Just one month ago, I stopped being principal of Cranston School to become principal of the new Eric Harvie School in Tuscany. Having opened Cranston six years ago, I felt somewhat prepared for this new venture. However, this experience has proved to be anything but ordinary!
Eric Harvie will open as ‘a school within a school’ at Tuscany School. This is not a new concept – and there are a few other schools facing similar circumstances as we open 16 new buildings in 2016-17. It is, however, the first time I’ve been through such an experience and I have been amazed at the depth of planning, foresight, complications, expectations and great humour required to undertake such a venture.
Questions abound – some very practical such as:
- How do we manage having two schools in one building?
- What resources will we use?
- Which doors will the students enter/exit through?
- How will two sets of staff occupy one building?
Some are more philosophical/pedagogical:
- Multi-age? Straight grades?
- Recess? Body breaks?
- Team Teaching? Inquiry? Projects?
- What will assessment look/sound like?
As we go through the staffing, technology acquisition, furnishing and building processes, and develop staff books, handbooks and procedures as two schools and two staffs, I am amazed and gratified by the high levels of cooperation, negotiation, compromise and focus on students that has emerged every step of the way. I am honoured to work with people whose vision never strays from our purpose!
Lorraine Kinsman @EricHarvieSchl - Loves reading, walking, thinking and getting excited about new ideas! Rarely says ‘no’ and has the energy of a two-year-old :) :) according to everyone she knows!