|Civic leaders contribute to Alexandria High School|
|Schematic of Alexandria High School|
District 742 is dedicated to the mission: to create a safe and caring climate and culture in which we prepare, engage, educate, empower, and inspire all learners in partnership with their surrounding community to be successful in today’s and tomorrow’s society.
As we step through the various decisions which must be made, our mission statement calls upon us to make decisions based on what best prepares, engages, educates, empowers and inspires learners....to be successful in today's and tomorrow's society. Everything is subservient to that mission.
And, our Core Values remind us that:
We all benefit when communities work together toward common goals.
That's the point of the picture at the top of this post. Its a graphic illustration of that Core Value: we all benefit when our community works together towards common goals. Working together requires that we listen to each other, make compromises, and accept that to arrive at consensus we cannot demand that others capitulate to our individual will.
Some people --- a relative minority of our community --- wanted to replace both our high schools with a mega high school. If that small minority were to refuse to recognize the decision that reflects majority opinion, we could not reap the benefit that derives from working together towards common goals. Its a matter of what kind of community do we want to be: if we want to be a great community, we must establish a culture among leadership that puts kids first by accepting consensus decisions.
Although the Board of Education has decided this first issue without a single dissenting vote, there will remain numerous other questions, and we will need to find a community consensus for each. Should we renovate or rebuild? Where should the new high school be located? Where should athletic facilities be located, and should they be shared across our two high schools? How much should we spend on technology, furniture, theaters, science labs, and so on? We are going to have to work together to resolve these questions in the spirit of listening and compromise, always keeping in mind that the prize for building consensus is that we all benefit when we work together toward a common goal.
In the next month or so, we’ll begin a community based design decision process that will give educators, students and community stakeholders an opportunity to assist the design team (architects and engineers). Let us seize the opportunity to listen to each other while we advance our respective views passionately. Let's not forget, however, as we do this, that we a all benefit when communities work together for a common goal!