I know you’re coming with your critical eyes intent on scouring each classroom for “the truth” about our school. I know you’re asking for sheaves and reams of pie charts and Excel spreadsheets that will somehow allow you construct a recommendation that no one asked for. I know you have your checklists and your rubrics.

But there are some other things you should know. Things that won’t show up on your charts or checklists:

You should know that our Kindergarteners run into school each morning giggling and embracing their teachers like they haven’t seen them in ages.

You should know that Catherine, a first grader, wrote a letter to her teachers last week begging for more reading time because she’d surveyed her classmates, and they all wanted more, and she knew that her words could make a difference.

You should know that each Thursday morning, 250 kids and at least 20 adults belt their hearts out together, singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” at the top of their lungs, complete with goofy hand motions.

You should know that Sijismond, a second grader new to our school this year, resolutely pronounced this Monday that he couldn’t read, as he has every week since arriving in September. But you should also know that this week he added, “But I’ll try.”

You should know that our school is not a test score.

Our school is not a test score.

Our school is people who care about each other and are making an impact on each others’ lives in innumerable and profound ways.

And it’s sad you’ll never see that because it isn’t on your checklist.