World Cafe: Inviting our Community into our Dialogue about Continuous Improvement

Submitted by emariano on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 08:35
World Cafe


At Riffa Views International School, we were thrilled to welcome our community to our first World Cafe, a community dialogue in which participants are invited into a conversation. As we embark upon our strategic goal to lead the future of learning, we invited our community into the dialogue for feedback, collaboration, and opportunities to co-create.


The World Cafe began with a seemingly simple question: What are your hopes and dreams for your child in five, ten and fifteen years? Thus began a reflective conversation focused on our sole purpose for being: our students. Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology which is a movement focused on human flourishing, poses two similar questions: firstly, he asks what we most want for our children; secondly, he asks what schools most often teach. At RVIS, our hopes and dreams for our children do not differ from the research of Seligman. Overwhelmingly, at RVIS, we wish for our children to be positive, passionate leaders. We wish for them to develop the confidence and independence to thrive. We wish for them pursue their dreams. To inquire. To create. And ultimately, we wish for them to be happy.


A World Cafe invites a broad range of participant ideas, and it was our goal to gather insights and feedback from our community. We invited participants to discuss two questions: 1) How RVIS currently meet your hopes and dreams for your children? and more importantly, 2) What do you wish RVIS would add to support your hopes and dreams for your children?


How does RVIS currently support your hopes and dreams for your child?


We shared a brief overview of the programmatic changes we are making, which include the addition of an EAL program, a secondary music program, a secondary ICT program, and expansion of our IB and foreign language offerings. We also shared our revised mission, which is the collective effort of a two-year strategic improvement process, and we are excited to showcase a streamlined mission focused on our core purpose: personalization. At RVIS, we ignite passions, personalize the journey, and impact through action.


In response to the first question, parents shared their perception of how RVIS supports their children, which includes:

Personalized learning;


Supportive teachers who build confidence in students;


Supporting students’ innovation and creative thinking skills;


Collaborative partnership between home and school;


Placing student voice at the forefront of our decisions;


Safe environment;


Happy children.



What do you wish RVIS would add to support your hopes and dreams for your child?


The Information Age in which we live has dramatically shifted societal change cycles from 100 years to five years. Thus, as educators, it is essential that we prepare students for a future yet to be created and this requires key skills such as creativity, agility, curiosity, problem-solving and compassion. When Seligman poses his second question: what do schools most often teach, the response is typically disciplinary such as math, science, reading and the like. Of course, these are essential skills required for creativity and innovation, yet they are not enough. Hence, we were excited to present our Ignite Day Concept.


Next year, RVIS will shift to a weekly Ignite Day in which we provide opportunities to integrate and specialize learning. Ignite Day will encompass everything from intramural athletics and activities, to House Competitions in all disciplines to internships to specialized learning seminars. It will allow for an increased focus on student health and wellness, whilst allowing students to pursue their passions and interests. It will allow us not only to lead the future of learning, but to co-create a future for our students so that they are prepared for their future. It will ignite passions, personalize the journey and impact through action.


Next year, RVIS will shift to a weekly Ignite Day in which we provide opportunities to integrate and specialize learning. Ignite Day will encompass everything from intramural athletics and activities, to House Competitions in all disciplines to internships to specialized learning seminars. It will allow for an increased focus on student health and wellness, whilst allowing students to pursue their passions and interests. It will allow us not only to lead the future of learning, but to co-create a future for our students so that they are prepared for their future. It will ignite passions, personalize the journey and impact through action.


We believe that our Ignite Day will meet the hopes and dreams of our parents in response to what they hope we will add to further support our students, which includes:

Increased athletic options;


Improved science programming in the elementary school;


More fine arts offerings in the secondary school;


Increased student involvement and feedback;


Branding the school based on our unique identity;


Increased rigor;


Building a stronger program of responsibility and self-discipline for students;


Providing more choices based on student interests.



The first RVIS World Cafe exceeded our expectations. We are grateful to our passionate, collaborative and engaged community for sharing their insights, hopes and questions. At RVIS, we are committed to continuous improvement, and we will continue our dialogue with our students as we embark upon an exciting and innovative learning journey.


GANTT: Outcomes & Visualizing our Intentions


In the feedback we captured, parents asked for a timeline of our change process and a more prominent display of the changes. The below GANTT chart showcases the improvement process around a timeline of actions.


Posted By
Tara Waudby - Superintendent
Main Image
Chart
Type
Community Dialogue