How does Davie Academy Stand Out from the Crowd as a Leader in Early Childhood Education?
In the article called “What Makes a Good School Culture?” written by Leah Shafer for the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the author states that “a culture will be strong or weak depending on the interactions between people in the organization. In a strong culture, there are many overlapping, and cohesive interactions, so that knowledge about the organization’s distinctive character- and what it takes to thrive in it- is widely spread.” School culture in Davie Academy mission determines the norms, protocols and guidelines followed by the all the stakeholders: the students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community partners. After a thorough observation of Davie Academy the following key questions will be addressed within this paper to document why school culture is important: is the building well-maintained, do you feel welcomed as you enter, is there interaction between teachers, parents and students, and what activities are taking place in the classrooms?
Within the private preschool called Davie Academy located at 3337 N. University Drive in Davie, Florida, the school culture is revealed from the very first glance even prior to entering the building. The building is bright and colorful, well-maintained and located on a major road called University Drive. The location of the building allows for all community members to see the school as part of the ecosystem where they live and allows them to be proud to see a building which serves a growing population of future leaders. For the children, the preschool colors outside of the building being white and beige, allow a welcoming affirmation of the name “Davie Academy” and the playgrounds seen outside the fence circulating through the entire building showcase the fun to be had during outside play and recess. The preschool appearance allows for parents to understand that directors, teachers and maintenance staff take pride in making sure that the building is in good condition to welcome their children. The building maintenance allows for teachers and staff to feel comfortable in knowing that they are entering a place which is well-organized and taken care off as well.
The ‘welcome committee’ as we call it are the directors and front-desk managers; they are the first people who greet all those who enter Davie Academy. Due to COVID-19 regulations all visitors, staff and students are screened with temperature checks and are required to sign-in through a computer system to mark entrance and exit times. The greeters are friendly yet require for all who enter to check-in providing a sense of security and safety to anyone who is coming in to be part of the school experience. The ‘welcome committee’ is a big part of the Davie Academy preschool culture which prides itself in safety and security to all who are under our care. Not one person is left un-documents, not one question is left unanswered and all stakeholders are checked, screened, secured and protected under the surveillance videos and the first-hand personnel who manage the welcoming experience.
Interaction amongst teachers, parents and students occur daily upon dismissal. Each teacher dismisses the student and gives a two-minute review of the day. Teachers email parents daily with report on curriculum, grades, projects and overall child success within the class. Students are monitored by teachers and administrative staff on a monthly basis to make sure that each child has a unique program implemented if there is a language need, family issues and any learning disability. With a small student body, directors maintain a strong repo ire and speak to all parents, addressing issues at-hand. Communication is a primary asset to the Davie Academy school culture.
Finally, the activities within the classroom are the roots that make Davie Academy the educational facility which it prides to be. All students have STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Curriculum as part of their daily class schedules.
Collinson, C., & Cook, F. T. (2007). Organizational learning: Improving learning, teaching, and leading in school systems. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Shafer, L. (2018). What Makes a Good School Culture? Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1–3. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/07/what-makes-good-school-culture
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