Civility, Order, Respect, Equity/Excellence are the four dimensions of how we define and promote our work within CORE Square. Let’s take a moment to define the meaning and use of each concept. Civility and respect are based on showing esteem, care, and consideration for others, and acknowledging their dignity and humanness. While equity is the type and depth of support each student needs to be successful in school and life. Finally, excellence in education is about encouraging students to be curious about the world around them, giving them the tools they need to explore and discover the things they are curious about, while promoting their agency to affect change, building their sense of self-worth, inspiring their own purposes for learning and finding a place in the community and life beyond school to live and work productively.
These four dimensions are the foundation of social learning and living in any type of social institution or organization, but especially in a community of schools. As superintendent of Warren Township, Dena instituted CORE Square as the basis of their social learning curriculum from pre-school through high school as a means of creating learning and living spaces where diverse groups students could thrive and exceed others expectations for them.
Given the state of America political discourse and division, we established CORE Square as a means of communicating our commitment to act and coach others in district and school leadership positions of responsibility and authority for others well-being to come to grips with their understanding of self and the pursue of a human capacity paradigm fostered by Carol Sanford.
Our book, Educational Leadership Mindsets sets the stage for engagement and advancement of district and school goals starting with a believe system that requires a foundation for success grounded in CORE Square. Starting with 3 and 4 year old students to 17 and 18 year old students, each school customized their instruction to each level of students. The staff found students receptive and off task and bullying behavior left off dramatically. Staff collaboration and mutually support increased within and across grade levels and departments flourished. Each school made their own CORE Square banners and advertised their school rules that essentially became cultures of inclusiveness and caring for one another.