Three campuses, one school. We rally around this mantra in our work to build all-school belonging.
Our footprint of three campuses in three towns – each with its own identity – means that our students receive an educational experience that is responsive to child development and students as they grow. Each campus has its own identity that is responsive to students as they grow. It also makes for a natural “rite of passage” as students step up from the Lower School to the Middle and Upper Schools.
Naturally, there are inherent challenges to ensuring that our students feel connected to each other when geographically dispersed. It’s the intentional planning of school leaders and dedicated educators that allows Carroll to connect the dots on the map.
A recent example of this was Ruby Bridges Day.
Ruby Bridges Day
By Osa Osagie, Director of Equity and Inclusion
The idea for the Ruby Bridges multi-campus community activity came after a meeting among DEI (Diversity Equity Inclusion) Coordinators from the Lower and Upper Schools: Elizabeth Quansah, Molly McKeever, Sara Holland, Kelly Sampar, and Teresa Lacks.
Our goals were to provide an opportunity for all Lower and Upper School students:
- To deepen their understanding of Ruby Bridges’ story and her legacy as an agent of change.
- To explore the work we as a community can do to further Ruby’s vision for a more equitable world.
- To understand the many forms of activism—protests, music, art, etc.
- To collaborate across campuses in order to foster a greater sense of community.
Our main activity for the day consisted of creating a mural to hang in the Lower School. Earlier in the week, students learned about the song “We Shall Overcome” and how it became a sign of resistance during the Civil Rights Era. We thought it would be cool to create a mural with these words and a silhouette of Ruby walking to school. Upper School students joined the Lower School homerooms to decorate their canvases collaboratively using various art tools and techniques. Each homeroom had a letter canvas that would come together later to spell out “We Shall Overcome.”
Walking around the building, it was clear that students and adults felt very connected to the message and the purpose of the day. The joy and collaboration were palpable. The success of the day left students and educators eager to collaborate across campuses more often.
Lower School Division Head Sue Kingman concurred, “Cross-campus activities such as Ruby Bridges Day help students to feel the full school, to connect with other Carroll students who are not always visible to them in their daily interactions. It offers opportunity for compassion, empathy, and belonging. Each time we have a cross-campus project, it’s an uplifting experience for all students and adults.”