At Smith, we believe that in order to support the district vision of instructional excellence, and ensure that all of our students acquire the attributes described in the mission, we must focus on providing a learning environment and school climate that allows students to thrive. To that end we have adopted the following statement of belief to guide our work.“We believe that all students will grow, learn, and achieve when they feel safe, valued and connected.”Safe: Every student must feel safe at school. Safety includes the aspects of campus safety and security that must be a priority for all school staff. Safety also includes ensuring that the school provides an environment which encourages students to be themselves, to take academic risks, to explore new ideas, and to make and admit their mistakes -- an environment in which they feel safe to learn.Valued: Each student is an individual who brings different experiences, cultures, and perspectives to a school community. It is important that teachers and school leaders create an environment and a community that not only allows space for student differences but also celebrates and values the rich life experiences and perspectives that our students bring with them to school. We must also value the abilities that students bring to our classrooms and engage them in academic work that builds on what they know, helps them to grow as learners, and appropriately challenges them.Connected: Students must feel connected and invested in their school communities. This connection is built in engaging, student-driven classrooms that encourage students to explore and discover new knowledge in partnership with their peers and teachers. This connection is built through encouraging and fostering strong connections between students and adults. Finally, this strong sense of connection is built through the creation and support of a myriad of extracurricular activities that encourages students to collaborate with peers, enables students to display their talents beyond the classroom, and gives students the opportunity to represent themselves, their school, and their community with pride.