To launch the school year at Bosque, the Sofia Center designed and led a weeklong orientation for Bosque’s fabulous faculty and staff. We kicked off orientation on Monday, August 6th, with a welcome meeting for our 11 new colleagues and an evening of dinner and conversation for the entire faculty and staff which focused on our shared summer reading. The summer reading for Bosque faculty was a curated collection of articles and talks all focused on pedagogies that are critical to manifesting the school’s academic mission. Summer reading for staff was Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto, which makes the compelling argument that well-designed checklists liberate us to spend our energy and time on the things that matter most.
Throughout the week, Bosque faculty and staff took a deep dive into the school’s academic mission statement and created video presentations that showcased the ways we currently live our academic mission. Using the summer reading collection as guide, we will continue to work with the academic mission throughout the year in our professional learning groups, expanding our capacity for inquiry-based, student-centered teaching and learning. The remainder of the week included time for divisions, grade-level teams, and academic departments to work together; a learning round on critical practices for anti-bias education; and brief, rejuvenating breaks such as a wildlife walk, guided meditation, and yoga. A highlight of our time together was breakfast at the river one morning, where colleagues read the words of bell hooks, Paula Gunn Allen, June Jordan, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and others, and where Nicolle Maniaci serenaded us on the violin.