Changing the Culture
Today the school has consistently moved toward an environment where all participants cooperate to continue in the same positive direction. There’s a deep consensus on priorities and traditions that allow achievement of those priorities. At AIMS, there has been a great effort to establish the lore of the school, which is handed down student to student, and parent to parent. These include rituals, symbolism, established patterns of conduct, as well as a value in hard work and effort; especially as it relates to homework. Supporting structures for the lore of AIMS can be seen in the arrangement of students into houses named after famous historical archers, establishment of mentor parents, orientation of new parents on the AIMS homework model and most importantly, an adherence to the mission of the school. Currently the school is fixed somewhere in the middle of the matrix, between total disagreement and total agreement among the participants. As the culture of the school has become established, new parents coming in are integrated into the community by the veteran parents, new teachers are taught the ropes by the more experienced teachers, and new students are advised by the upper classmen. The school has stabilized and the mission statement of the school has been the common ground for all activity. Enrollment had tripled with a long waiting list. The old autocratic tools have been for the most part been put away, and slowly the tools of negotiation and strategic planning have been introduced as the school measures, assesses, and measures again all students’ progress. However, at times when the situation calls for immediate change, Administration does take on these decisions decisively and quickly when there is simply no time for discussion and the situation is urgent.