School Community

Many students who come to Dearborn Academy have not had many supportive peer relationships. Some have been bullied, others have not had opportunities to create and nurture close friendships. But human beings are social beings and need to have good friends. We all need to trust others, share ideas, collaborate, and experience the many dimensions of friendship. Learning is richer when we learn with friends. They are key to both academic success – and happiness.


Creating a school where students who have not had many friends can begin to make good friendships is an essential part of our mission. Helping students navigate and maintain healthy social relationships is central to our work at Dearborn.

School Traditions

Dearborn strives to ensure that each student is part of our strong, inclusive school community with:


  • Weekly community-building circles
  • An active student council and the Genders and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
  • Mentoring and community service opportunities 
  • Community-building traditions  including:
    • A Halloween celebration
    • Thanksgiving family-style meal
    • March Madness week activities
    • Field Day
    • Student vs. staff basketball games
    • High School Prom
    • Color Day and more

Restorative Practices



Many Dearborn students have spent much of their lives feeling and even being told that they aren’t “good enough.” When our students reach out to others and make a conscientious effort to grow and take on leadership roles in the school community, we recognize their hard work. We love honoring these efforts and acts of kindness by giving one another “shout outs” in the form of written notes of appreciation. Students recognize one another, staff recognize students, students recognize staff and staff recognize one another! Some of the reasons we take time to verbally and in writing appreciate each other are when we see the following in our community:


  • Helpfulness to others
  • Responsibly advocating for oneself
  • Outstanding sportsmanship
  • Showing generosity to peers and staff
  • Acts of kindness and compassion
  • Having the courage to be an upstander


It is not enough to care and provide educational and counseling services to students who have been through so much. We create a community where all individuals are treated with equality. That every person is entitled to equality and compassion and kindness are the truest hallmarks of courage.