Tagged “Supported”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The New Poverty: Dealing with Economic Change

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In today’s global economic state, many families and children face reduced circumstances. These "poor kids" don't fit the traditional stereotypes—two-thirds live in families in which at least one adult works, and the percentage of poor students in many rural districts equals that in inner-city districts. In the United States, the economic downturn has dramatically changed the landscape, and districts that were previously vibrant are now dealing with unemployment, underemployment, and more transient families.

In this episode, our guests discuss the implications of this new poverty for schools, many of which have seen drastic changes in the populations they serve and their communities. Schools that took their communities' wealth for granted more frequently need to deal with issues of child hunger, fewer resources, and more demands for services. You'll hear from

What new—and old—solutions are you using to support learning and ensure that each child, whatever his or her circumstances, is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Leveling and Raising the Playing Field

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Addressing students' needs levels the playing field. Or rather, addressing students' needs is only leveling the playing field. If a child is hungry, then the need can be addressed by providing breakfast, lunch, and assistance as needed. The same applies if the child is unwell. Many schools have made great strides in addressing students' needs, but some schools have gone further. They have taken an issue that was initially a need and used it to enhance and improve what the school offers.

Milwaukie High School, part of North Clackamas Schools in Milwaukie, Oregon, and winner of the 2013 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award, is an outstanding school where each student is engaged in literacy, inspired by their cultural diversity, and ready for active citizenship. Milwaukie's staff works tirelessly to improve their students' academic, social, and emotional growth; to expand their educational practices; and sharpen the administration's focus on staff professional development, all to meet the needs of the whole child.

In this episode, hosts Sean Slade and Donna Snyder and our guests discuss how to meet students' and staff's needs, taking challenges and turning them into opportunities for all. You'll hear from

  • Mark Pinder, principal;
  • Michael Ralls, assistant principal for curriculum;
  • Tim Taylor, assistant principal for student management;
  • Donnie Siel, dean of students; and
  • David Adams, teacher leader (English and language arts).

How has your school or community taken a challenge and turned it into a win?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

How Can We Make Our Schools Safer?

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Safety is and will always be a fundamental concern for schools. Students who aren't or don't feel safe at school cannot learn, and schools must ensure that their environments are both secure and supportive. The current debate on school safety brings with it a renewed interest in addressing safety, school climate, and mental health concerns at schools and promises to improve school policy and practice.

Yet while the current debate has engaged the nation in community-wide discussions, it also has the potential to overlook the voices of educators. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, host Sean Slade and guests discuss what we, as educators, believe is crucial to making our schools safe—not just physically safe, but safe places to teach and learn. You'll hear from

  • Joseph Bergant II, superintendent of Chardon Schools in Ohio;
  • Howard Adelman, professor of psychology at UCLA and codirector of the School Mental Health Project and the Center for Mental Health in Schools (a whole child partner); and
  • Jonathan Cohen, adjunct professor in psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and president and cofounder of whole child partner National School Climate Center.

What is required for students and adults to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe in school? What two or three things are fundamental to achieving safety in school?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Fair and Effective Teacher Evaluation

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Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor that influences student learning and achievement. Research shows that students with high-performing teachers can progress three times as fast as students with low-performing teachers and each student deserves access to highly effective teachers in every subject. In turn, all teachers deserve a fair and accurate assessment of their skills, how they perform in the classroom, and how they can improve. Teacher effectiveness is dependent on accurate and fair evaluations based on multiple measures, including—but not solely based around—their students' performance in the subjects they teach.

Teachers should be evaluated based on their performance in their own subject area using a range of criteria, including observations, peer reviews, parental or student input, and analysis of agreed-on student learning evidence. In this episode, we discuss effective teacher evaluation that produces results that truly benefit students, schools, and educators. You'll hear from

If the ultimate goal of teacher evaluation is to improve student performance, what should evaluators look for?

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

The Future of Assessment

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The true measure of students' proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship has to be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable, multiple sources of information. In 2002, the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act (the revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) required more tests and it raised the stakes of those tests by meting out sanctions if students failed to reach each state's minimum levels of improvement. The emphasis of the law really was on documenting proficiency, and unfortunately that did not necessarily translate into improving assessment overall. When ESEA is reauthorized in the coming years, testing is likely to remain a key part of the law.

In our Assessment 101 show, we looked at the meaning and purpose of assessment, the different types, and how they are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback (or not), adjust teaching-learning activities, and contribute to student achievement overall. In this episode, we discuss the future of assessment and how the current accountability model must evolve from one that is punitive, prescriptive, and often overly bureaucratic to one that is truly learning-driven, informative, promotes supportive learning communities and cultures of continual improvement, and rewards achievement. You'll hear from

  • Susan Brookhart, an ASCD Faculty member, author, and senior research associate in the School of Education at Duquesne University. Brookhart has spent the last 20 years studying and writing about classroom assessment and specializes in combining research-based strategies and practical applications, working with classroom teachers and administrators to customize strategies for their schools.
  • Deborah Gist, the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education and member of the governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, a consortium of states working together to develop a common set of K–12 assessments in English and math anchored in college- and career-readiness. Gist began her career as an elementary school teacher in Texas and has also served as a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education.
  • David Griffith, the 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 educational 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.

What is your vision for the future of assessment?

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