Known and Valued at YCDS

By Mrs. Kari Miller, Head of Lower School

“Known and valued…”  two small words which hold powerful meaning within the walls of York Country Day School. This amazing phrase from the YCDS mission statement is the essence of our school. As humans, we need to feel that we belong and that we are known. It is through that feeling of belonging that we grow. When you walk through the doors of our school, you feel the positive energy created by a community of people who feel safe, supported, and encouraged to be the best versions of themselves.

What does known and valued look like on a daily basis? At YCDS, it takes on many forms. A few examples include:

  • Adults and children are greeted by name in the hallways, as they enter classrooms, and in the cafeteria. Every person’s name is known, and if someone forgets, we teach children how to ask someone their name politely and respectfully. Students learn that your name is the most important word to you, and we honor and respect others when we say it.
  • During daily class meetings in the Lower School, at the start or close of the day, children share what is happening in their lives, the good and the bad, so the community is available to celebrate and support. Children and adults alike share with one another which emphasizes the importance of everyone in the community.
  • We TALK with one another about our lives during lunch, recess, morning meeting, and while we wait outside in the hallways. We ask questions to learn about each other. On a daily basis I hear things like “How is your hip-hop class coming along? Or When is your next wrestling match?”
  • Passions are celebrated and incorporated into our school lives. This can be in the form of teachers using individual students’ passions to contribute to a class lessons or someone bringing in a creation from home to contribute to a class project. Teachers tap into students’ passions which increases engagement in the learning process.

Being known and valued at York Country Day School means being known for your academic, social and emotional growth. The faculty assess, review, and adjust to meet the academic needs of each and every student, taking that student where they are right now, and moving them to their own individual next step. This is accomplished in small groups or individually, as well as in larger group settings, when students are learning from and with one another.  

Our students are known and valued which allows them to engage as compassionate, bold, and active citizens as they identify a purpose outside of themselves, for the common good, and generate the call to better the world.” Being known and valued means that all within our community are honored and respected, so we go out into the larger York community to make a difference.