CORE VALUES MATTER.
3rd Grade Parent
Community and Diversity are the two core values of Citizens of the World Kansas City that stand out to Andy Schuerman, who is a parent of a third grader, Grace. “The community gatherings are some of my favorite memories of the school,” he said. One of those gatherings is a carnival that Citizens puts on each year for students and their families. “We’re able to see the school community together, interacting with one another,” he said. “Just being able to see the diversity of the school, which is one of the reasons we chose Citizens, and being able to have shared experiences and fellowship with folks from different backgrounds is just a really wonderful part of Citizens.” Grace was part of the inaugural kindergarten class at Citizens four years ago, and Andy and his family have enjoyed being part of the Citizens family!
Tell us a bit more about why you chose to send your daughter to Citizens.
The core value of Community is one of the reasons we chose Citizens, along with the focus on social emotional learning and the development of true global citizens. I’m a school counselor by trade, and part of the school counseling curriculum is helping students to be able to interact with their peers in an appropriate way and being able to problem solve and to grasp conflict resolution. It’s also to focus on having an appreciation for and the ability to work with folks from diverse backgrounds, and that’s really important to me. The social emotional learning that is practiced at Citizens is something that we really support and really admire.
What is an example of how you've seen Grace use some of the social emotional learning tools she’s learned at Citizens?
Her ability to really accurately name and to be able to respond with ways to manage her emotions is just really impressive and beyond her age, frankly. Being able to name your emotion is just a really important technique for emotional management, and she has a vast vocabulary related to that, which I know didn’t just come from home! I know it came from school, and her ability to be clear about what she’s feeling and being able to come up with a strategy to process that feeling - that she’s learned from school - has been wonderful. This is an area we’ve been very impressed and pleased with.
What’s an example of a strategy she’s learned from school that she uses at home?
She will sometimes get really frustrated, for example, when we’re doing homework. Instead of us pushing and trying to get her through it, which I sometimes think is a temptation, especially in busy households, Grace will often ask to take a break. She will ask for a minute to decompress, and she might do a breathing exercise or take a little walk or play with our cat - just to give herself a short break. As a parent, I would love to always be able to suggest or identify when she needs a break, but for her to be able to identify that as an eight-year-old - that she needs a break - is very helpful.
Is there anything else you think prospective Citizens parents and families should know about the school?
I think the openness of the staff to any kind of parent concern or problem and being willing to talk about them in a kind of collaborative way is really unique. Often at schools, school administration or staff believe that they know all the answers, and they don’t always engage parents in the decision-making process. We have found the staff and administration at Citizens to be very willing and open to engaging with parents, even when it’s not always convenient. We really appreciate and value that.