How Murray HS became a Quality School

In the summer of 1988, the founding Murray faculty trained with Dr. William Abbott in the Foundations of Reality Therapy and Control Theory (renamed Choice Theory in 1996). In 1998, several staff members took a Basic Week with Dr. Abbott.

The goal of the staff was to create a school that honored students and respected them. They wanted students to have a school that was made for them, not just for the way adults wanted school to be. They wanted to share the power. In Choice Theory terms, this means they wanted to create a school that was needs-fulfilling.

The Murray staff met regularly to discuss Dr. Glasser’s book, The Quality School, and came to the conclusion that they wanted to become a Glasser Quality School. They started to work together to develop the Choices program, an opportunity to introduce both students and teachers to the language of Choice Theory through conflict resolution and mediation.

Students also became involved in the process of becoming a Glasser Quality School. They visited Montgomery, Alabama, when Canterbury High School first declared itself a Quality School. Together with the students from Canterbury, they created a workshop about the Quality High School Manifesto, a document they wrote to explain their own perspectives about what makes a Quality High School. They presented this workshop in Detroit, Michigan, at an International Quality Schools Consortium Conference, where they met and befriended Dr. Glasser himself.

Upon their return to Murray, the students decided to divide up into small groups and to discuss whether they all wanted to become a Glasser Quality High School. After substantial discussion, and a compromise with Dr. Glasser, the students, staff and parents unanimously decided to declare Murray High School a Glasser Quality High School.

In the fall of 2001, Dr. Glasser attended our Declaration Ceremony, designed, organized and presented by Murray High School students. It was an entire school achievement of which we are all extremely proud.

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