SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 10, 2013

Column: The two pledges of Witchcraft Heights

As a new day begins at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School, students and adults alike can be found reciting two pledges. One is the traditional Pledge of Allegiance, and the second is called The Witchcraft Heights School Pledge:

I am a smart, special, valuable person.

I respect myself and I respect others.

My words and actions are kind and honest.

I accept only my best in all that I do.

“I am a smart, special, valuable person.”

At Witchcraft Heights, we believe that each one of our students is smart and special. They demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in different ways, at various times, and with a wide range of actions. Students recognize that they, as well as their peers, have unique gifts that are valued by others. Witchcraft Heights places a strong emphasis on school culture and collaboration. We believe that learning should be fun, and we strive to provide instructional activities that engage all of our students. Each member of our community — student, parent and school employee — is valued and plays an important role in the overall success of our school.

“I respect myself and I respect others.”

Our core value is respect. Witchcraft Heights is a school composed of students from all walks of life. Each classroom is a microcosm of our society and contains a wonderful variety of children. Our classroom communities house students who have been born and raised in Salem, children who have just come from other countries to live in this country, others who have lived here for some time but speak another language at home, as well as students with a wide range of learning challenges. When classrooms are inclusive, students learn patience, tolerance and compassion as a way of life. When students are kept separate, they aren’t given the frequent opportunities to observe and practice these valuable qualities. “Treat others in the manner in which you would like to be treated” is the Golden Rule. Each day, we challenge our students to be helpful to others and frequently recognize and celebrate students who are observed “doing the right thing.” Children are often called to the principal’s office to share how they’ve been respectful toward members of our community.

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