Community is at the heart of why we’re here
Our Sisters’ School was founded by a team of community minded citizens who chose to invest in the economically disadvantaged girls of New Bedford. They know that helping middle school girls realize their potential creates a ripple effect of benefits – raising local achievement levels, elevating standards and expectations, and improving prospects across the community.
As an all girls school, ineligible for state funding, we rely on our community’s generous support to carry on our work. The community sustains us in other ways as well, populating our executive board, providing academic coaching, leading clubs and sports – all on a volunteer basis. Our community ties are also strengthened by partnerships with parents and families and by our alliances with other area non-profits.
Our students know that their community values them, and they return this generous spirit through the second of our four core values: Citizenship.
Citizenship is lending a hand to do what needs to be done
In addition to academic aspirations, Our Sisters’ School promotes Citizenship values such as honesty, integrity, empathy, respect for others, diversity, and community service. Citizenship reflects our students’ deep sense of responsibility. They know what needs to be done, and they do it.
Whether it is serving as a mentor or advocate, interning at a local organization, participating in Community Core Advisory or participating in our “Spread the Love” Club, our students gain confidence, experience, and inspiration by giving back. Having regular opportunities to share their gifts with others helps students further develop as active members of their community, responsible citizens, and role models for others.
This commitment to Citizenship creates a strong foundation for the third of our four core values: Leadership.
Leadership is seeing, showing, and paving a better way
If we could, we would offer a classroom seat to every middle school girl in our area who wants to attend. However, limitations require us to prioritize and select among applicants. In addition to passing literacy and math assessments, successful candidates possess what we call the “eye of the tiger.” By that we mean that they convey a focused determination and an attentive eagerness. They see promise in the future and have passion for what they and others can achieve.
During their time at Our Sisters’ School, our students are empowered by a “growth mindset” that links success to their own aspirations, through effort and courage. Students learn that acting with confidence is how we build confidence; it’s how we learn, grow, and succeed. As leaders, our students take responsibility for gaining the skills and experiences that the pursuit of their dream will require.
Leadership paves the way for the fourth of our four core values: Excellence.
Excellence is achieving mastery, one step at a time
Excellence is both the pinnacle and the foundation of our journey. It is what we want to achieve, and how we achieve it, step-by-step. At Our Sisters’ School, we promote excellence through what we call our “ABC’s” - clear, compelling, uncompromising standards for Academic, Behavioral, and Community performance. We also cultivate excellence through a focus on “Deeper Learning” competencies such as critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication and collaboration.
Anchored by a student-centered philosophy, our belief is that excellence requires each student to have a voice in her learning and to find meaning in her work. Our teaching strategies are designed to maximize the classroom learning experience, leveraging hands-on activities, cooperative learning and individualized expressive tasks to achieve conceptual understanding of skills. While addressing academics skills and standards, we teach students to learn how to learn, self-manage, and self-assess.
When students graduate from OSS, we know they are stepping into the future with valuable skills, tools, and a mindset of achievement and excellence.