Tagged “Parent And Family Engagement”

Kristen Pekarek

March Is Middle Level Education Month

Whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals has joined with other organizations, including the Association for Middle Level Education, the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, and the National Association of Elementary Principals, to declare March the official month to celebrate middle level education. This celebration looks to focus attention on students ages 10–15 and the importance of their academic success and well-being during this stage of their lives.

In acknowledgement of this month's designation, we've compiled a list of whole child examples that highlight schools that are positively affecting middle grades students. Each example highlights a program, focus, or achievement and includes links to more information. Take a look and get inspired for this year's Middle Level Education Month.

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Klea Scharberg

A New Framework for Health and Education

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child ModelThis is not a launch that calls for health for education's sake. Nor is it education for health's sake. Rather, it is a call for health and education for each child's sake.

In 2013, ASCD and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened leaders from the fields of health, public health, education, and school health to develop the next evolution of school health to ensure that the health of the student, the teacher, and the school are taken seriously by educators and, in particular, by those involved in the school improvement process. The result is the 2014 launch of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model.

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Kevin Parr

Keep Students and Parents (and Teachers) Initiative Fatigue Free

Last week I entered a meeting feeling pretty good about my teaching life. I was sticking with my goals for the year, trying some new things outside my comfort zone, and achieving some success doing them, but soon my head was fixed on all of the things I wasn't doing. All I could think about were the things other people were doing or telling me I should be doing that I wasn't. I was feeling inadequate and I just couldn't shake it. I was, as ASCD CEO and Executive Director Dr. Gene R. Carter recently phrased it on a panel discussing developing teacher leaders, experiencing "initiative fatigue." There was too much, too fast, and with too little time for me to evaluate or prioritize the ideas coming at me, let alone do anything with them. I was overwhelmed and anxious. I was lost.

Assuming that I was not the only teacher in the room feeling that way (and I doubt I was), what was the collective effect of those feelings having on the atmosphere of our school? Were all of these well-intentioned ideas empowering teachers or disenfranchising them?

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Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Bring Yourself to Work Every Day to Build Trust, Morale, and Culture

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Educators working in a positive school culture experience collegiality, trust, and tangible support as leaders and peers, creating an environment where there are high expectations, involvement in decision making, and open communication. Students entering a positive school culture feel safe, engaged, and connected and see school as a place where they can learn and contribute to the world around them. A positive school culture—morale—is the cornerstone of a good school and the foundation for school improvement.

School cultures should support, reinforce, and reflect the well-being of everyone in it, ensuring that students and adults feel valued, respected, and cared for and are motivated to learn, lead, and teach. In this episode, we take a look at how we build school morale so that administrators, teachers, students, and parents are energized and positive about learning. You'll hear from

  • Dave Burgess, award-winning U.S. history teacher at West Hills High School in San Diego, California; semi-professional magician; highly sought-after professional development speaker; and author of Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator;
  • David Culberhouse, former teacher and principal of a California Distinguished School, currently senior director of elementary education for the Rialto Unified School District in southern California and co-moderator of the West Coast #satchat, weekly Twitter discussions about education and leadership held Saturday mornings;
  • Joe Mazza, former teacher, principal, and technology integration coach, currently project manager for Connected Teaching, Learning, and Leadership in the North Penn School District in Lansdale, Pennsylvania; innovation coach at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education; and producer of #ptchat, another weekly Twitter chat—this one for transparent and collaborative dialogue between parents, family engagement practitioners, and teachers—held Wednesday nights; and
  • Angela Hamilton, assistant principal, and Eric Russo, special education co-teacher who specializes in reading and language arts, at Drew Freeman Middle School of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Drew Freeman is a member of ASCD's Whole Child Network of Schools and is in its second year of a three-year, comprehensive school improvement process using the tenets of the Whole Child Initiative—healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged—as a sustainable whole child approach to educating their students.

Connect with us @WholeChildASCD and our guests Dave Burgess @burgessdave, David Culberhouse @DCulberhouse, Joe Mazza @Joe_Mazza, Angela Hamilton @Ahamilton1994, and Eric Russo @erusso78 on Twitter.

What is the link between school morale and learning?

Kevin Scott

Everything Is Not Always Awesome, But It Can Be

A positive school culture is critical to the success of any school. As educators, we know that staying positive in the wake of planning, paperwork, meetings, grading, and all of the other administrative tasks is tough, especially when we got into this business because we love to work with students. It takes more effort than simply "putting on a happy face," as the musical number goes. The bigger question is always, "How do you do it?"

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Tisha Shipley

Play: Is it Becoming Extinct?

Think back for a moment to when you were a young child. What games did you play? What things did you play at school? Do you remember your parents telling you to "go play?" I remember riding my bicycle, roller skating, getting together with the neighbor kids to play hide-and-seek, and Barbie's of course were my favorite! Today if a parent were to say "go play," would children know how or what to play? Are we allowing children enough play time to develop appropriately? Is play really play anymore? This article discusses how physical, imaginative, and free-choice play is almost non-existent and how teachers can ensure play in their environments and in the child's home.

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Kristen Pekarek

Strong Relationships Are Key

Strong Relationships Are Key - Whole Child Blog

Relationships have not only proven to be good for our physical health, but our spiritual and emotional health as well. It is through relationships with other human beings that we grow and evolve, as well as deepen and expand our love and meaning in life. As many of you are aware, today is Valentine's Day. Whether or not you like this holiday, it comes each year to provide time for each of us to reflect on and grow our personal and professional relationships.

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Melanie Olmstead

ASCD Releases 2014 Legislative Agenda

ASCD's 2014 Legislative Agenda urges a shift from the overreliance on high-stakes testing in determining student achievement, educator effectiveness, and school quality to a broader, more meaningful vision of success that supports each student from early childhood through graduation. Recently released during ASCD's Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA), the agenda is developed by ASCD's Legislative Committee and establishes the association’s policy priorities.

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Kristen Pekarek

Celebrate School Counselors This Week

National School Counseling WeekNational School Counseling Week, sponsored by whole child partner the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), is being celebrated this week, February 3–7, to focus public attention on the unique contribution professional school counselors have on students and school systems everywhere. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

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Sara Truebridge

Educating The New Humanity: Educating Beyond 21st Century Skills

Parents are faced with an enormous task in raising today's child. The increasing economic burdens, the changing family structure, the additional demands on time, and the concerns of a safe environment all contribute to the challenge of raising a child.

As society has become more complex and parents' roles are challenged, so too are the roles of teachers.

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