Designed to strengthen connections between all students, teachers, and staff, Rossman Families include a student from each grade level, JK through sixth, and are led by a faculty or staff member. As a whole school, time is set aside each month to gather together, build friendships across all ages and focus on our shared goal to develop the habits that lead to character growth.
Our Rossman Families strengthen our connection to one another, and our family activities cultivate character growth, and both a sense of community and strong character support academic achievement. "Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Just as the real world context of academic lessons is a vehicle for teaching values, Family Gathering activities that promote habits of character in turn impact academic learning. Collaborative projects require respect for others, and responsibility is foundational to good study habits. It is a vital partnership – values and intellect.
The Greek root word for “character” means “to engrave” or “to inscribe upon.” Within our Rossman families, the act of “inscribing” is a shared responsibility of the Rossman faculty “parent” and the Upper School student members who model the Rossman values to the younger students. Before each Family Gathering, fifth and sixth grade students excitedly head to the JK and SK classrooms to collect their Rossman siblings and walk them to their gathering spot. These relationships are at the heart of shaping character, for both the oldest and the youngest. The littlest look up to their big brothers and sisters and they are proud of their connection when they see them in the halls or school assemblies. And the big kids enjoy their role of friend and leader, having themselves been little ones anticipating the year they would get to assume this special responsibility.
"I love seeing the smiles on the JK students' when we pick them up from their classroom" - Sixth Grade Student
Since a student is a member of a family for all their years at Rossman, Family Gatherings help students get to know one another, respect and care about each other and feel valued as part of our larger school community. Rossman Families provide a caring, cross-age community where students hear and act upon a consistent message that unites us and permeates the entire school experience. Together, regardless of age or grade, we are one Rossman family and inscribed upon our hearts are honesty, kindness, respect and responsibility.
"We get to learn from kids in every grade" - Third Grade Student