Tagged “Healthy”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Whole Child Across the States: How Are We Doing?

Since 2007, ASCD's Whole Child approach to education has advocated for a comprehensive strategy to learning and development that ensures each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. We believe that when entire communities attend to both the in-school factors and out-of-school influences that affect learning, children will flourish. Over the past several years, we've raised awareness about the whole child approach to education; shared resources to help schools, districts, and communities implement this approach; and seen schools and communities experience the benefits of their whole child practices.

But how well are we, as a nation, supporting the whole child? On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we explore ASCD's Whole Child Snapshots and how they can be used to prompt conversations about how well states support the whole child, where they need to improve, and what strategies can help them meet the comprehensive needs of children.

Listen to the episode below or download here.


  • Elizabeth Brito has served as the executive director of Rhode Island ASCD since 2001. Under her leadership, the organization has been the state's leading voice for a whole child approach to education. Prior to retirement from public education in 1998, Brito served as English department chair for the Bristol Warren Regional School District. During her tenure there, she chaired a teacher-led "Thinking/Learning/Study Skills" task force that engaged students and parents in active learning strategies that could be applied across the content areas. This involvement ultimately lead to a Blue Ribbon Award for the school and a Christa McAuliffe Fellowship award for Brito. Follow Rhode Island ASCD on Twitter @riascd.
  • Josh Garcia is deputy superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools in Washington State. He received ASCD's Outstanding Young Educator Award in 2013 and is currently a member of the ASCD Board of Directors. Throughout his career as a high school math teacher, principal, and administrator, Garcia has worked mainly in urban settings, serving the most vulnerable learners. He has developed a preK–12 standards-based instruction, grading, reporting, and assessment system; a sustainable and comprehensive K–12 instructional coaching model; a districtwide differentiated professional development model; and an accountability model that measures how healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged students are in school. Connect with Garcia on Twitter @Garciaj9Josh.
  • David Griffith is the senior director of public policy at ASCD where he leads the association's efforts to influence education decision-making at the local, state, and federal levels and oversees the development and implementation of the association's legislative agenda. Previously, he was the director of governmental and public affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education. Griffith has also served as an aide to Representatives Joe Kolter and Robert Torricelli. He received his bachelor's degree from Villanova University and his master's degree in education from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education.
  • Melissa Mellor is ASCD's manager of public policy outreach. In this role she helps to engage ASCD members in education advocacy and promotes education policies that support the whole child. Previously, she worked on high school redesign initiatives at the Council of Chief State School Officers and researched state education policy issues at Education Week's Editorial Projects in Education. Mellor received her bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University and her master's degree in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies.

Next Steps for Supporting the Whole Child Approach

The Whole Child Snapshots aim to prompt exploration and action in support of students' learning, development, and well-being. Educators, families, and the public can use the following suggestions to improve their community's approach to whole child education.


  • Discuss the information in the snapshot with your friends, colleagues, community members, and policymakers.


  • Refer to the snapshot's action steps for initial ideas on how communities can work together to support the whole child.
  • Check out ASCD's school-level indicators for details on how schools can help ensure that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
  • Use ASCD's School Improvement Tool, a free online needs assessment survey, to measure your school's or district's performance on the whole child indicators and components.
  • Access additional resources, including examples of schools that support the whole child and podcasts on whole child topics.
  • Schedule a free consultation with ASCD to see what online, on-site, or blended professional development solutions can help you improve in the areas where you face the most challenges.


  • Read ASCD's legislative agenda, which outlines the association's public policy priorities. ASCD's 2015 Legislative Agenda calls on federal policymakers to establish a broader, more ambitious national goal that moves beyond college, career, and citizenship readiness to the successful development of the whole child at every level of the education system.
  • Learn how some states and districts are developing and using next-generation accountability systems with multiple metrics that complement a whole child approach to education.
  • Get a whole child resolution introduced in your state or district. Access a resolution webinar, sample resolution language, and a resolution checklist.

What does supporting a whole child approach to education look like in your state?


Podcast Whole Child Podcast

School Improvement Success: School Leaders Discuss the ASCD Whole Child Approach

ASCD is dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. At the heart of our work is our commitment to the whole child.

The ASCD Whole Child approach is a pathway to sustainable school improvement—that is, by creating a culture and climate where students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, schools will increase student engagement, increase attendance, reduce disciplinary referrals, increase academic credits earned, and increase graduation rates. The approach pulls together current school initiatives for greater support and strengthens school and classroom strategies to meet the needs of each student.

In 2012, ASCD selected 10 schools from a nationwide pool of 142 applicants to participate in the Whole Child Network, a three-year research effort to evaluate implementation of ASCD's Whole Child approach. The Whole Child Network provided organization and support for member schools implementing ASCD's Whole Child practices with their students, staff, and communities.

On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, host Donna Snyder, ASCD's manager of Whole Child Implementation, and guests explore the approach's process, implementation, and outcomes.

Listen to the episode below or download here.


  • Jeremy Nichols, former principal, Odyssey Community School, San Martin, Calif. (current principal, Hilmar High School, Hilmar, Calif.)
  • John Wesolowski, former assistant principal, Finegayan Elementary School, Dededo, Guam (current assistant principal, Capt. H.B. Price Elementary School, Agana, Guam)
  • Pamela Delly, principal, Urban Community School, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Sandra D'Avilar, principal, Teunis G. Bergen School, P.S. 9, New York, N.Y.

"The many accomplishments that our school community has gained from being a part of the Whole Child Network of schools was truly a testament of how focused and determined our entire school has been. The fabric of collaboration and commitment has been laid and we are ready to sustain the great work we've started." —Sandra D'Avilar

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Reflective Teachers Are More Effective: Improvement Doesn’t Happen by Accident

Teachers that are more reflective are more effective in the classroom. The difference between learning a skill and being able to implement it effectively resides in our capacity to engage in deep, continuous thought about that skill. In other words, recognizing why we do something is often more important than knowing how to do it. Reflective practitioners are intentional in their actions, accurately assess their impact, adjust their actions on-the-fly, and engage in ongoing reflection.

On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we explore how to develop and grow our capacity for success through self-reflection and its impact on student learning, the quality of our schools, and the state of our profession.

Listen to the episode below or download here.


  • Kim Price has been a teacher for 15 years and has only worked in Title 1 schools. Currently she is teaching 5th grade at Sun Valley Elementary School in Reno, Nevada. Connect with Price on Twitter @thisteacherocks.
  • Alisa Simeral is a school turnaround specialist and veteran educator who has guided school-based reform efforts as a teacher, dean, and instructional coach. Her emphasis is, and always has been, improving the adult-input factors that contribute to the betterment of the student-output results. Simeral partnered with Pete Hall to write two ASCD books together, Building Teachers' Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders (2008) and Teach, Reflect, Learn: Building Your Capacity for Success in the Classroom (2015). Passionate about providing support where it's needed most—at the classroom level—her mantra is "When our teachers succeed, our students succeed." Connect with Simeral on Twitter @AlisaSimeral.
  • Pete Hall is a veteran school administrator and professional development agent who has dedicated his career to supporting the improvement of our education systems. Besides partnering with Alisa Simeral on two books together, he authored The First-Year Principal (Scarecrow Education, 2004) and Lead On! Motivational Lessons for School Leaders (Eye on Education, 2011). Hall currently works as an educational consultant as a member of the ASCD Faculty and trains educators worldwide. Connect with Hall on Twitter @EducationHall.

Good thinking doesn't happen without practice. What are your habits of reflection?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Teaching Students, Not Subjects

Magnolia Elementary serves 497 students from grades preK–five in suburban Baltimore, Md. The school is classified as Title I and 90 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. A staff of three administrators, three school counselors, 44 teachers, and 10 support personnel ensure a well-rounded learning environment is established for each child.

The school is committed to improving the physical and social-emotional health of each student. Since many of the students' home neighborhoods are not considered safe for outside play, the school has reworked its master schedule to allow for increased physical education periods and additional free play time connected to lunch periods. Magnolia Elementary also conducts movement sessions via its after-school intervention program.

The school has a mental health cohort that meets six times per year to evaluate the support the school is providing to teachers, staff, and students. As a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (or PBIS, as it's often known) school, Magnolia Elementary believes in emphasizing positive behaviors and teaching character. To build a greater sense of school community, the school has created five "houses" on campus, and each house aligns with a specific character trait: responsibility, respect, cooperation, encouragement, and perseverance.

For this tremendous dedication and its many accomplishments, Magnolia Elementary is the 2015 winner of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, you’ll hear from Principal Patricia Mason, Assistant Principal Stacey McCord, Title 1 Teacher Specialist Tara Sample, and teachers Kimberly Wheeler and Lauren Donnelly.

Listen to the episode below or download here.

How are you creating a culture and climate of support and success in your school? How do you know that you're succeeding?

Magnolia Elementary School is the sixth recipient of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. Listen to previous award-winning schools as they share their stories and explain how they ensure that each child in their community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged:


Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Learning and Leading at Every Level: Whole Child Lessons Learned

How many times have you heard (or asked), "What does a whole child education look like in a school setting?" Over the years since ASCD launched the Whole Child Initiative, teachers, principals, and administrators have implemented the Whole Child Tenets (healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged) in creative ways in classrooms and schools. Last year, four ASCD Emerging Leaders participated in a grant program to explore the approach through a new lens.

On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, ASCD's Kevin Scott talks with these leaders about their experiences creating and implementing projects for reading culturally relevant texts in an elementary setting, science in a middle school setting, and leadership for minority students in a high school setting. There's something to learn at every level.

Listen to the episode below or download.


  • Jessica Bohn is a former science curriculum specialist and high school science teacher and is currently the principal at Gibsonville Elementary in Guilford County, N.C. Bohn has written for Educational Leadership magazine, ASCD Express, Education Update, and the U.S. Department of Education's The Teacher Edition. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is passionate about professional development, teacher development, science education, and weather. Connect with Bohn on Twitter @JessicaBohn.
  • Fred Ende is a former middle school science teacher and department chair and is currently the assistant director of curriculum and instructional services for Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in New York. Ende has been a facilitator for the American Museum of Natural History's online professional development program, both written and reviewed manuscripts for the National Science Teachers Association and ASCD, and writes for ASCD's Inservice blog, SmartBlog on Education, and Edutopia, and he serves on the New York State ASCD board of directors and is an ASCD Policy Advisory Committee member. Connect with Ende on Twitter @FredEnde.
  • Amy Fowler Murphy currently works as chemistry education specialist with the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative at the University of Montevallo. Prior to her role with this program, Murphy taught high school chemistry in urban and suburban settings for ten years. She is a National Board–Certified teacher and serves on the Alabama ASCD board of directors. Connect with Murphy on Twitter @amykfmurphy.
  • Krista Leh Rundell spent the first ten years of her career in education as a high school social studies teacher. For the next five years, she served as a curriculum and instructional technology coach supporting K–12 teachers across the district in rigorous curriculum design. Currently she is an ASCD Faculty member focusing on social-emotional learning, curriculum design and instruction, and teacher leadership. Connect with Rundell on Twitter @klrundell.

How have you implemented whole child projects in your classroom, school, or district? What lessons have you learned that you can share?

Are you or someone you know interested in becoming an ASCD Emerging Leader? Applications for the class of 2015 open on February 2. Learn more at www.ascd.org/emergingleaders, or e-mail constituentservices@ascd.org to be notified when the applications open. ASCD Emerging Leaders are accomplished educators with 5–15 years of experience who are highly involved in ASCD and the education community as a whole. ASCD now enrolls more educators in each class than ever before, and offers the grant opportunity to members in their second year of the program. All emerging leaders are provided with opportunities to pursue various leadership pathways, including serving on committees, hosting networking events for educators, advocating for sound education policy, and contributing to ASCD publications.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Working Together to Improve Learning and Health

Health and education affect individuals, society, and the economy and, therefore, must work together whenever possible. Schools are a perfect setting for this collaboration. Schools are one of the most efficient systems for reaching children and youth to provide health services and programs, as approximately 95 percent of all U.S. children and youth attend school. To date, however, integrating health services and programs more deeply into the day-to-day life of schools and students remains a largely untapped tool for raising academic achievement and improving learning. This month, the Whole Child Podcast shares a two-part discussion on the importance of a healthy—safe, secure, and connected—learning environment and how unifying the fields of education and health in the school and community settings can aid the growth, development, and learning of all children.

In the first episode, the panelists look at the benefits of a healthy learning environment from the education perspective. We ask, "Why should education (principals, teachers, and students) be concerned about health?" Listen to the episode below or download it here.


The second episode features panelists from the public health sector who take an in-depth look at the new Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, from its rationale, to its objectives, to its potential to develop a collaborative approach to learning and health. We ask, "How can school health teams use this model to start a conversation with educators?" Listen to the episode below or download it here.


  • Wayne H. Giles, MD, MS, is the director of the Division of Population Health within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He directs research and programmatic activities in arthritis, aging, alcohol, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, disease prevention, school health, and epilepsy.
  • Holly Hunt, MA, is the chief of the School Health Branch in the Division of Population Health within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC. The School Health Branch leads chronic disease prevention activities specifically for children and adolescents in schools and focuses on obesity prevention, nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco prevention and control. Hunt leads innovative projects in research application, evaluation, and program and professional development.
  • Lloyd J. Kolbe, PhD, is an emeritus professor of applied health science at the School of Public Health at Indiana University Bloomington. He consults for the government, businesses, and industries on public policy research and development to improve the health and education of children and young people. Kolbe served as founding director of the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health from 1988 to 2003 and then as a professor and associate dean for the Office of Global & Community Health Partnerships at the School of Public Health at Indiana University Bloomington from 2004 to 2010.
  • Laura Rooney, MPH, is the manager of the Adolescent Health Program at the Ohio Department of Health and a school health liaison to the Ohio Department of Education regarding policies and programs in schools. She also convenes a state-level school health advisory collaborative to improve health outcomes of school-age children and is a member of Ohio ASCD's Whole Child Planning Committee.

The new WSCC model is the next evolution of the traditional coordinated school health approach. Developed by ASCD and the CDC and launched in spring 2014, the model aims to better align the policies, processes, and practices of education, public health, and school health, and, in doing so, improve learning and health. ASCD and CDC encourage use of the model as a framework for improving students' learning and health in our nation's schools. The model is in the public domain and schools, districts, states, and school health organizations are welcome to use the model in the planning and implementation of coordinated school health initiatives and programs. Go to www.ascd.org/learningandhealth to learn more, request materials, and get started.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Baruti Kafele on Motivation: Linking Attitude to Achievement

Teachers know that engaging and inspiring students initially requires building positive relationships and creating relevant learning experiences. Students who are motivated and see meaning in what they learn progress faster and at high levels, even when they start with knowledge or skill gaps. In fact, focusing on motivation and meaning can be an underutilized tool for the classroom.

Baruti Kafele - Whole Child PodcastBaruti Kafele—veteran educator and nationally renowned speaker on the topic of motivating low-performing students—about how knowing your students, intentionally creating a positive school climate and culture, and making learning relevant sets the stage for students to be motivated to succeed.

As a middle and high school principal, Kafele led the transformation of four different schools, including Newark Tech High School, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to being recognized as one of the best high schools in the United States. He is the author of Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life and Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success, and has received more than 100 educational, professional, and community awards.

Listen to the episode below or download:

What are you doing to change your students' attitudes so that every day they walk into the classroom, they are fired up and ready to excel?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Hope, Meaning, and Challenge: The Building Blocks of Motivation

Teachers know that engaging and inspiring students initially requires building positive relationships and creating relevant learning experiences. Yet other key actions also matter: setting realistic expectations, creating a needs-satisfying classroom, and teaching students to self-evaluate and self-moderate. Students who are motivated and see meaning in what they learn progress faster and to higher levels, even when they start with knowledge or skill gaps. In fact, focusing on motivation and meaning is a classroom strategy that is often underutilized.

On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we take a look at how teachers can spark inner motivation in all students—from those who are disengaged from school to those who strive to succeed—and create meaningful connections that get students excited about learning.

Listen to the episode below or download it here.


  • Whole Child Podcast - September 2014in this month's issue of Educational Leadership. He is currently the director of the master's program in behavior disorder at David Yellin College in Israel.
  • Ashanti Foster is the academic dean at Oxon Hill Middle School in Ft. Washington, Maryland. She has been a national staff developer for 13 years, providing teaching and learning experiences to students and teachers of Prince George's County Public Schools and beyond, and is also a National Board–certified teacher and an ASCD Emerging Leader. In addition to her roles in the education field, she is also a Girl Scout troop leader, blogger, dancer, wife, and mother of six. Connect with Foster on Twitter @NBCTeacherMommy.
  • John Hines is a world history and AVID teacher at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, Washington. He is the vice president of the Washington State Council for the Social Studies, an ASCD Emerging Leader, and a proud, lifelong resident of Tacoma, Washington. Connect with Hines on Twitter @jhhines57.

How do you encourage effort and spark motivation for learning with your students?

Sean Slade

The Whole Child Is Growing Up


Beginning this week, the Whole Child Blog will appear on the official ASCD blog Inservice, reaching a broader and larger audience of educators. It will be a standard part of Inservice, focusing attention on a core mission of ASCD.

In short, the whole child is growing up.

Read more »

Brittany Mascio, NElovesPS

Bringing Health and Wellness Back to School

Nebraska Loves Public Schools - NElovesPS - The Whole ChildThis week many schools across the Midwest will flow back into their daily classroom routines and students will start adjusting from the freedom of summer to the structure of study. That means plenty of grab-and-go school breakfasts, packed lunches, coveted afterschool snacks with outdoor recess, and brain breaks in the classroom sure to follow. The school day will soon resume its role as one of the largest influencers in a child's day to embrace and model health and wellness practices.

In interviewing for our film The Whole Child, we discovered that incorporating healthy lifestyle supports into student life directly relates to classroom performance—a healthier student is a student better equipped for learning. But, as we've found, oftentimes there are barriers for students to become fit and focused—mentally and physically—and it becomes the school and the school community's responsibility to step in.

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