Had your vision checked lately?

Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera

Rosedale’s Vision Statement: Academic growth and achievement for all students.

I will admit that I had to visit my school’s website to figure out where to begin with the prompt: How do you keep your school’s vision alive?

I didn’t know what the statement was nor did I seek it out before I started the year. To date, I have never been a part of any organization that has kept their vision statement actively alive. In my experience, vision statement writing has been more about speeding up the bonding process for a group of people who share similar sets of beliefs, but need to articulate a succinct shared belief.

When you have lived in the same community for as long as I have, it is difficult to explain how the community has evolved over time. I will do my best to explain my view of Hillsboro’s evolution during my time here and this will hopefully shed some light on why I believe in our school’s vision even though it isn’t written in a way that evokes much emotion.

My family moved to Hillsboro when I started kindergarten. At the time, Hillsboro was primarily a farming community. However, Tectronix and then Intel, made Hillsboro their home as well and the community slowly evolved as those companies expanded their footprint. Today we are more likely known because of Intel rather than by our farmers, but there are enough people here who remember our farming roots that preservation of that era permeates any dialogue surrounding vision.

In elementary school most of the students were Caucasian and closer to spring time students from Mexico would arrive to join us until harvest was over. Migrant education was very much a part of my elementary school.

As I entered junior high, some families of Mexican origin were able to make enough to stay put and build roots in Hillsboro. I won’t try to explain what that experience was like for them as I wasn’t old enough to understand the educational disparities within our district at the time. I do remember that most of the Mexican children who were able to stay year round did appear to assimilate to the school environment.

Did I ever go to their house to play? No.

Did we play outside together? Yes.

Did they accept nicknames like “Beaner”? Yes.

Did we think twice about calling them that? No.

Then I moved on to high school and the disparities became clearer. Some of us were college bound and some of us weren’t. I don’t have the actual data, but for reasons likely related to lack of proper citizenship papers, the students of Mexican origin found work after high school rather than a path to college.

So, what does all this have to do with a vision statement? A decent number of staff in our district grew up here or in the surrounding area, went off to college, and returned to Hillsboro to make it their home. It can be challenging to alter previously conceived notions about access to education for all if you haven’t immersed yourself in an adult understanding of barriers in education.

I do embrace our vision statement but it really encompasses so much more than providing an equal educational gateway to success for all races. There is also socio-economic status involved among other things. Despite the difficulties educators know exist about holding all students to the same expectations and the same hopes and dreams, we have to first believe it is a possibility in order to fulfill our promise to the kids and their families each day.

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