Tagged “Community Engagement”

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?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Great Expectations: Transforming Practice Through Common Core Implementation

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We as educators have a unique opportunity to reset the playing field and make the Common Core State Standards work for us. We can implement the standards, align them to a whole child approach to education, and ensure that they both support and enhance each other to prepare students for college, career, and citizenship success. The Common Core standards and a whole child approach are not opposites, and they do not have to be and should not be in opposition. In fact, they're interdependent. So much so, that they require each other to be successful.

Now is the time for us to take control and become empowered in the process. The outcomes will depend on what we decide to do for the Common Core standards within a whole child approach and how we decide to do it. In this episode, host Molly McCloskey and our guests discuss how our schools are working to better and more comprehensively support student learning so that they meet these enhanced expectations. You'll hear from

  • Arnold Fege, president of Public Advocacy for Kids and, recently, director of public engagement and advocacy for the Public Education Network where he covered education reform, parental involvement, and community engagement issues on the Hill and agencies, specializing in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Fege has more than 40 years of public education and child advocacy experience as a public school teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and desegregation director. He was the National PTA's director of governmental relations for 17 years and is recognized for his leading work and articles in linking school and community. As a staff person for Senator Robert F. Kennedy, he helped draft provisions in the original ESEA legislation and has been involved in every reauthorization of ESEA since that time.
  • Craig Mertler, professor and dean of the Ross College of Education at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., and guest author this month on the Whole Child Blog. Mertler has been an educator for more than 25 years, beginning his career as a high school science teacher, then pursuing degrees in education assessment, research, and statistics. His interests lie in teacher-led action research, teacher leadership, classroom assessment, data-driven instructional decision making, and school improvement.
  • David Griffith, director of public policy at ASCD who leads the development and implementation of ASCD's Legislative Agenda as well as ASCD's efforts to influence education decision making at the local, state, and federal levels. He has 20 years of political experience as a congressional aide and on several political campaigns. Prior to joining ASCD, Griffith was the director of governmental and public affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education, where he oversaw the organization's advocacy and political activities as well as media relations.

How are you and your professional colleagues critically examining your practice as we enter the era of Common Core implementation?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Respecting and Reflecting School Culture

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A positive school culture is the cornerstone of a good school and the foundation for school improvement. School culture encompasses the schoolwide ethos and the culture of individual classrooms, high expectations for learning and achievement, a safe and caring environment, shared values and relational trust, a powerful pedagogy and curriculum, high student motivation and engagement, a professional faculty culture, and partnerships with families and the community. It is constantly being shaped through our interactions, individual identities, beliefs, traditions, experiences, and community diversity. Research shows that successful schools with positive, effective school cultures are places that foster teacher learning and motivate students to learn.

Many schools may be in the process of implementing a program or process to support a whole child approach to education. Other schools may be looking at how to sustain what has already been achieved or developed. Fully embedding a whole child approach into the culture so that it becomes an integral part of what we do and who we are as schools and communities is key to ensuring that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for their future college, career, and civic lives.

As Harvard educator Roland Barth once observed, "A school's culture has far more influence on life and learning in the schoolhouse than the state department of education, the superintendent, the school board, or even the principal can ever have."

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, Klea Scharberg, project manager for whole child programs at ASCD, talked with members of the Special Olympics National Youth Activation CommitteeSpecial Olympics Project UNIFY is a whole child partner—about what a safe and positive school culture means to them, student voice and leadership, and why they are committed to being agents of change for their communities and young people across the United States. You'll hear from

  • Daniel Fink, originally from Alaska and currently attending Washington State University;
  • Kelsey Foster, from South Carolina;
  • Heather Glaser, from Wyoming; and
  • Bernice Higa-French, from Hawaii.

How does the culture of your school and community affect the success of your students?

"It's not necessarily that something is different about the school. They don't have different curriculum that they teach—no, it's just that it's more integrated and inclusive. You can walk down the hallway and you're not afraid of talking to anyone because of their race or their background, or anything like that. ... You walk in and there's just a smile on your face—and you don't necessarily know why—and you want to know more about why [the school culture] is that way."

—Daniel Fink

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Whole Child Around the World: A Good School Is a Good School

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March is a special month at ASCD as we hold our Annual Conference and celebrate excellence in education. In the coming weeks, we will honor our 2012 Outstanding Young Educator Award recipient, our ASCD Affiliate Overall Excellence Award recipient, and our 2012 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award winner. We'll also spend this month on the whole child website honoring excellence and reflecting on the qualities that make a good school a good school and a good community a good community—even where the context and culture may differ dramatically.

Whether your school is in Berlin, Sydney, Ramallah, or Omaha, a whole child approach to education and community engagement—in which each child in each school and each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged—ensures student growth, learning, and development.

In this episode, we'll explore schools and communities across the world that emphasize providing safe and supportive learning environments and experiences for students and talk with whole child partner organizations that are promoting and guiding their work. Joining moderator and ASCD Director of Whole Child Programs Sean Slade are guests

  • Daniel Kropf, founder and executive director of the Universal Education Foundation (UEF) and the Learning for Well-Being network. UEF is a Paris-based advocacy foundation that, through its Learning for Well-Being network, works to enhance communities and environments that support children and youth across many countries. With Kropf is professor Marwan Awartani, secretary general of UEF, chair of the Arab Foundation forum, and president of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.
  • Peter Paulus, lead researcher for the Allianz für nachhaltige Schulgesundheit und Bildung (ANSCHUB—Good Healthy Schools (PDF)), an alliance of schools for sustainable school health and education in Germany. ANSCHUB schools view health as paramount to an effective education and promote the alignment of health, health services, and educational needs of students.
  • Jordan LaPier, senior director of the 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING program at America's Promise Alliance. He leads day-to-day operations on the competition, heads up technical assistance and training for applicants, and recruits communities to apply for recognition through the program.

Be sure to visit our updated Whole Child Examples Map where you can find examples of schools and communities worldwide that are actively developing learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling. Each example highlights a program, focus, or achievement with links to more information.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Beyond Our Halls and Walls: Getting to Community Engagement

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There is much talk about the need for community involvement in educating the whole child. However, for many, questions persist about the concept of community:

  • Who is my community?
  • What does community involvement look like?
  • How do we build and sustain community involvement?

When these and other questions remain unanswered, it's difficult to create an active community that is a meaningful part of a whole child approach to education.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn what it means for communities to be involved in schools and how everyone has a role to play in ensuring that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. You'll hear from

  • Hugh Price, visiting professor in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and author. From July 1994 through April 2003, Price served as president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League and launched its historic Campaign for African-American Achievement. In 2006–07, he cochaired the Commission on the Whole Child.
  • Dave LaRose, superintendent of the South Kitsap School District in Washington State, where he has developed partnerships with community agencies, health organizations, mentoring programs, and faith-based leaders to provide the resources students need to succeed in school. In 2009, LaRose received Washington State ASCD's Reaching the Whole Child Award for his systemic and strategic approach to meeting the needs of all students.
  • Deborah Wortham, former superintendent of the Steelton-Highspire School District in Pennsylvania and former assistant superintendent for high schools and director of professional development for Baltimore (Md.) City Public Schools. Wortham has received numerous honors and awards, including teacher of the year and principal of America's Best Elementary School for Significant Improvement.

Is your community looking for the "will" or the "way"?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Ready and Able: A Q&A with Jay Mathews

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The demands of meeting all district, state, and national requirements often seem to leave no time for preparing students for anything else. Yet teaching solely to the test will leave students ill-equipped for college, careers, and citizenship. Recorded live at ASCD's Annual Conference on March 28, this special edition of the Whole Child Podcast features an engaging conversation about powerfully preparing young people for the demands of the future.

You'll hear a conversation between Molly McCloskey, managing director of Whole Child Programs at ASCD and host of the Whole Child Podcast, and Jay Mathews, education columnist for The Washington Post and author, about what it means to be college- and career-ready and the value of citizenship skills. Mathews answered questions from session attendees on a range of topics including the importance of teacher-student relationships, KIPP charter schools, and the responsibility of education journalists. He also shared his five characteristics of great schools:

  1. Have high expectations of every child.
  2. Dedicate more time to instruction.
  3. Take academic achievement and assessment seriously.
  4. Create a team spirit.
  5. Have great leadership.

What are your reactions to Mathews's viewpoint? What do you think is critical to preparing young people for the complex futures that lie ahead?

Download a conversation on this topic with staff and a student from Quest Early College High School, winner of the 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award.

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