The Southbridge School Department recognizes that its commitment is to the students first and then to the society in which they will take their place.
It is recognized that the school is but a segment of the society which effects the overall development of its students. That being recognized, it can be stated that to be successful the school shall address itself not only to the cognitive but also to the affective and physical realms of the student's education. Identification of these three dimensions of the student's education underscores the fact that the whole child shall be the concern of education and to attempt to deal with segments in isolation would not promote success.
Ideally, the school as a partner with the home and society should produce well adjusted, competent individuals. Career readiness and adequate preparation for citizenship are basic outcomes of the process and any approach to the above shall recognize the importance of basic skills. Not only are these areas essential to upward mobility, but also essential when considering the ultimate goal of developing the "educated man or woman".
Despite the fact that education is a process and not a program, we shall look upon aspects of that process as ongoing with various points of demarcation. The value of an educational program is related to the process as it extends beyond the terminal point of formal education. In essence, this lays the groundwork for becoming an "educated man or woman", for it is the "educated man or woman" who has developed an. appreciation of both the beauty and sadness of this world and has the necessary feelings to deal effectively with the world as he or she finds it, sensing its beauty and working to change its ugliness.
In view of the above stated beliefs, the Southbridge School Department recognizes the following as essential to the implementation of its philosophy:
I. The appropriateness of a learning environment that provides a climate with an atmosphere conducive to the development of affective and cognitive skills and also of physical skills and athletic abilities. This environment should also provide for individual differences, to include abilities, interests, and other personal needs, through the use of a multitude of teaching strategies that address the varied learning styles of our students.
II. A curriculum with sufficient scope that emphasizes the logical sequence of successful learning and provides a sufficient variety of offerings so that each pupil may have the opportunity to feel a genuine sense of achievement. This curriculum should also provide opportunities for developing qualities of leadership and teach the fundamentals of personal hygiene and sound health practices; and most important, the curriculum should foster an appreciation of the practical arts, the fine arts, and the performing arts.
III. The total school program should provide student experiences to aid in the formulation and development of a positive self-image and healthy mental attitude. It should also develop an unbiased attitude toward those of different cultural, racial and religious backgrounds; and by providing opportunities for interpersonal and group relationships, the student should formulate ethical standards in those relationships.
Education shall be viewed by all as a life long activity and the formal process of education shall enhance and promote that fact. By its very nature, the school's role is not merely to complement, but to accentuate the positive efforts of home and community. Success in this venture can only be attained and validated through close monitoring. Most important, there shall be a recognition that success or failure are a shared responsibility, dependent upon the involvement and commitment of all.
To facilitate the implementation of this philosophy, the following general goals and related objectives have been identified:
An opportunity for each person to grow toward self-understanding and to determine personal goals, values, and attitudes.
1. To recognize individual abilities and differences in students.
2. To create an educational atmosphere which assures acknowledgment and acceptance of students at their various levels of capability.
3. To provide various subject offerings, so that each student may be given the opportunity to experience a genuine sense of achievement.
4. To provide substantive courses and to encourage each student to value the necessity of knowledge.
5. To emphasize a logical sequence of successful learning, such as the method of search, summary, analysis--then conclusion.
6. To provide opportunities for developing leadership qualities.
7. To provide the student with experiences through which he or she may acquire a better understanding of his or her strengths and weaknesses.
8. To stimulate a desire within the professional staff for continuing educational growth.
An opportunity for each person to understand and evaluate economic needs, values, and systems in order to contribute to the common good. An opportunity for each person to be able to choose a career suited to his or her talents and aspirations to acquire the competencies and capabilities to pursue that career.
1. To develop good work habits, skills in performance, and the perseverance to carry tasks to their conclusions.
2. To provide the student with the practical skills and awareness necessary to become a responsible and knowledgeable consumer.
3. To guide the student in integrating his or her various learning experiences in order to help him or her choose a meaningful direction for continued education and/or employment.
4. To provide the student with the skills and experiences necessary to become a competitive individual in the job market.
An opportunity for each person to contribute to the benefit of all peoples through the understanding and practice of democratic self-government as it can be applied to the nation, the State of Rhode Island, and the Town of Southbridge.
1. To help students to read and listen critically and to express themselves clearly and creatively.
2. To allow for the expression of individual opinions and ideas.
3. To encourage the student to become an active and productive citizen.
4. To offer the student experiences which may aid him or her to the formulation and development of a positive self-image and healthy mental attitudes.
5. To foster the continuation of the Republic.
An opportunity for each person to create a healthier and more beautiful world by understanding the environment and making intelligent use of it.
1. To offer the student the opportunities and facilities for the development of physical skills and athletic abilities.
2. To promote the fundamentals of personal hygiene and sound health practices.
An opportunity for each person to advance the dignity of humanity by living effectively with other individuals, groups, and organizations.
1. To provide opportunities for interpersonal and group relationships and to help students formulate ethical standards in these relationships.
2. To provide a "controlled freedom" within which each student is responsible for his or her actions.
3. To offer the student the opportunity to acquire an understanding of the role of the family in our society.
4. To encourage an interdisciplinary approach to subject matter.
5. To promote and encourage greater teacher involvement in student activities.
An opportunity for each person to enrich life through contemplation and experience in all forms of art.
1. To develop an aesthetic understanding and appreciation of the practical arts, the fine arts, and the performing arts.
2. To provide each student with opportunities for artistic expression and creativity.
An opportunity for each person to enrich humanity through the development of values based on an understanding of various cultures.
1. To offer the student experiences which may aid him or her to develop an unbiased attitude towards those of different cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds.
2. To encourage the student to adopt and utilize values and virtues such as rationality, integrity, honesty, independence, pride, justice, and productivity.
3. To encourage and promote greater community involvement in the formulation and implementation of the educational programs of the school.
Policy Adopted: June 8, 1987