number of initiatives and new programs that will enhance the Gulliver experience for all of our students.

We have worked closely with Alison Park, of Blink Consulting, who is partnering with us as we continue our school-wide diversity program. Alison will start the year working with our faculty and administrative team, and return throughout the year for sessions with parents, students, and our wider community. As part of keeping this work moving forward, we will be creating a multi-layered structure. One level will include a small steering committee to organize and drive the work, which will be supported by a broader "advisory committee" to allow for input and review from our school community. If you are interested in serving on this advisory committee, please email me directly.

In addition, we will expand our strategic initiative for student well-being into deeper work regarding healthy choices, decision making, and issues around alcohol and drugs. As you know from the survey students completed last year, we have partnered with Freedom from Chemical Dependency to focus our efforts in these areas with our school community. We will have FCD associates here in November to work with students and parents in grades 7-12, which will complement further programming in divisions and through the advocacy and advisory programs. You will hear more specifics from Principals as the school year moves forward. In addition, we will begin the voluntary drug testing program once school is in full swing, but in the meantime, please feel free to contact your Principal, Assistant Head of School, or me with any questions.

We are also continuing work on two major initiatives begun last year. As you may remember, we are working on increasing the opportunities for all of our students to engage in their academic work through real world experiences such as partnerships, mentorships, service projects, and independent research. With input from students, we have named this effort Community Outreach Raider Experience (CORE), which encompasses the many different ways students might engage in work inspired by their passions. We are so excited about how this will add to the "Gulliver advantage" and to ensuring our students are future ready. In related work, our faculty will move into the next phase of our curriculum mapping and review process, which will include appropriate revisions and modifications to our programs.

It is a sign of a great school when there are always new projects and initiatives happening, and Gulliver has consistently been a leader in innovation and putting the needs of our students first. I look forward to seeing all you soon, and continuing to share progress on these and other projects we will work on together this year.

With Gulliver Pride,

Frank Steel
Head of School