Most organizations and all independent schools have a stated mission. Simply put; a mission statement is what an organization does. The mission of SDJA is to further academic excellence, social responsibility, and active Jewish living (A Vision of 2020, SDJA Strategic Plan). Have you ever stopped to reflect on those words? In the complex word of 2018, it is a very ambitious and unique mission for a school.
In the upper school we have and continue to be informed by our mission statement during every iteration of program design. Whether during curriculum and course offering design, experiential education planning or Jewish life program design, the SDJA mission is our guiding thought. It is comforting to rely on these three principles when considering the upper school education experience for your children.
So, when we rolled out the student government Tikkun Olam position and committee – Social Responsibility and Active Jewish living; local experiential education programs, Tivnu- Portland, and Unearthed – Houston – Social Responsibility and Active Jewish Living; ensuring our AP and Honors courses are taught at the proper advanced pace and depth – Academic Excellence; the newly designed Physics and Engineering course – Academic Excellence; In class writing program – Academic Excellence; Jewish Studies Pathways – Academic Excellence; Middle School Elective program – Academic Excellence. We can go on with many more examples but these adjustments to our program are all informed by our mission. We are very aware that program enhancements can be uncomfortable for some, but human growth in any meaningful undertaking most likely will result in discomfort. It is in that uncomfortable space where learning that stick happens.
Further Academic Excellence, Social Responsibility, and Active Jewish Living – it’s what we do.