DISTRICT PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION

PREFACE

This Philosophy of Education was developed for Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District by a broad-based committee consisting of members of Unit I (administrators) Unit II (teachers) Unit III (non-professional staff), students, parents, and citizens.

This Philosophy represents the setting of a direction, the creating of guidelines within which the educational community of Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District will function.

This Philosophy was written for the school and deals with the role of the school: it in no way minimizes the effects and responsibilities of other Institutions and groups, and particularly family on the development of an individual.

This document defines "school" as those people who populate the school buildings on a regular basis. It defines school community as those people who affect and are affected by the school. It defines "community" as those people who live or work within the boundaries of Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. In all cases it means both young people and adults and implies relationships and responsibilities which flow both ways.

PREAMBLE

The pursuit of educational excellence is the primary concern of this district.

I. The Individual
The school must try to satisfy the individual needs of every young person In the district. Our youth must have the right to an opportunity to learn. We believe that education expands the individual's awareness of life's potentials and opportunities and gives him/her the freedom to keep expanding his/her universe.

II. The Community
Because our school district is made up of four somewhat diverse component units, the school should strive to take an active role in creating an understanding and harmonious community. Therefore, the school should act as a focal point of community life encouraging the use of school facilities to serve the current and future needs of the citizens.

PHILOSOPHY

Each initial phrase is a philosophical statement and is followed by an explanation of the responsibility of the school to that point of philosophy.

1. Because a positive attitude about self is essential to fulfillment in life, it is necessary for the school to develop an environment that stimulates the individual to recognition of self.

2. Because living in a crowded world demands sensitivity to and understanding of the needs, rights and desires of others, the school must foster the awareness and acceptance of individual differences.

3. Because an individual must think of himself/herself as an integral part of society it is necessary for the school to make him/her aware of the history, rights, and responsibilities of the individual in relation to society.

4. Because an individual's behavior affects others as well as himself/ herself, it is necessary for the school to help the student develop responsible self-discipline.

5. Because a basic precept of our society is recognition of the worth of the individual, the school must treat every person with dignity.

6. Because emotional, social, physical, and psychological, as well as intellectual growth should be taking place all the time it is necessary for the school to aid in the development.

7. Because an individual should have the opportunity to formulate a value system of his/her own. It is necessary for the school to facilitate the objective examination of values.

8. Because education should result in an individual's active participation in his/her society, it is necessary for the school to provide the impetus for his/her present and future action.

9. Because each individual should have the opportunity to take full advantage of increasing leisure time, it is necessary for the school to foster the expansion of each person's potential for the creative use of his/her free time.

10. Because teaching and learning are aspects of the same process, it is necessary for the school to provide an atmosphere where all segments of the community can participate in the learning process together.

11. Because learning is a process which [ekes place within the individual, it is necessary for the school to stimulate internal motivations toward learning.

12. Because an individual must have a foundation of basic skills (the 3 Rs) in order to expand his knowledge, it is necessary for the school to assure this foundation for every student.

13. Because learning how to learn is essential in a world of accelerating change, it is necessary for the school to stress acquisition of skills and understanding of processes.

14. Because work is a basic activity for individuals, it is necessary for the school to provide knowledge about work and foster positive attitudes about work.

15. Because the ability to make one's own decisions develops through experience, it is essential for the school to provide the student with options in his/he learning experiences.

16. Because the student should be able to relate his world to the larger world, it is necessary for the school to provide programs that are relevant.

17. Because a person's learning is not compartmented, it is necessary to develop an interdisciplinary approach in the school.

18. Because continuity is desirable in the learning process, it is incumbent upon the school to provide the means for a smooth transition from elementary through junior high, senior high, college and/or the world.

19. Because the student should have the advantage of the world's constantly expanding knowledge, it is necessary for the school to encourage the continuous professional growth of its staff.

20. Because stimulation through the communication of ideas is vital to the teacher, it is necessary to encourage strong and continual interaction within the school community.

21. Because the primary responsibility of the school community is to its young people, every person having direct contact with students should have training in understanding young people.

22. Because learning takes place in all facets and areas of life, it is necessary for the school to directly involve the family and the community.

23. Because the public school is of and for the community, the school should involve members of the community in an advisory capacity.

24. Because the school belongs to the total community, the widest possible use should be made of school facilities.

25. Because members of the community should have the opportunity for a free exchange of ideas, the school should provide a public forum.

26. Because the school must have the support of the community at large in order to function, it is essential for the school to keep the public well informed about school matters.

27. Because understanding and preservation of the environment are imperative for survival, it is necessary for the school community to follow positive ecological patterns.

28. Because the school's actual functioning should be consistent with its aims, there must be a comprehensive system for constant evaluation of students, programs, personnel, priorities, etc. by appropriate segments of the school community.

Amendment No. 1 (adopted by the Board of Education 6/4/75) Because learning is a process which takes place differently in every person, it is necessary for the school to encourage programs which attempt to satisfy the individual learning needs of every student.

Amendment No. 2 (adopted by the Board of Education 6/7/75) Because expectations based solely on sex are limiting to an individual the school community must recognize such limit as inappropriate and encourage fulfillment of an individual's potential through its practices and programs.