It was great to see so many families join us for Miniature School night last Thursday. We have welcomed 63 new students to our school this year and they are all getting settled into their routines at Roycemore. At many schools, Miniature School night is known as “Back-to-School Night” so in homage to our parents coming “Back-to-School” they had the opportunity to hear what their children heard during our opening all-school assembly. This annual tradition brings all of our children together–from our youngest learners to our seniors as we kick off the school year.
I opened the assembly talking about Roycemore’s Core Values: Respect, Scholarship, Compassion, Integrity, and Community. We strive to live by these core values each day– to think about how to make our school a very special place, where everyone feels valued, where everyone is appreciated for who they are, and where we consider the great privileges that we all have and how we can make a difference in the world around us. Through appreciation and love of each other, we build a stronger community. Through the love of community, we find ways to make a difference well beyond Roycemore.
The students learned that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, what color, race, or religion you are, or what financial background your family has… you can make a difference.
Students learned, however, that before we can give to others, we must love ourselves first. And when we do, our hearts open wider to love and respect others. We see how alike we are, how beautiful we are, and we are motivated to connect more deeply–to make a difference. Students learned that they can make a difference through something as small as a handshake or hug, or volunteering to help those less fortunate than themselves. I asked students to pause and reflect on the classmates around them and the unique qualities, talents, and personalities they bring to Roycemore every day. I asked them to recognize the beauty that each individual has, then to think about at least one KIND thing they can say to someone that day that they might never have been brave enough to say before– then to see how that makes them feel and how it opens their heart to give even more.
The students then got to see photos of themselves and their classmates, to appreciate the Beauty that each of them possess… and they were encouraged to BE KIND and leverage the power of that kindness to make a difference. On Miniature School night, our families saw some of these photos as well, that not only represented the beauty of our students, but also the incredible diversity of our student body.
I am proud of Roycemore’s recent recognition by Niche.com as the second most diverse private high school in Illinois! Our differences are our strength, as Roycemore’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement aptly states. Many of our families were attracted to bring their children to Roycemore because of the diversity. In the coming year, we hope our new families will take every opportunity to get to know the school community by becoming involved in the Roycemore Family Association, and join the many other happy Roycemore families by sharing their feedback on Niche.com. This is a compelling way to support the school and help attract more great students to join the creative, determined, hard working, and happy community already at Roycemore.