Recently representatives of five Hyde Schools and two Hyde affiliates gathered in Woodstock, Connecticut to discuss what it means to be a Hyde School Dean of Students. Participating in the event were: Hyde-Bath, Hyde-Bronx, Hyde-Brooklyn, Hyde-DC, Hyde-Woodstock, Central Florida Leadership Academy and Turning Point Academy.
The Hyde Foundation put the event together and facilitated the conversations and training. The group established some common understandings around the roles that Hyde Deans play. “Because of the differences in our school calendars, it can be difficult to bring together members of all the Hyde communities,” said Jennifer Burns, Hyde Foundation Director of Training. “It was important to the Hyde Foundation to develop an opportunity for our schools’ staff to learn from one another in order to enhance the communities at each school.”
When they looked at the roles they each play in their schools, the Deans agreed that they are central to the maintenance of a character culture. The Deans work to support students in taking ownership for their actions. During a discussion about the techniques and strategies used at each school, it was clear that the Deans from all the schools connect with the students individually to explore what is behind negative behavior and to help move them toward realizing their potential. Their approach often involves contacting the parent to involve them as a support system for student growth and self-understanding.
Hyde-Woodstock Dean, Josh Welch reports, “Since the program I have been approaching things differently with students and faculty. It has helped pull me to broaden my vision at a time where I often start to put my blinders up and push for the finish. I feel like I’m ready to pursue the spring term with greater vision and clarity of purpose.” The group ended by discussing ways to stay in touch, including gathering for training and an exchange of ideas annually.