Dear SAS Parents,

During back to school night last week, I had the opportunity of wearing my new parent hat to learn about our high school from our current students in table conversations. The most animated part of the discussions was around which of our desired student learning outcomes (DSLOs) our students value most. Interestingly, after some discussion, the students agreed that character is most important.

I agree. This is not to understate the value of our other DSLO's—creativity and critical thinking, collaboration and communication, content knowledge and cultural competency. Rather, it is to recognize, as the students did, that character is the base of all we do. Without character, it is hard to see how progress in our other DSLO's really matter.

As a school, our core values help define what we mean by character. These core values—compassion, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect—should serve as our north star that guides us in working with others and facing difficult situations. As you can see from the quotes above, our students of all ages help us define these values more clearly and directly than many of us as adults can!

It has been heartening to see those core values in action during these first few weeks of school. We see them on our athletic teams as our Eagle Way. We see them in our advisory periods as our teachers take time to work with our students in small groups. And, they were on full display at our recent student service club assembly in the high school when our student leaders from our 60 service clubs reached out to their classmates and encouraged them to join in their student-led service activities. Click here for a great introduction to our service opportunities at SAS. 

As parents, all of us emphasize with our children the importance of their character growth, and we know it is equally important for us to do so as a school. Thank you for all the work you do at home, and my hope is that our focus on character at school will complement that work and that through small, daily acts our students can help strengthen themselves and our community as a whole.


Tom Boasberg