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Nothing much happens without a dream. For something really great to happen, it takes a great dream.

Robert K. Greenleaf

The Dream Project began for the Red Bank Borough Public Schools in the fall of 2014. Each member of our team was asked to create his or her own vision of the perfect school. We requested vivid detail expressing how this perfect school would look and feel. We asked for a description of how staff would represent themselves and a description of the culture that would drive not only the school but student achievement. Participants were directed not to dwell on a lack of resources or any specific limitations. They were encouraged to dream big and dream what is best for our children, their families, and our community.

The idea behind this project was to create a picture of who we wanted to be as a school district. A picture that would serve as the guide for our journey toward providing the best educational environment for the Borough of Red Bank. Equally important, was the process itself. The Dream Project steps were designed to engage educators and support staff from every department of our school district in collegial conversations. As we progressed through the process, our conversations helped develop a greater understanding of each other and each individual’s commitment to our students and community. The projected galvanized an already collaborative staff and instilled a palpable feeling of teamwork and organizational purpose.

We received in excess of 200 individual dreams. These dreams were crafted into approximately 24 dreams by all employees at each school level – Preschool, Primary, and Middle. Then, the dreams were assigned to the appropriate school level and the School Improvement Teams at each level molded the dreams into 3 – Preschool, Primary, and Middle. Next, we selected a District Dream Team inclusive of educators, support staff, parents, and our Board of Education. This team used the 3 dreams to construct our District Dream. Finally, the District Dream was used to establish our Vision, our Mission, our Operating Rules and our Operating Principles. The dream even helped inspire our daily mantra … Dream BIG…We’ll help you get there!

The District Dream was shared with all staff as part of a celebration during a professional development day and with our community at a Board of Education meeting. Looking back, the process fostered teamwork, collegiality, and a unified agreement. Our commitment to that agreement continues to resonate through our daily practices today as we pursue an endeavor that will impact more lives than we can possibly imagine and distinguish our journey as a benchmark for Pre-K to 8 education.

The Dreams

Operating Principles and Rules

Red Bank Borough Public Schools are committed to a shared vision that supports all children in pursuit of BIG dreams.

  1. If we are dedicated to fostering the development of the whole child then...
    • Our schools will be a safe haven for every student, every day.
    • Students will feel empowered and invested in their education.
    • Student successes will be celebrated and shared.
    • Student engagement will be evident in every classroom.
    • Lessons will reflect all learning styles and learning levels.
    • Students will be held accountable for high quality academic performance.
    • Home-School communications will enhance student achievement.
  2. If we are committed to developing character then...
    • Every student will be expected to show respect for others, themselves, and the school.
    • Every student will be treated with compassion, fairness, and dignity.
    • Every student will experience a sense of security, belonging, contribution, and success.
    • All staff will model respectfulness, kindness, and compassion in their daily interactions with students, colleagues, administrators, and parents.
    • We will serve as role models advocating safety, health, and well-being.
    • Ethics and integrity will guide our actions.
  3. If we are constantly evolving and striving for a culture of excellence then...
    • We will embrace change and be open to new ideas.
    • Our teachers’ best practices will be highlighted through in-house staff development opportunities.
    • We will accept and offer feedback, acknowledge positive contributions, and support one another.
    • Students and staff will serve as district ambassadors throughout our community.
    • We will demonstrate a sense of pride in our school and community, and showcase students who do the same.
    • We will work to create a climate that values diverse thinking, mutual respect, and collaboration.

Operating Rules

  1. We will support safe and secure schools.
  2. All children, staff, and families will be treated with dignity and respect.
  3. We will share, collaborate and strive toward continuous improvement.
  4. All children will be met at their individual learning level.
  5. We will provide engaging and rigorous instructional activities.
  6. All children will be held to high standards of performance and citizenship.
  7. We will be accountable for quality instruction and professionalism.