Keystone Magazine - Page 38

Interview Q: What will be your biggest challenge as Dean of Student Life at Keystone? A: Every school has challenges. There is a lot that I have to learn about China and the culture here. I am trying to do that by living here in Beijing, throwing myself into the community, and exploring the sites around Beijing. Some of our colleagues have taken us outside of Beijing to explore the hills and the mountains. The challenge in starting the school is to infuse the ethos of your community in all you do. What are your standards? What are your goals? We have come up with a great covenant of shared values – Compassion (仁 Ren),Justice (义 Yi),Respect (礼 Li),Wisdom (智 Zhi),and Honesty (信 Xin). These five values infuse everything that we do academically, residentially, in student life, across programmatic lines and they will be the foundation of the learning that we want our students to have at Keystone. Q: Keystone requires all of its staff and teachers to make their best effort to care for and guide students, and build a safe and healthy academic and living environment. What specific measures or policies will the Keystone boarding program implement to ensure that these requirements are met? A: Our teaching staff will arrive on campus at the end of July. We have a lengthy four-week orientation program planned. The orientation includes a welcome to Beijing, opportunities to learn about Chinese culture, time to settle in, curriculum design, and classroom time. Another part of orientation focuses on student life and residential life and what the roles and responsibilities of our teachers are for afternoon programming, evening supervision, and weekend activities, etc. First and foremost will be getting to know each other as colleagues and coming together to establish our culture as a school. We talked a little about the boarding school experience being a lifestyle. This will be laid out to teachers well in advance because they have to buy into this. We have an excellent safety and security group working with us. We will have thoughtful and thorough plans and policies around safety and security. Students will know very clearly, in the course of their orientation at the school, our policies about where they are able to be, what the boundaries are, and where they are not allowed to be without adult supervision. We will have an elaborate system of sign-in and sign-out during the evening study hours and on the weekends. All of our trips will have adult supervision and students will not be allowed to come and go from campus, whether during the 36 The Keystone Magazine Wendy Bradley speaking at Keystone’s Chinese New Year celebration weekday or weekends. Trust is an important aspect of our school culture. We share this responsibility - students and faculty. We need to know where the students are, and they need to let us know where they are. We will always share this responsibility. But ultimately, it is our responsibility to know where they are 24 hours a day. With regards to clean air and water, I know that in the construction and design process, this is all being taken into consideration. The air-filtration and water purification systems will be top-notch. In each hallway of every dormitory there will be drinking water. Students cannot cook in the dorms, but for tea and noodles they will have access to clean water. Air-filtration systems in the dormitories and in buildings on campus will be top quality. It is a very important aspect of community life that we are all concerned about; for ourselves, for our students, and for our guests. In the dining hall we will provide three meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, for boarding students. We will use a catering service who will work with us and a student group to make sure the food is nutritious and enjoyable. This student group will have the opportunity to have a voice. They can tell us what they like and do not like. Students need to have a voice and know that they can be agents for change. For our day students, the lunch time meal is provided. We are looking at our dining services from a health standard first and we will enjoy local Chinese cuisine infused with some international dishes.