The central Quaker (Friends) belief is that every human is sacred - and therefore valued exactly as they are. This is the starting place for our faculty and administration's approach and causes us to view each student with optimism and respect. Our charge as educators of students with learning differences is to honor each child by listening and attending deeply to them, and recognize each student's strengths, while, at the same time, providing a framework for approaching, navigating, and hopefully overcoming, challenges. DVFS uses the acronym SPICES to frame the primary Quaker Testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship.
At DVFS we routinely begin our day with an all school gathering, in the manner of Friends, for a collective moment of silent reflection, followed by announcements. Once a week we hold a Meeting for Worship, which includes an extended period of silent reflection (25 minutes or so), punctuated by community members who may feel moved to stand and speak. Often, students will ask for community members to hold friends, loved ones, or themselves "in the Light" during a challenging time. At other times (and often during the same Meeting), pieces of good news or profound thoughts are shared. Monthly Queries (small, active discussion groups), ongoing service projects, and student-planned activities further illustrate the warm and community-oriented nature of DVFS.
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