Culture at the Core: How North Valley’s Monthly Themes Reinforce Maxims to Unify the School Community
When your school has a strong identity, members of the school community—students, teachers, staff, family members—should feel that the shared identity shows up inside and outside the classroom. Your school may have a mission statement or vision, but what does that look like throughout the school day and week? Are members of your community able to point to examples of your shared identity in class, in school structures? During a Crowdsource on March 18, 2023, Erik Lathen, Principal of North Valley High School in Grants Pass, Oregon, shared how he’s putting their maxims to use in every period, every day, for all students—and staff.
Commitment to Core Values
At North Valley High School in Grants Pass, Oregon, they know that school culture isn’t something you present and forget. Culture is the life and identity of a school community. Culture is rituals and routines. Culture is practiced. So, each month, North Valley focuses on a different theme and offers different ways for students to engage with their school culture and core values.
Through fun and interactive activities and games, the school ensures all community members are empowered to be recognized and recognize others for embodying and exemplifying their 3-R Maxims: respect, responsibility, resiliency.
November’s theme of thankfulness is Erik’s favorite month. Erik himself models something he wants to see in his school: he shares with a classroom why he’s thankful for their teacher, and that modeling of vulnerability and gratitude allows students to do the same—which in turn uplifts the teachers who often didn’t realize just what significant positive impacts they’ve made upon students. November’s theme also highlights Erik’s larger ethos of recognizing people for the positive things they are doing to build connection, strengthen relationships, and foster a community that wants to live up to its maxims.