Now more than ever we find ourselves longing for community. We want...
Now more than ever we find ourselves longing for community. We want to have a sense of belonging and feel safe, understood, supported, and inspired.
As defined in an article on PositivePsychology.com titled, “10 Traits that Make a Positive Community:”
Community is a social unit (or group of living things) that share something in common, such as customs, identifying characteristics, values, belies, or norms (Mah & Carpenter, 2016).
If you find yourself reading this, you likely looked to Crane for community. You are or were once a prospective parent or student, you were once an educator or aspiring educator looking for much more than a job, or a grandparent of a Crane student looking to connect with your grandchild during their elementary and middle school years. We have all turned to Crane for a shared experience and for a sense of belonging, safety, understanding, support, and inspiration.
What is it about Crane School that brings us all together to form a community (#CraneCommunity as we like to use on social media)? What makes a family with a 50-minute commute choose Crane? Why would a family in Montecito choose Crane over a strong neighborhood school? Why would generations of Crane families continue to send their children to Crane? Why would one attend Crane School and then return as an adult to work here (that’s a question for the five current Staffulty members who were once Crane students!).
We return to the article from PositivePsychology.com to sort out this jumble of questions. While Crane checks off all 10 traits of a positive community that are listed in the article, let’s dive into three of these traits - (1) common goals, (2) heritage and traditions, and (3) interaction among members.
Common goals: Above all else, families choose Crane because of the top-knotch education that elementary and middle school students receive. It’s a balanced education driven by experiential learning that allows rigorous academics and a joy for learning to blend together like two different colored wool yarns woven together on a loom. Generations of parents are looking for a well-rounded education that brings out their children’s personalities, passions, and voices and builds their confidence, social awareness, and character.
Heritage and traditions: As a 93-year-old community, Crane has an established heritage and strong traditions. Positive communities proudly look back on how far they have come - remember Crane’s 90th Celebration!?! How about Crane’s history book that takes us back nine decades and reflects upon the school’s trials and triumphs.
Interaction among members: While some of the interactions within the Crane community have adapted over the past 10 months, there continue to be a plethora of opportunities for interaction within the Crane community. Virtual Visits with special speakers for Crane families each month, recorded assemblies and eighth grade speeches, and virtual coffees hosted by the head of school. Of course, the on-campus interactions are everyone’s favorites. It’s the class plays, parent meetings, Hot Lunch volunteer opportunities, daily all-school assemblies in the theater, cross-grade level Crane Families program, Grandparent and Special Friends Tea, and alumni reunions that maintain the strength of the Crane community. It is these interactions in which we come together to share our educational values, celebrate our differences, and reflect upon our Crane experience, when the true meaning of the Crane community shines bright.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
- Coretta Scott King
Crane is a community in which its members lean on each other and support each other, which is a large part of why the school has lived on through recessions, fires, debris flows, and a pandemic. Parents help each other out in times of need, the school reaches out to families in times of struggle, the support team of learning specialists, school psychologist, advisors, deans, and division heads creates a nurturing web to care for the students and their families. And teachers are the students’ number one supporters as they creatively craft lessons that stimulate their students from wherever they are learning and no matter what the circumstance, always adhering to our shared educational philosophy of rigorous academics balanced with creative expression.
As a community we appreciate that the elementary and middle school years are key to our children’s futures. We are here because we know it matters, and we all benefit from the positive Crane community.