New Cobra Code proclaims school’s values
“You’ve got to stand for something
Or you’re gonna fall for anything”
–John Cougar Mellencamp
We hope you had a great summer and are thrilled to welcome you back. It’s wonderful having students, faculty, and staff on campus, and from what we’ve heard, parents were more than ready for their children to return to school.
The commencement of school marks one of the most exciting and inspiring times of year. It offers all of us a chance to begin anew, a clean slate if you will, and the opportunity to be who we wish. We hope the first week of school has gone well for you. It’s also wonderful starting this year in a different place than last year when we knew much less about COVID.
For the past two years, we focused on maintaining the excellent Keystone program and ensuring that students continue to learn and grow in the face of the pandemic. As opposed to what we’ve heard from other educators, Keystone Cobras did not suffer significant learning loss; this is a testimony to the dedication of our students and the outstanding work of our faculty and staff. Academic excellence remained a pillar of our community in the midst of the worst pandemic in over one hundred years.
As we begin a new school year, we would like to re-emphasize Keystone’s other three pillars – ethical growth, community involvement, and responsible leadership. Although we continued to teach these foundational principles in distance learning and when we returned to campus, we are starting this year in a very different world and there are now more opportunities to emphasize all elements of our mission.
To begin this school year, the Keystone faculty/staff spent significant time during our In-Service last week studying the Keystone mission statement and our four school’s four pillars.
Teaching these four pillars to children ranging in age from 3 years old to seniors in high school can be both challenging and incredibly rewarding. As you would expect, these lessons look quite different depending on the development level of the child. Helping a four-year old understand ethical growth will not look the same as when we’re discussing this concept with a sophomore.
Similarly, trying to help a young child comprehend responsible leadership or community involvement can be a tall order. Our pillars are laudable and inspiring, but they can sometimes feel abstract to young minds. To make academic excellence, ethical growth, community involvement, and responsible leadership more tangible for our students, Keystone teachers and staff members engaged in deep conversations where we broke down each pillar and dissected its meaning. We also looked for other words that epitomized these pillars.
We sought to find words that can drive the work we do and shape our daily behavior and interactions with one another whether it is among students or adults, or between members of different constituencies.
Collectively, we settled on these five words that comprise our new Cobra Code:
This code can elevate what we do in the classroom, the studio, the theater, on the courts and fields of play, our involvement in the community, and unscheduled time with each other. It can help students and adults be their best selves and enable children and adolescents to grow into excellent students and admirable people.
We will be posting this new code around campus, and we will be discussing it quite a bit. We hope and expect our students will demonstrate it in all they do: they will be curious and creative in their academic, artistic, and athletic pursuits; they will demonstrate empathy toward their peers and others; and they will seek out ways to serve others and make our world a better place. We hope you will join us in reinforcing these concepts at home so we can collectively help our students develop their full potential and become the children and young adults we want them to be.