The Grauer School Way
Joyful, courageous, healthy and "successful" individuals are developed in an organization or social movement through the primacy and consistent pursuit of shared, agreed upon values that leaders articulate relentlessly.
Thank you to all school families and all my readers for following our school for another year. This is an ultimate honor to us.
Grauer Seniors Sierra P. '18 and Noa H. '18 act in the student-directed production of "Feiffer's People" - June 3, 2018
The Grauer School was founded on a simple, distinctive but controversial premise. The sharing of this premise has been both the point of our existence and occasionally the fight of our life. This premise is: although we promise to provide a rigorous, scholastic, and college preparatory environment so that students who choose to do so may prepare for colleges and exams, our "purpose" is not to prepare students for any set end, including college, nor is this the measure of our success. Our success is based upon our understanding that healthy individuals are developed through the pursuit of a lifetime of shared values that transcend their own, individual goals and achievements. Restated, at Grauer, our purposes tend to be liberating rather than controlling. I hope you can see all this on the faces and body language of our children.
We acknowledge and have always acknowledged that widespread social ills, currently including anxiety, depression, suicide, eating disorders, exhaustion, addiction, and unhappiness are all associated with the pursuit of prescribed and narrow goals such as college rank, acceptable test scores, and quantifiable and extrinsically imposed achievements of all kinds. We know this premise to be supported and grounded deeply in many fields of research including psychology, sociology, education, theology, and philosophy. This premise is deeply held by our faculty members and leadership, and it is the topic of years of discussion and workshopping. Inside the school and publicly, we routinely and widely disseminate research in support of our premise, and we understand that the need for this dissemination is permanent and that our mission is never a given, even among our primary stakeholders. This premise is made clear in much of our advertising, in our admissions office, on our application for admission, in our enrollment interviews, in countless publications, in faculty and board member training, in our evaluations of all stakeholder groups, in all of our school program and whole-school evaluations, and in our senior graduation petitions. This premise differentiates us from many competitor schools, particularly those avowedly either "college preparatory" or control-oriented in basic purpose. Hence, our premise is strategic and existential.
Grauer Junior Tea C. '19 gives a presentation at a student assembly about being mindful of what you say and listening to others - May 29, 2018
"The journey is better than the inn."
Any organization with a clear mission will naturally attract others who object to or reject that mission on political, economic, personal, or other grounds—this can be difficult to bear, but it is the nature of the pursuit of any clear purpose, even the Golden Rule. At The Grauer School, we know from long experience that our premise will be challenged or drift from time to time, and that it is our job to uphold and never presume it. Observation and research we find to be irrefutable teaches us that standardized outcomes and extrinsic achievements (such as college rank) stem from widespread and longstanding fears and pressures in the larger society—these social forces makes mission drift an inexorable and predictable force that we expect to face. We understand that this premise causes some people to seek schools other than ours, rejecting our purposes, and when this happens we usually take it as evidence of the successful articulation of our mission, not as a failure. We are avowedly not all things to all people. We also find that, despite its counter-cultural underpinnings, this premise is the basis upon which prospective families and teachers contact us, follow us, and seek us out world over.
Grauer 9th grade students perform self-reflection in a labrynth as the final activity for their World Religions class - May 23, 2018
Joyful, courageous, emotionally attuned, optimistic, and compassionate individuals are developed in our organization through the consistent pursuit of shared, agreed upon values that we articulate routinely, including compassion, resourcefulness, self-advocacy, intrinsic (versus extrinsic) motivation, and personal accountability. Teacher Alicia Tembi, says it like this: "I would climb to a mountaintop and sing (not that anyone wants to hear me sing) about how special Grauer is." When you have a distinctive, driving organizational purpose, you can never state, re-state, sing, whisper or shout it enough. As a boss, I drive hard and my loyal employees know I demand a lot—but they also understand that I don't demand their compliance, I demand their passion and courage, and this is the passion and courage that permeates every aspect and part of our organization, and it is the measure of our success. This is the Grauer School Way.
Congratulations to all of the students who were just cast in the Theatre Arts Department's production of the play Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, based on the classic novel by Lewis Carroll. The play will be presented on January 31 through February 2, 2019.
Congratulations to John Joseph H. '23 for having a TEDx talk on the official TEDx Youtube channel! John Joseph created his video talk "If we can do it, you can do it" in May 2017.
10th Grade Chemistry students visited General Atomics last week, where the students combined their newfound knowledge of nuclear chemistry, stability, and change with discussions on how nations currently generate electricity.
7th Grade Life Science students have started to explore the world of cells in class, learning about the connections between cells, tissues, organs and systems.
Thanks to everyone who attended the Back-to-School Luau on Thursday, September 13, and helped make this event a great success!
Ninth grade students were matriculated and officially welcomed to high school at The Grauer School in a special ceremony at the weekly assembly on Tuesday, September 11.
Congratulations to Grauer Senior Rhian B. '19 for being featured in an article "Unsung hero no more: Encinitas student writes a song about civil rights protester" in the September 11, 2018 edition of the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper.
7th grade English students collaborated with their classmates in small groups to identify a problem in their local or global community and brainstormed an invention or new way of doing things that could help to solve or alleviate that problem.
Grauer 11th graders welcomed a panel of immigrants to supplement their U.S. History unit on industrialization and immigration. The firsthand accounts provided insight into the realities of immigration including the challenges faced and the social and economic benefits.
On Saturday, September 8, members from Grauer's Shockwave High School Robotics team went to the Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park to participate in the kickoff of this year's First Tech Challenge (FTC) competition, along with all of the other FTC teams in San Diego.