Noble Schools’ Three Principles of School Culture – Part One: Connected

Mansueto Highschool student working in a group in the classroom

A high school’s campus culture and climate are vital to the overall educational experience of students. At Noble Schools, we’ve identified the key principles that shape a strong and positive campus culture, and we call them the three C’s: clear, consistent, and connected.

We’re doing a three-part series to share what these three C’s mean to staff at Noble and how we’re implementing them across our campuses. First off, we’re starting with “connected”:

Connected: Building Positive Relationships

Students, like all individuals, thrive when they feel connected to their school community and can rely on meaningful relationships with the adults at the school. All Noble staff prioritize positive interactions and relationships rooted in the humanity and belonging of each student.

At ITW David Speer Academy, Principal Jordan Kruger says there is something for every student to feel connected to the school community, with all kinds of sports and clubs available. He also says staff work together to prioritize the student experience.

“Our staff works hard to create a motivating environment for students, and we hold each other accountable to create the best experience. Our student experience survey this year showed that the happiness between students and teachers is at a high level,” Kruger said.

“Connected” at Noble Schools also means crafting an engaging curriculum and being committed to working through negative experiences—restoring relationships and finding teachable moments when things get tough.

Jonas Cleaves, principal of Johnson College Prep, says that all staff at Johnson put a heavy emphasis on building positive relationships with students in multiple ways. They work to build engaging and interactive curriculum in the classroom to help students feel connected to their teachers, peers, and academic material. They also plan large community events, like their recent Winter Wonderland event, to promote relationship-building. All of these things help them get through the tougher times.

“With the small and the big moments, we are able to proactively create a positive school community that allows teachable moments to be effective when needed!” Cleaves said.

Student and assistant principal greeting each other with a hug in the hallway at Johnson College Prep

A student and the assistant principal at Johnson College Prep greet each other warmly.

Noble’s key principle of “connected” guides campuses to create an environment where students not only learn academically but also grow as responsible and compassionate individuals.

This school year, Mansueto High School advisory leaders are teaching a lesson about social-emotional learning every Thursday. The more connected a student feels to their advisory, the more impactful those lessons in mindfulness, how to handle conflict, and more are. To help build that connection, right before winter break, Mansueto advisories worked together to create and design holiday wreaths for their classroom doors.

“Connection matters everywhere, even in small gestures like this,” Nora Lawrence, principal of Mansueto High School, said.

Make sure to stay tuned for the next part of our series where we will discuss the “clear” part of our three C’s: “Getting Clear at Noble”.

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