Acera BlogCourtney's Corner

Community at Acera

By December 14, 2023No Comments

Dear Acera families, 

What does Community look like at Acera?

Community shows up as… 

Families ice skating together before the holiday. 

Cheering for friends and classmates who get math awards.  

Eagerly checking the scheduling, showing up on time, and leaning forward in your seat to hear your 3rd grade friend present their creative Scratch project during Museum Walk.  

A group of friends initiating, authoring and distributing a student-led newspaper filled with humorous articles about the school.  

Inviting a visitor to sit with you at lunch.  

Younger and older students holding hands on the way in from recess.  

Kids pausing amid a soccer game to let a younger student drag a log across the middle of their play area.  

Teachers feeling valued by the school, and who collaborate with colleagues with voracious possibility and creativity.  

Students walking in the door, and feeling that we are listening to them as people with real ideas worthy, with respect and care.  

A school-wide culture of kindness expected and coached, and a culture in which missteps are treated as learning moments for growth.  

Students taking their parents to meet and see a friend’s IMP project during IMPposium.   

The new-to-Acera 7 year old who yells out to his array of new friends at dismissal, waving goodbye.  

A student submitting an issue for peer mediation to resolve conflict with a student peer mediator’s help.   

Hearing “Yes!” when you have an idea of something to initiate and a community in which to make it manifest without worry of making it “perfect.”

Community is experienced, created and built intentionally and organically at Acera!  Our core values guide how we make decisions, how we communicate with each other, and how we coach and re-direct students to continuously develop their emotional intelligence, decisions and character as they learn to realize the needs of others and take responsibility for their impact in the community.  

The biggest “what I wish to keep” at Acera that came up in the eight different strategic planning sessions with students?   To maintain a community of belonging which is a “refuge.”  

The sense of belonging, acceptance, and freedom to be oneself comes from authentic relationships with classmates, with students in other grades and classrooms, and with the adults at Acera, who care about every student, as a person, while facilitating journeys of discovery and safeguarding their path to becoming their best self. That sense of community and connectedness kids feel at Acera is a core value of who we are.

Please join us for our annual tradition of ice skating as a community before the holiday! Bring parents, siblings, spouses to kick off the December break; it is open to all! And mark your calendars for January 9th Science & Interdisciplinary STEM Activities Night from 6:00-7:30pm (for parents only) to see how science learning happens at Acera, and for the January 25th Winter IMP-Posium.

I hope to see you there! As always, reach to me at with questions.  

All the best,


Courtney Dickinson is Acera’s Founder & Head of School.

Read more about Acera’s Core Values & Capacities.