Pittsburgh Dilworth builds a culture of community
There’s energy in the air at Dilworth PreK-5. That’s because every day kicks off with a morning meeting where students gather together to socialize and enjoy a performance by the school’s instrumental group. It’s fun – and engaging. But there is a purpose: Every day, this meeting brings students and teachers closer together and drives students towards academic excellence.
Dr. Monica D. Lamar, school principal, leads the charge. For example, in a lively and interactive exchange, Lamar might challenge each student to be a S.T.A.R.R. Students together explain what it means to Succeed, Think, Articulate, Read and Respond.
Everyone participates because at Dilworth, everyone matters.
Lamar knows that a culture of learning starts with a sense of community and commitment to caring. “We want our students to know that no matter what happened before they came to school or the night before, their school is a safe place where they are cared for,” she says. That’s why school days often begin and end with a hug or a high five.
Lamar and her teaching staff model good behavior, showing students how to listen, focus and show respect to everyone around them. “When we help one another, it’s a better society,” she adds.
Professional development for teachers focuses on building relationships with students. Teachers learn how to use data to make sure individual student needs are met. In addition, they learn how to communicate better with all students and families. “I want to make sure I’m reaching all my students, not just those who look like me or sound like me,” comments Ray Clegg, fourth-grade math teacher. “My hope is that they feel the love and the care that the staff puts into Dilworth, so that every student here feels they are part of one big family.”
Watch how Pittsburgh Dilworth builds a culture of community in this video: https://vimeo.com/album/4181434/video/185639445