Our Foundational Beliefs
Every team member at New Village Academy must be convinced that innovative ways of thinking about education are needed to meet the needs of a large segment of our student population.
We don’t have to agree on everything, but some basic premises are essential to being able to do this work together:
1) Students deserve to have their cultural identity affirmed, their needs met, and their aspirations supported in school – to feel that they are seen and heard, that their work is meaningful, and will prepare them for the life they envision for themselves.
2) Students deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at all times – especially when they have made mistakes. The traditional punitive response to mistakes is not working and alternative, restorative approaches are needed to address mistakes and misunderstandings, to heal harm, bring students back into the community, and support growth.
3) Teaching and learning happen best in the context of strong, respectful relationships and supportive community.
4) Learning should be grounded in depth of understanding, critical thinking, and authentic application of learning to real-world contexts, rather than “coverage” of content and seat time in worksheet-based classrooms.
5) Success should be defined by genuine preparation for real life – college or career, active citizenship, and personal/interpersonal growth - rather than by credits earned, test scores, or GPAs.
6) Parents and community members have an essential role in the education of our youth – as supportive teachers and listeners, as mentors and advocates.
7) Young people are capable of much more than we have given them credit for – they should be taken seriously and expected to take responsibility for their own education, and for making our community a better place.
8) Our Annapolis community and its individual members are enriched and made more resilient when adults, businesses, young people, and organizations come together to ensure that all of us are thriving, especially our youth.