District Norms


By: Ralph Mayo

The Greenwich Public School system adopted a list of norms several years ago to give everyone in the district a set of behaviors to guide us both in and out of school. Prior to holding a meeting, we state the district norms and refer back to these norms after the meeting has concluded to determine if we have conducted ourselves appropriately. The norms are:

Be Here
Be Safe
Be Honest
Care for Self and Others
Let Go and Move On

As we move forward into November and our national elections are held, it is important that each of the leaders in our community and country follow some type of norms so we can have a dialogue about the issues that are before us rather than the attacked filled rhetoric that obfuscates where people stand on the important topics of the day.

As I read our local newspapers and listen to the different televised debates, I can’t help but wonder if the speakers would have performed better had they learned our norms and applied them when participating in a debate. Quite frankly, the depths that we have fallen to are unfathomable. The lack of civility is unbearable and it needs to stop! As a building Principal who works with 2800 adolescents, I worry that they too will begin to act in this manner because they see adults in leadership roles doing the same. It is imperative that we have an educated electorate who can understand the issues and then determine who would be the best person to represent them, but how can this happen if all we hear is a great deal of noise without content.

As we move through the Pandemic, we shifted into crisis mode at our school; which means that we are working extremely well as a staff to make our climate as positive as possible at all times. Our staff, which had been highly collaborative in the past is even more so now in creating a Hybrid Learning environment that can be accessed by all learners. Our wonderful students, have also done an amazing job in following all the guidelines that we have put in place for them. So, I am wondering once again if the young adults at our great high school can overcome the many barriers to learning that have been placed in front of them, then why can’t our leaders do the same when it comes to discussing the problems that our country is facing.

Some may take my words as political in nature, but I can assure you they are not. I just want to see the democratic process move forward, the one that our forefathers fought and died for so our children and grandchildren may have the same liberties that we all currently enjoy in our great country. If we need to be in crisis mode for our community to come together, so be it. Once we emerge from this pandemic and understand that we were able to do so by caring for self and others we will have learned a valuable lesson about how to conduct ourselves at all times.