Bringing New Students and Families into the Community

Babler Elementary School, Wildwood, Mo.

Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Babler Elementary School is one of 19 elementary schools in Rockwood School District. While Babler is located in a relatively affluent section of Rockwood, the school and families are nevertheless facing the challenge of shrinking budgets and "maintaining the Rockwood advantage" with less. Unlike other Rockwood schools, Babler is surrounded by highways and subdivisions, with no town center or businesses with which to partner. Despite these challenges, Babler staff work to create community, communicate with stakeholders, and bring new students and their families into the fold. "We’re all in it together," notes former assistant principal Paul Godwin. Students jump right in to help and welcome new students, according to fifth-grade teacher Michelle Bolton. "We have very clear expectations that form a foundation," adds Assistant Principal Missy Parker.

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