The Whole Child Podcast

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Supporting Students to Succeed: Keeping Kids from Checking Out and Dropping Out

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How and why do schools and communities succeed when they focus on supporting students? Creating personalized learning environments where students are supported by qualified, caring adults is crucial to keeping kids from checking out and dropping out. Research and common sense reaffirm that not only educators, but communities must invest in supporting students to stay in school because we all pay the price when students drop out.

Join us to hear from our guests as they share their expertise in bringing that vision to reality:

  • Robert Balfanz, co-director, Everyone Graduates Center and research scientist, Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins University, shares not only his extensive research on why students check out and drop out, but what schools and communities can do about it.
  • Tom Brewster, assistant superintendent, Pulaski County (Va.) Public Schools, and chair, NASBE Study Group on School-Community Partnerships, shares recommendations for creating and sustaining community partnerships that impact the support students receive.

How is your school and community succeeding or struggling to support students who at risk of checking out and dropping out? What supports do you need to do this more effectively? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Engaging Stakeholders Through Community Conversations

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In the October Whole Child Podcast, we explored how schools and communities are using community conversations to ensure that schools and communities are working together to support the whole child. Our guests shared how community conversations have increased the understanding of the whole child approach to learning, improved decision making that is informed by community input, and created a shared commitment to pursue recommendations that focus on the whole child.

Hear how you might use the community conversations model to transform the conversation about educating the whole child with our guests

How would engaging your community in the process of educating the whole child be of value to your school? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Preparing for H1N1

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Our September Whole Child Podcast featured guests that shed light on the opportunities and challenges of coordinating school responses to a potential H1N1 outbreak.

Hear from Jerry Weast, Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools superintendent; Linda Davis-Alldritt, RN, president-elect of the National Association of School Nurses (a new whole child partner); and Theresa Lewallen, ASCD's managing director of constituent services and the liaison to the federal government agencies handling H1N1. Each guest brings a unique and valuable whole child perspective to the challenges schools and communities face as they develop coordinated responses to the H1N1 flu pandemic.

This podcast episode is one of many resources related to the H1N1 virus that ASCD is putting together for educators and communities. Visit www.ascd.org/flu for more information—we continually update this page with more resources as they become available.

Learn More

How are your school and community preparing for H1N1? Share your reactions, ideas, and questions on the Whole Child Blog. Because now more than ever, we must strive to ensure that each child is not only healthy but also safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Partnering to Transform the Conditions of Learning: Families and Educators Together

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While research and common sense tell us that families are a powerful influence on children's attitudes about learning and their success in school, we also know that educators and families often struggle to find meaningful ways to partner together. In light of what we know and what we're committed to, how can we strategically transform family involvement in schools?

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss all this, and more, with

Extend your learning by checking out resources relating to parents being welcomed as partners in education and building family-school partnerships.

How do you partner with educators and families to ensure students are successful? What strategies helped facilitate your collaborations? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Data: What We Don’t Know May Hurt Us

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Collecting and interpreting data is essential to creating and sustaining meaningful school improvement and without it, we may not be able to address the obstacles that stand in the way of educating the whole child. This episode of the Whole Child Podcast featured an expert panel recorded live at the Healthy Schools Communities Conference. Panelists and audience members shared varied and concrete examples and strategies for using data to drive meaningful school improvement.

Panelists included

  • ASCD's Theresa Lewallen, managing director, Constituent Programs, explained how and why educators should use data to inform whole child practices and improve outcomes.
  • Iowa's Hills Elementary School principal Carmen Dixon shared successful strategies for integrating school wide reforms using data.
  • Iroquois Ridge High School principal Jacquie Newton from Ontario, Canada, described how her school uses individual and school data to engage and involve students in the school improvement process.

How does your school and community use data to inform decisions? Have you seen results of systemic change? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Schools + Communities = Success for the Whole Child

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In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast: Changing the Conversation About Education, we learned how schools and communities can partner together to meet the needs of the whole child. We know that children grow physically, socially, emotionally, ethically, expressively, and intellectually within networks of families, schools, neighborhoods, communities, and our larger society. And we know schools alone can't meet the needs of each child. So why not bring everyone to the table?

Join us to hear from

Want to learn more? Check out the summer issue of the American Educator, Surrounded by Support: Partnerships between Communities and Schools Connect Students with the Services they Need.

How do your school and community partner to meet the needs of the whole child? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Supporting Student Voice for Meaningful Change

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On the May 2009 Whole Child Podcast: Changing the Conversation About Education, we'll explore how adults and children can work together to solve social or environmental problems, from school reform to global warming. Join us to hear from

  • Marge Scherer, Editor in Chief of ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine. Marge will talk about this month's issue focused on teaching social responsibility to meet the challenges of 21st-century issues.
  • Adam Fletcher, advocate for and author of Meaningful Student Involvement. Adam will address how student engagement can improve schools and communities in meaningful and tangible ways.
  • Nupur Dogra, high school senior at Iroquois Ridge High School in Ontario, Canada. Nupur will share her insights about the importance of student voice on her own high school experience.

Be sure to access free student involvement tools and research as well as several free Educational Leadership articles to extend your learning.

After listening to the podcast, tell us how the cultural norms and values at your school support student engagement. What practices do you or your school and community implement to support student voice? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Understanding the Education Stimulus Package

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus package, provides approximately $100 billion specifically for education programs. While the intent of the package is to stimulate the economy, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has indicated that he'd like education reform to be a major goal of this unprecedented federal investment.

This special edition of the Whole Child Podcast will outline the stimulus plan for education and describe how the funds can be used for school improvement activities, including capacity-building professional development. The episode will help educators understand and take advantage of the unique opportunities available to them and their students.

  • David Griffith, ASCD director of public policy, will explain the timeline and intent for how the education stimulus dollars are being allocated. He'll describe how the money can be used to not only save teachers' jobs and keep class sizes down, but also to improve standards and assessments, enhance data systems, increase teacher effectiveness, and turn around low-performing schools.
  • Ann Cunningham-Morris, ASCD director of professional development, will describe what capacity-building professional development is and how it can be implemented. She'll also explain how such professional development is critical to school improvement and its sustainability, which makes it an appropriate use of the education stimulus dollars.

This podcast episode is one of many free resources that ASCD is putting together for educators related to the stimulus package. Tune in to learn about further resources and visit our Education Stimulus Resource Web page for more information.

What questions do you have about the stimulus package? After listening to the podcast, tell us your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners

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Over the past 15 years, school districts across the United States have experienced explosive growth in the immigrant population. The increased enrollment has strained the resources of schools—whether they've had experience with English language learners or not. And as school districts struggle to find additional funding and resources to support this diverse group, they also have to contend with the fact that English language learners fall behind in standardized tests and many are more socioeconomically disadvantaged than their peers.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, three guests well-versed in the academic, social, and policy issues surrounding English language learners (ELL) will discuss how we can best meet the needs of these students:

How are your school and community meeting the needs of English language learners? After listening to the podcast, tell us your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Closing the Believing, Doing Gap

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This episode of the Whole Child Podcast was recorded live at ASCD's Annual Conference on March 14, 2009. Host Molly McCloskey tasked the two guests, Tim Waters, president and CEO of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, and Joe DiMartino, founder and president of the Center for Secondary School Redesign, with providing advice on how to close the "believing, doing gap." In other words, how do we move from believing all children need to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, to actually making that happen?

Tim Waters tackled Molly's challenge from an education leadership perspective, and Joe DiMartino approached it from a high school redesign angle. One powerful theme that emerged during the conversation was the fact that "time" should be a variable, while "learning" should be the constant.

Our live audience asked a number of great questions, including:

  • How can the Whole Child Initiative redefine success from achievement on math and reading tests to ensuring all kids are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged?
  • What do elementary schools need to change in order to better prepare their students for success in redesigned high schools?
  • What is mastery and how can it be judged?
  • How can we advance the conversation about the purpose of education to create active and engaged citizens?

What are your action steps for closing the believing, doing gap in your school and community? After listening to the podcast, tell us your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

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