Dodd Middle School has earned the Inviting School Award from the International Alliance for Invitational Education – Promoting a Positive Climate Through Caring and Welcoming Schools.

The IAIE presents this award to schools that demonstrate exceptional implementation of Invitational Education philosophies. Particularly, Dodd has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to best serve its students, staff and community; has created an electronic portfolio describing what care, trust, respect, optimism and intentionality are at the school; and what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted and felt at the school is displayed in the context of the Five P’s — People, Places, Policies, Programs and Processes.

In addition, criteria for the award include: staff member(s) having IAIE membership; staff representatives completing the Intent to Apply form in a time-diligent manner; stakeholders completing the Inviting School Survey and the examination of its results to target areas for improvement; and a site visit and evaluation conducted by IAIE representative(s).

Following the announcement that Dodd had received the award, Principal Johane Ligondé shared several opinions of general consensus from parents and students, including: it feels like family; students feel welcome and want to come to school; staff members help students resolve conflicts; students feel listened to; adults encourage students to express ideas; school building feels warm; and tremendous support system.

In a staff memo, Ligondé expressed her appreciation for everyone who adheres to Dodd principles, and helps to make it a positive climate for life and learning.

“We embrace everyone’s contributions, from the 40-year passionate veteran to the first-year enthusiastic novice,” she said. “That’s what continues to make us Dodd. We are committed to growing and changing with the times, while honoring Dodd’s rich history of excellence. I appreciate the way you show up each day for each other and our students; your character and commitment to creating a positive climate in which students not only learn but also excel; and your passion for teaching students, which shines brightly and is felt by everyone who visits our school.”