Letter from Chuck: Growth and a Promising 2020–21

Dear Creative Minds Community:

We recently sent surveys to our teaching staff and asked them to share their thoughts on working at Creative Minds and the culture of our school.

One of the survey questions asked, “Are you planning to return to Creative Minds next year?” I’m delighted to say that a majority of both lower school and middle school teachers who have completed the survey answered in the affirmative.

These data project a significantly higher retention rate than we’ve seen in past years, and I’m pleased about the promise for our community. When staff and teachers remain from year to year, our community flourishes. We build strong connections with one another as we work toward common goals. We give our students a consistent experience and the chance to build lasting relationships with the adults they see every day.

The Data

On the question of whether they will return next year, teachers had the option of choosing “Definitely,” “Probably,” “Probably not,” or “Definitely not.”

In lower school, 75% of teachers chose “Definitely” and 16% opted for “Probably,” a possible 91% retention rate. Thirty-seven of 73 teaching staff members have submitted the survey so far.

Among classroom staff in middle school, 72.2% said they are definitely returning and 22.2% said they’re probably returning, indicating a likely retention rate of 94.4%. Seventy-five percent of middle school staff have completed the survey so far.

Our Growth

Creative Minds is a young school, and as we’ve grown over the past eight-and-a-half school years, we’ve decided as a community how we’ll work together to nurture our students’ growth and learning. How should we structure our programs? What opportunities should we offer our students? What resources do our staff and teachers need to thrive in their jobs? What experiences are our families looking for?

In the last year, we welcomed a new director of lower school, Abby Sheffer, and a new director of middle school, Lorna Dill. Abby and Lorna brought with them experience, expertise, and a passion for their work. They transformed our programs with new initiatives and resources that have made a real difference for our teachers and staff, as well as for our students.

It’s vital that Creative Minds staff and teachers find fulfillment in their jobs and see the positive results of their work. For this to happen, they need support from school leaders and from their colleagues. They need to have agency and feel confident in speaking up. It’s one of my jobs, as executive director, to listen.

I’m excited about the future of Creative Minds, and I see wonderful growth and learning ahead for every member of our community.

Chuck Jackson
Creative Minds Executive Director