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Message from our Superintendent

Strongest Metaphor

Dear ASFM Community,

Lady Justice

As the school year nears its end the walls and halls come fully alive with images, sounds and activity demonstrating learning. The 8th and 10th grades are engaged in project work–the 8th grade will put their projects on display in the Cordillera mall. Many of these projects are in search of an image that most strongly conveys all that their project hopes to argue. This makes me wonder what are the most powerful teaching images. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a really good one must be worth a million words. What  image might you choose to put on the walls of our school representing what every student should know or value? How about this one?

Lady Justice is a wonderful metaphor for what we expect of our students, administration, teachers, and community. She is wearing a blindfold simbolizing equality before the law, not one law for women, another for men and yet another for the rich; we’re all equal before the law. And we are equal before each other. The scales represent guilt or innocence as being determined by a function of evidence, not whim of the judge. Punishments and rewards are proportional to the acts. Teachers right now are weighing evidence. As a school community we value evidence: evidence of learning and evidence of positive impact in our community. The sword is a reminder that justice is frequently about exercising power and violence; we must always minimize violence. The sword is pointed down to emphasize that violence does not deliver justice. As Cicero says “More laws, less justice.” Still, however, the sword represents that justice should be swift and sure.

I like Cicero because he’s full of good quotes, my favorite being that “gratitude is the parent of all virtues.” Lady Justice is ultimately a challenge to us all–can we truly be fully objective? Can our individual citizenship be so good that we don't need an abundance of rules? Can our understanding of what it means to “meet and exceed expectations” be one we all agree to?

What evidence do we weigh to measure your child’s progress through ASFM? Grades, attendance, engagement (emotional and intellectual), effort and citizenship, are all used to help determine your children’s achievement. There are no roads forward from the pandemic that make our journey smooth. There will be bumps and unexpected turns. We are committed to helping every student in our care recover and excel, but please know that your effort is required, and there will be discomfort in this process.  We are not in the business of weighing intentions, rather, like Lady Justice and our staff, we have to evaluate evidence based on its own merit.  

How are your children adorning the walls?  What have they accomplished? What evidence are they contributing to the community?  As students adorn the walls at ASFM, keep your eyes open for project work, acapella presentations, theater performances, and final ASOMEX tournament games. As I walk through our school buildings today, I can assure you that school is buzzing with activity as students prepare for their final assessments and teachers help them find their personal best effort. There is still time to hang some evidence “on the walls.”

Onward,
George