In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life.
Family and community engagement is vital to creating successful schools and communities. The connections between these entities—when built on relationships, listening, welcoming, and shared decision making——can have multiple benefits for students, including higher grade point averages and test scores, better attendance, better social skills, increased motivation, and improved behavior. In addition, these connections also help to address many important nonschool factors, such as community health, safety, and affordable housing (Ferlazzo, 2011). Every day throughout the country, school and community partnerships are making great progress in helping students succeed—and ultimately achieving their goal of helping young people become vital, contributing members of society.
A whole child approach to education ensures that each child, in each school, and in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. With our interactive Whole Child Examples Map tool, you can find examples of schools and communities worldwide that are implementing a whole child approach to education, including these early childhood education programs. Each example highlights a program, focus, or achievement and includes links to more information.
As kings and queens arrive at school, they are greeted with warm smiles, hand shakes, and student-initiated hugs to staff members and one another. They can't wait to get to school! It is clear that PEACE (Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation) lives here. "Peace King, Peace Queen." Here it seems that positive energy activates constant elevation.
Situated in Ft. Washington, Md., is Oxon Hill Middle School, where the campus serves kings and queens that represent varied family lifestyles. Some students arrive in wheelchairs, others with limited English proficiency. In order to promote relationship building, creative instructional and support practices are in place so that every student and every parent knows how important their success is to the school. The way in which adult educators acknowledge students' capacity to learn and grow is the fabric of improving teaching and learning. Teachers greet students at the door each module, each day. Parents visit the school on an open door policy and students know exactly what to do and where to go if they have a concern. Each staff member addresses the work they do as an act of service and for that reason student learning is the motivation in all they do.
I have often been asked about the differences between teaching in the United States and Canada. That's often a difficult question to answer because I now consider both countries "home" and doing so often elicits a predictable follow-up question of which education system is better. This post is not an attempt to rank one over the other, as education systems between countries will have to be different to meet the needs of their given communities.
However, no matter where we are located in the world, we see in our own classrooms the practice of compare and contrast. Doing this work with our students can elicit powerful reflections about complex ideas. Having had the experience of being a teacher in both settings, and most recently as an administrator in Canada, reflecting on both the similarities and differences between the two countries has provided me with a more comprehensive picture of what can work well in education.
Post written by Pam Capasso, Sara Gogel, Tracy Knight, and Janine Norris of Holly Glen Elementary School in Williamstown, N.J.
Holly Glen Elementary School serves approximately 580 students with one-third on free or reduced-price meals. Our school houses English language learners, students with autism, and students from low-income housing. In the past, Holly Glen comprised various socioeconomic levels ranging from upper class to lower income.
We invite you to participate in ASCD's third annual Whole Child Virtual Conference. Entitled "Moving from Implementation to Sustainability to Culture," sessions will offer educators around the globe leadership discussions and strategies to support their work to implement and sustain a whole child approach to education.
ASCD's third annual Whole Child Virtual Conference, entitled "Moving from Implementation to Sustainability to Culture," will run May 6–10, 2013. The free and exclusively online event—which attracted more than 900 participants last year—offers educators around the globe 24 sessions to support their work to implement and sustain a whole child approach to education.
From Monday, May 6, through Friday, May 10, daily general sessions will be presented live between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. eastern time. The full agenda and registration information is available at www.ascd.org/wcvirtualconference.
In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life. These are the top 10 posts you read in 2012.