Greenwich High School (Greenwich, CT) was recognized in a New York Times article as a school in an affluent community that’s successfully integrating students from low income families. What the article misses is that a key contributor to Greenwich High School’s success is that it its Connection Culture.
The school’s headmaster, Christopher Winters, regularly talks and writes about the importance of connecting students, teachers, administrators and parents. He walks the talk, too. Chris greets students when they arrive in the morning and he easily moves about the student center connecting with students. He encourages camaraderie among teachers and administrators and encourages parental involvement.
We’ve taught Connection Culture workshops at the school and Chris drew upon questions we developed to create a Greenwich High School Connection Culture survey that guides the school’s leadership team in creating connection using our Vision + Value + Voice framework.
In the book Trust in Schools, Bryk and Schneider presented research that showed connection (or “relational trust,” as they called it) among teachers, administrators and parents had a positive effect on student learning. As the word spreads about the success of Connection Cultures in education, look for more schools to become intentional about developing connection.