If I have learned anything from having the opportunity to work closely with so many educators over the years, it is that teachers and school leaders are innately reflective. Even during the summer months, when every educator has earned the downtime, I know that many are spending time deeply revisiting questions about how to be an even better version of themselves for the students they encounter every day.
This summer has been no different: A common theme I have heard in our conversations is a desire for a reset at the start of the next school year:
Is it possible that, after two and a half years of pandemic, political discord, and a variety of interruptions and distractions, we will once again have a more calm school year?
Given all the chaos of the last few years, can we now make the time and space for our school communities to come together again to assess and refine community goals, hopes, and objectives?
I can absolutely understand this wish for a reset. In a way, I hear these hopes as a longing for a kind of back-to-basics school year where we prioritize the needs of our kids above all of the noise of the outside world. With this in mind, I wish to put forward the Pollyanna Intra-Conference as a tool that can help bring about the kind of community-centered conversations we desire.
Pollyanna designed the Intra-Conference as an opportunity for schools that want to focus on and hear from their community, deepen their knowledge, and enhance practices in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The very nature of the Intra-Conference brings a school together and establishes and strengthens community connections. Through small group discussions, guided questions, the platform for sharing personal experiences and perspectives, and generating solutions for growth, our Intra-Conference makes bringing your community together easy.
"Brentwood was in need of an opportunity to bring together the various constituents in our community. Pollyanna provided this community building and more. It required all of us to consider our DEI priorities and how to move them forward. We are using the data from the breakout sessions in our strategic planning. Quotes and moments from the day continue to be referenced in various conversations and places on campus. We look forward to hosting Pollyanna again in the future."
Trina Moore-Southall, Assistant Head of School for Community and Belonging
Pollyanna’s motto has always been: Every Voice Matters. This idea feels even more resonant and meaningful in the wake of the last three school years. It’s time to come together again, in-person, to listen to the hopes of our students, parents and colleagues so that we may re-center inclusion and belonging in our communities. Please reach out if you are interested in learning more about the Intra-Conference or any other valuable tools we can provide for your community this year.