B.E.S.T. Academy Students Soar High: Guest Blogger David Jernigan, Deputy Superintendent
B.E.S.T. Academy, an all-male middle school and all male high school sharing one campus, is a great example of how collaboration between school leaders can reap great benefits for students.
Our tour this afternoon was led by middle school students who were energetic, knowledgeable about their school and eloquent with their answers to questions. There is intentional work happening here around culture building. Classroom visits prove that there is a significant effort to drive consistency across the schools, which was reinforced this summer with a two-week professional learning opportunity for all teachers.
We visited multiple classrooms, including the band and orchestra rooms where middle school students were anxious to show off their talent.
We loved seeing the rituals around how visitors are greeted when they enter the classroom. Every young man stands to their feet and gives a hearty and respectful hello. Every young man knows how to give an inviting yet firm handshake while looking you in the eye. B.E.S.T. Academy is building great men.
This particular school is particularly dear to me. While working with the KIPP organization, I was a part of the leadership team responsible for creating opportunities for collaboration between KIPP and B.E.S.T. The partnership has grown to include a staff member from KIPP remaining in residence with the Academy for the past 18 months, conducting teacher and staff leadership training.
I am looking forward to developing more opportunities throughout the district where schools share tools and best practices that are working on their campuses.
Congratulations B.E.S.T. scholars; you are off to a great start this school year!