Role of Dean of Student Life

Role of Dean of Student Life

The role of Dean of Student Life is focused on working collaboratively with students, teachers, parents, counselors, and administrators to create a physically and emotionally safe environment where all students can be productive, find belonging, and experience joy.

The first step in this goal is creating a caring community built on agreed upon expectations. Teachers create positive classroom communities where students are invested in learning and are motivated to make good choices. Our SAS school rules of be safe, be kind, and be responsible provide an agreed upon common set of expectations. These rules apply across all school settings, are applied consistently, and are embedded in our language and culture. Our SAS core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, compassion and fairness also anchor our words and actions.

It is inevitable that students will make mistakes and test limits. This is a natural part of child development. Children's brains and bodies are in a constant state of development and growth. We see missteps as opportunities to learn.

When students come to our office, our first step is to listen. We want to ensure students are heard and feel understood. Together we identify the behavior that occurred, understand the reason why it happened, and who it impacted. We guide students in taking responsibility for their actions and repairing any harm. Above all, our work is based on relationships and respect.

Effective discipline requires collaboration. Parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators are all invested in helping students learn skills and work through inevitable missteps. This may include teaching and modeling positive behaviors, parent meetings, and/or logical consequences designed to promote learning.

If you have any questions about the work we do, please reach out to us. We look forward to working together with you to support your child as they grow, learn, test boundaries, and find joy.

Thank you,

Colleen Steigerwald
Elementary School Dean of Student Life

Dr. Sarah Farris
Deputy Dean of Student Life