Building a Safe Community in Obama High By Meg flanagan

Here at Obama High School, our mission statement is: to encourage students to unite, as one, in order to reach a common goal of success. We aim to inspire students to be active members in their community as well as find and develop their passions. Our goal is to produce students that achieve greatness in any way they choose.

Although we emphasize the importance of uniting as one student body, we recognize that to achieve this goal we must create a community that is safe for all individual students to express his or herself.

Each student brings a different "story" to the community. Meaning: a different SES status, race, interests, strengths, weaknesses, religion, family life, goals, etc. We believe that each student's story is a valuable, unique addition to enriching the community at Obama High School. Our location in Chicago provides our school with the unique opportunity to engage with many different communities through learning about our student's stories. We plan to learn about these stories by engaging students cultures through curriculum, family, and field trips.

Curriculum at Obama High School is designed to incorporate different cultures, practices, and people from around the world, in Chicago, and in the classroom. In particular we want to focus on engaging the many different cultures of the student community at Obama High School. This is the goal of one activity where students look back at their favorite children's books and see how their culture is represented in the texts. In addition, our required Capstone Projects give students the opportunity to go into different communities in Chicago and collectively work on a four-year projects that will impact a community of the student's choosing. By engaging with and recognizing different cultures, practices, and people we hope that all students will understand their differences are valued and validated in Obama High School.

At Obama High School we want to not only engage the students in our school community, but also their families. The family is the backbone of the student and we want the families to know and feel they are an important factor in their student's education. We plan to engage families by having teachers be in contact with the parents regularly through phone or email and we are thinking of having a program where family members come in and either work in part of the school or classrooms regularly. We hope that by including families in the daily aspects of the school, students and parents will feel like this is a safe place where they are supported by not only teachers, but also the people they already know and love.

Obama High School is lucky to be located in Chicago; a city that doubles as a learning "playground". In the city, we are able to take learning outside of the classroom by going on many field trips. The goal of these field trips are to explore many different aspects of the city. Whether it be museums, neighborhoods, see a film, etc. we want to bring students out of the classroom to explore the community around them. On these field trips we want students to recognizes the differences in the people, communities, movements, beliefs, ideas, etc. that have all made Chicago the great city it is today. In addition we hope that by exploring these different aspects of the community, our students see that they too belong in the community of Chicago as well as Obama High School.

Credits:

Created with images by marc falardeau - "FLAG" • Wokandapix - "read learn school" • University of the Fraser Valley - "Student audience" • ambermb - "school backpack childhood" • ajleon - "sm curriculum # (9)" • janeb13 - "official portrait obama family 2011" • janeb13 - "barack obama and bo play run" • Bert Kaufmann - "Cloud Gate Chicago (Explore)" • Dave Sizer - "Chicago" • VV Nincic - "Lake Michigan" • USAG-Humphreys - "HAS students participate in Red Ribbon Week, USAG Humphreys, 111024"

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