Tagged “Safe”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Leading and Changing School Culture

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Michael Fullan wrote about the principal's role in leading sustainable cultural change in schools (and school districts) in the May 2002 issue of Educational Leadership saying,

"An organization cannot flourish—at least, not for long—on the actions of the top leader alone. Schools and districts need many leaders at many levels. Learning in context helps produce such leaders. Further, for leaders to be able to deal with complex problems, they need many years of experience and professional development on the job. To a certain extent, a school leader's effectiveness in creating a culture of sustained change will be determined by the leaders he or she leaves behind."

Students are a part of the school community and can play powerful roles as leaders in a positive school culture. In cultivating students as leaders, schools provide opportunities for personal engagement; skill development for future college, careers, and citizenship; and a richer experience for all. 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 why they got involved in Special Olympics, what being a leader means to them, what they as students need from adults in schools and communities to help foster social change, and what progress looks like. You'll hear from

  • Dallas Lopez, from Texas;
  • Rachel Alm, from Hawaii;
  • Danielle Liebl, from Minnesota; and
  • Margaret Drake, a special education teacher from Wyoming.

How does your school culture cultivate and empower students as leaders as well as learners?

"Leadership is leading by example, but it's also ... helping others realize the leader within themselves."

—Danielle Liebl

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

What Does It Take for Children to Be Mentally Healthy?

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A child's mental health is influenced by her biology, social and physical environment, and behavior, as well as the availability of services. Good emotional and behavioral health enhances a child's sense of well-being, supports satisfying social relationships at home and with peers, and facilitates achievement of full academic potential. Research shows that one of five children and adolescents aged 9 to 17 experience symptoms of mental health problems that cause some level of impairment in a given year. However, fewer than 20 percent who need mental health service receive them.

But, being mentally healthy is not just about emotional and behavioral difficulties. It's also about being mentally strong and resilient and having the skills and supports to deal with stressful issues when they arise. In a nationally representative survey of 12- to 17-year-old youths and their trauma experiences, 39 percent reported witnessing violence, 17 percent reported physical assault, and 8 percent reported a lifetime prevalence of sexual assault.

Just as one can be physically healthy or unhealthy, one can also be mentally healthy or unhealthy. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss the importance of each child, in each school and in each community, being socially, emotionally, and mentally healthy. You'll hear from

  • Erica Ahmed, director of public education for Mental Health America, formerly the National Mental Health Association.
  • Jo Mason, acting national business manager and national professional product development manager for whole child partner Principals Australia Institute and MindMatters, Australia.
  • Philip C. Rodkin, associate professor of child development in the Departments of Educational Psychology and Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

How does your school and community promote good mental health, build resiliency, and facilitate wellness for your children?

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?

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

Partnerships Between Home and School: The Real Missing Link?

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Families are a central source of children's learning and development, and their influence cannot be ignored. Engaging with families can inform, complement, reinforce, and accelerate educators' efforts to educate the whole child. Without strategic and continual connections between families and educators, we cannot ensure that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine research that overwhelmingly reinforces the need for family engagement, practices that create and sustain meaningful involvement, policies that can bring about systemic change, and barriers that we must overcome to achieve this vision. You'll hear from

  • Heidi Rosenberg, research analyst at the Harvard Family Research Project, whose research projects address family involvement in education, complementary learning systems, and evaluation strategies.
  • Sheila Jackson, director of the Department of School Improvement and the Comer School Development Program Office and Regional Training Center for Prince George's County (Md.) Public Schools, who consults nationally on school reform, community development, child and adolescent growth and development, parental engagement, and more.
  • Trise Moore, Family and Community Partnership Director for Federal Way Public Schools in Washington State, where she has built a team of parents and staff leaders that helped the district gain recognition by the National PTA and the Harvard Family Research Project as one of six exemplary family engagement frameworks in the United States.

What do you think is the most powerful way a family can be engaged in the education process?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Inclusive Learning: Meeting Each Student's Special Needs

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Creating an inclusive environment where each student feels safe and supported in an engaging and appropriately challenging environment is rarely an easy feat, yet it is essential to educating the whole child. Regardless of strengths and challenges, each student needs and is deserving of full membership within the classroom and school community. While each student benefits from this inclusive environment, it is critically important and often challenging to ensure it for students with special needs.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we focus on creating inclusive learning environments that develop students at all levels. You'll hear from

  • Timothy Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. In that capacity, Shriver serves 3.1 million athletes and their families in 175 countries. He has helped transform Special Olympics into a movement that focuses on respect, acceptance, and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities in all corners of the globe.
  • Evan Heller, a student who has been involved with and coached Special Olympics for eight years. Heller is also a member of the national Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee and his local Massachusetts State Youth Activation Committee. He is a recent high school graduate and this fall will be a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he plans to double major in psychology and English.
  • Latoya Dean, a doctoral student at the University of North Texas in the Leadership for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders program. She is also a Content Mastery/Helping teacher in Garland, Tex. Dean has worked in varies capacities with people with disabilities, and her current research interests include transitioning students with disabilities into adulthood, parental involvement, and interagency collaboration. She is interning this summer at the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.

Do you have an Evan or Latoya at your school? What can you do when the school year begins to help create inclusive environments to meet each student's special needs?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

School Environments: Transforming Learning Spaces

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Schools that take a whole child approach to education are conscious of the intersection between physical space and the academic, social, and emotional development of students. The learning environments we create—the physical along with school climate—can either help or hinder learning, development, teaching, and collaboration.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we look at what kind of school environments optimize the way students learn, teachers teach, and communities interact and hear from guests who are creating learning environments that facilitate the process of ensuring students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. You'll hear from

  • Bob Pearlman who shares his extensive experience and expertise working at nearly every level of the school transformation process. Extend your learning with resources on new learning environments to support 21st century learners. Download a free chapter on designing new learning environments, written by Pearlman, from the book Rethinking How Students Learn.
  • Kristin Cuilla, director of new school development for New Tech Network, who describes how schools and communities are rethinking teaching and learning to create and transform learning environments where students are highly engaged.
  • Luis Torres, principal of P.S. 55 in the Bronx, N.Y., and a 2011 ASCD Outstanding Young Educator, who will share how he has used nearly every part of the learning environment, from the halls and walls to the neighborhood and community partnerships, to revitalize the school, students, family, and community. Learn more about Torres' work in this interview:

     

     

What is your school doing to transform the learning environment in ways that make a difference for students' learning and development?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The Middle Grades: Zits, Braces, and Hormones

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The middle grades are a complex, challenging, and confusing time for adolescents and for adults to support and develop! Even so, more and more research points to the importance of this stage of childhood, when young people are grappling to figure out who they are. Helping young people through this process of identity formation is crucial as kids transition physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine how to foster middle grades students' healthy development; create environments that facilitate learning throughout this transitional time; and support those who are working with these students in schools, in the community, and at home. You'll hear from Al Arth, a professor of education at York College in Nebraska, and Caroline Bloxom, principal of Pocomoke Middle School in Maryland.

Throughout his career, Arth has been a strong advocate for middle school education. Among his many accomplishments, he was a founding member of whole child partner the National Association of Secondary School Principals' (NASSP) Middle Level Council, served on the board of directors of the National Middle School Association (also a whole child partner), and developed one of the first doctoral-level middle school programs in the country at the University of Nebraska. Arth is the facilitator of ASCD's Middle Grades Professional Interest Community; join the mailing list by e-mailing aarth@york.edu.

As principal of a multiple-award–winning rural school, Bloxom has created a safe and welcoming learning environment for students by combining a rigorous curriculum with strong emotional support for its student body. Pocomoke Middle School was also featured on NBC's Today show in a segment highlighting the programs and services that are contributing to middle-level success.

 

 

Be sure to check out NASSP's resources for middle-level schools and its MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough Schools program. The April 2011 issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine focuses on "The Transition Years," looking at students moving from early childhood into elementary school, through the middle grades—perhaps the ultimate transition years—and then into 9th grade.

How do your school and community create learning opportunities that really engage and challenge students and move them to the next level in their academic experience?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Ready and Able: College, Career, and Citizenship in the 21st Century

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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 26, this episode of the Whole Child Podcast features an engaging conversation about powerfully preparing young people for the demands of the future.

You'll hear from Kim Klepcyk, principal at Quest Early College High School; Denise McLean, a teacher and former student at Quest; and Micaela Casales, a current student at Quest, as they discuss strategies for preparing students for college, careers, and citizenship. Quest Early College High School is the recipient of the 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award.

What do you think is critical to preparing young people for the complex futures that lie ahead?

Download a conversation on this topic with Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews.

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