Well-being expert and positive education professional consultant, Dr. Ronald D. Lalonde, hosted a series of well-being sessions on CAC campus during February 2020. Dr. Lalonde is the founder of Riverspath Coaching and Consulting (riverspath.com) and formerly the Middle School Principal of the American School of Dubai and the American School Foundation of Monterrey, Mexico.
CAC embarked on a journey last year to focus on the well-being of its community starting with the well-being practices of faculty members in 2019-2020. With the support of the Head of School Dr. Harris, Dr. Lalonde, visited CAC twice this year and ran several workshops and open discussions with faculty, staff, parents, and students. One of the key outcomes of his work was the formation of the CAC Well-Being Team who coordinated during the year activities for faculty which have included a well-being unconference, a range of sports, accountability groups, board games, and cooking.
In February, Dr. Lalonde ran a half-day training for the entire faculty and staff. He also observed, with principals, classes in action to be able to build a better picture of how well-being is currently implemented at CAC. Additionally, the school arranged a special well-being session translated into Arabic for GSS( general services staff). This was a very important session because CAC believes that in order for all faculty and staff to understand well-being it must be understood by all members of the community. Other community members also took part in individual sessions with Dr. Lalonde in order to better understand the science behind their personal well-being practices.
Curriculum and IB Coordinator, Niall Williams arranged a special session for the seniors, on coping with the stress of exams. Seniors were very happy with this session. “I…found the discussion during lunch very helpful and insightful! I think a lot of students and probably even parents would like another seminar with him,” explained one senior, Alejandra Smith.
Towards the end of Lalonde’s visit, the leadership team at CAC met to plan the next steps in embedding well-being further into the ethos of the school. First steps include defining mission and vision statements on well-being for the community. Dr. Lalonde was impressed with his visit and had this to say about his time at school, “Care and concern for one another is deep in the DNA of Cairo American College. As a result, every group I worked with embraced experiencing and learning about wellbeing science with genuine curiosity and passion. CAC is uniquely positioned to take a leading role in applying wellbeing science to learning and to enhancing school culture.”