Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Coordinated and Collaborative Responses to Diverse Student Needs

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We know we have to cultivate lifelong learners who are thoughtful, creative, culturally competent, intellectually curious, and civically engaged. Preparing our kids for their future college, career, and citizenship success is our common purpose and responsibility as adults, not just educators.

Essential to student success is access to personalized learning and support from qualified, caring adults—whether those be teachers, principals, counselors, cafeteria staff, custodians, family members, coaches, ministers ... the list goes on and on. Students as learners are also students as people with social-emotional, physical, and mental health needs. Supportive education communities are places where school staff, community-based service providers, families, and all the adult stakeholders work together to identify and address kids' needs and provide a coordinated, whole child approach to their education and development.

On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we have the cream of the crop in terms of supportive education communities. Our very special guests will discuss envisioning, building, and sustaining a supportive education community, in which each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. David Rawnsley is the principal of Byrne Creek Secondary School in Burnaby, British Columbia, and Lynn Archer is the district's director of instruction and a former principal of Byrne Creek. Also featured are Iha Farquhar, the community school coordinator; Lorraine Hodgson, school counselor and department head of student services; and Mirella Gargiulo, English as a second language teacher.

Byrne Creek is a thriving school that offers a wide range of programs designed to meet the needs of all learners. Opened in 2005, Byrne Creek has achieved a great deal in a very short period of time and, most importantly to ASCD and the audience of this podcast, Byrne Creek is the 2012 winner of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award! We couldn't have picked a better model of what it means to implement a whole child approach.

What does a supportive education community mean to you?

Comments (1)

Erison Huruba

May 1, 2012

I agree 100% withe notion that schools and all stakeholders, especially school administrators and parents should shift from a concern with “narrowly defined achievemnt” to a holistic consideration of a child’s total well-being. A supportive community is one that supports its school in fostering this shift to an emphasis on the whole child. Once the total well-being of the child has been catered for, the rest of the concerns are likely to fall into place. This fundamental shift in mindset should not be mere wishful thinking. It must be accompanied by massive training of personnel and adult education, targeted at the desired goals and attitudes.

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Tune in to the Whole Child Podcast: Changing the Conversation About Education on the first Thursday of every month and listen to archived episodes. Learn more about how we can work at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

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