Going Above and Beyond

Friday, October 04, 2013 - By: Bud Patel

(Head of School, Assembly Speech – Sept. 9, 2013)

Last Friday, while you were enjoying the final hours of your summer holidays, our faculty was engrossed in a professional development day with Tom Schimmer – an expert in formative and summative assessment. In short, he discussed how we, as teachers, should assess your learning – ongoing or formative – and at a natural break or end – summative. He enlightened us to the power of not only reporting to your parents …marks, grades, and percentages but also somehow formally reporting your effort rating.

On page 14 of your student handbook, we explain effort ratings.  Here's what we say.

5 = a consistently committed application to the learning process
4 = a superior effort most of the time
3 = a positive, wholly acceptable standard
2 = inconsistent, unsatisfactory effort
1 = consistently resisting the learning process

Yesterday, at our first Ellis House Grade 10 advisor meeting, Mr. Wismer, Mr. McLean and I met with our advisees. Yes, I have advisees and yes, the rumors are true – they are the best students in the school. Best looking, most talented, most creative, fastest…you get my drift.

Much to his credit, Mr. Wismer invited orientation assistants Santiago GG and Patrick B to our meeting. Patrick spoke to the new students about effort. He used a phrase that caught my attention. He said, "At Brentwood, if you want a 4 or 5 effort rating you have to GO ABOVE AND BEYOND".  It's the same phrase I used with our new faculty, the week before. I want to hear from their Department Heads that they are, “GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND".

It's something that I ask of us all. So in the coming days, weeks, and months…

GO ABOVE AND BEYOND – to help a new student.
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND – in your classes.
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND – in your creative arts.
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND – for your teammates.
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND – for each other.

That's the Brentwood way.

Bud Patel, Head of School

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