An #NSDnow Renaissance

Posted by Leighangela Brady on 9/30/2018 8:00:00 PM

Our vision in the National School District is to produce Exceptionally prepared learners; innovative and compassionate world citizens.

Last year we began work on this vision by focusing on all learners with our #BeExceptional campaign. From students to adults, we believe that we are all learners striving to be better tomorrow than we are today.

This year, we have shifted from ‘BE’ to ‘RE’, and are focused on the innovative and compassionate components of our vision statement. Our ‘RE’ theme was inspired by the Italian Renaissance. The origins of the term renaissance comes from a French word meaning ‘rebirth.’ Some would say that the word renaissance means a rebirth to liberty, realizing the power of self-determination, recognizing the beauty of the outer world through art, liberating reason in science, and restoring culture. All of these things happened during the renaissance period.

To better understand how this relates to innovation and compassion, our leadership team is reading The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson. The Medici’s were bankers in Florence who funded creators from a wide range of disciplines; scientists, poets, philosophers, painters, architects, and sculptors. Through their generous financing, the Medici family attracted people to Florence from all over Europe, breaking down barriers between disciplines, causing an intersection of ideas and creating an epicenter of creativity. These intersections sparked one of the most innovative eras in history… The Renaissance.

As for compassion, it too often sparks innovation. Compassion is understanding that we are all different, and caring about others as individuals. When you feel compassion, you have a desire to take action. In #NSDnow we are focused on fostering compassion through the development of Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), including Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Counselors have been hired at all sites, and we will soon begin rolling out the Sanford Harmony Social Emotional Learning Program.

The Renaissance thrived by connecting the past, present, and future. In later years, the word "renaissance" has received an even more extended significance, the "revival of learning." And that is what we have in #NSDnow, a revival of learning; an #NSDnow Renaissance.