For the last six years, Dalat has chosen a theme for the school to focus on as a community. Previous themes Dalat has had include:
- It’s Not About Me – Life is not just about what you can get out of it but rather what you contribute to it.
- What’s the Difference? You! – Every person can have a positive impact on the people around them.
- Walk the Talk – Being a school and community of strong character.
- Satu Dalat (One Dalat) – Striving for unity and even a stronger school community.
- Do Hard Things – Challenging the cultural mind-set that teenagers are to focus on selfish goals of fun and little responsibility and instead encourage them to pursue big goals.
- Road Less Travelled – Life is about choices, their consequences, and following your principles and not the crowd.
This year our theme is “DISconnect.” Initially this may sound like an odd theme to have the same year we launch the iPad, and it probably raises some questions about what exactly it means. Let me explain it in a few different ways:
- The theme actually has two tracks: 1) Learning to “disconnect” from all the technology and machines around us, and 2) Focusing on the importance of spending more time connecting with each other and with God.
- This year we will have 200+ iPads walking around campus each day. The use of technology will increase dramatically in various ways. There are many educational and personal benefits from that, but at the same time we need to help our students (and ourselves) learn how to use the technology around us in balanced way (Education for Life). More and more it is evident that one of our responsibilities as a school is to help our students learn how to live wisely in this techno-centric world.
- An inherent aspect of the theme DISconnect is the importance of relationships (connecting with each other) and the importance of personal relationships and investing in a relationship with God.
- Throughout the year we will talk a lot about the importance of a healthy and balanced approach to the use of technology in our lives.
- It is not an accident that in a year when we will teach our kids how to be “more connected,” we will also teach them the importance of being “less connected.”
- The theme can be summed up as “the need to learn how to disconnect (unplug) so that we can connect.”
In the coming weeks and months we will bring the theme alive in our classrooms and in other activities around school.
Each year Dalat also chooses what we call a “Focus ESLR.” For 2012-13 it will be “Effective Communicator.” This ESLR will also be an area of focus for us in school and around campus.
We look forward to the Open House tonight and the possibilities for us to “connect” in important and lasting ways.