Tagged “ASCD Vision In Action Winner”

School Staff Works Tirelessly to Improve their Students

Milwaukie High School, Milwaukie, OR.

Milwaukie High School'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. Incoming students’ reading and math proficiency are assessed by trained staff and additional supplementary reading and math courses are provided as needed. Teams of staff meet once a week with a group of school counselors, mental and physical health providers, social workers, and administrators to discuss ways to support at-risk students. During these meetings, participants collaborate to build individual intervention plans for these students, which can include academic support, mental or physical health care, or other social services.  The strong sense of service Milwaukie High School teachers demonstrate is mirrored in their students’ participation in the community. Students better understand the relevancy of their learning through service learning opportunities, career-technical programs, and the performing arts. The school has seen improvements in reading and math achievement in participating students, and its graduation rate has steadily improved beyond Oregon state’s average. Milwaukie High School received the 2013 Vision in Action: The Whole Child Award for its tireless efforts to improve.

Award Winning School is Committed to Helping its Students Achieve

Byrne Creek Secondary School, Burnaby, BC

Byrne Creek Secondary School, located in Burnaby, British Columbia, is the 2012 winner of the association’s Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. Since opening in 2005, Byrne Creek Secondary School has been committed to providing a safe, caring, and comprehensive learning environment for its 1,250 students in grades 8–12. The surrounding neighbourhood has a high population of immigrants, many of whom are refugees. More than 60 percent of Byrne Creek’s students have a first language other than English. Though there are challenges, Byrne Creek has naturally become a culturally rich hub where students and families come together to share, celebrate, and connect with resources. Even the building’s design encourages belonging with bright natural light, large open spaces for community gatherings, and a 120-seat video conferencing “Centre for Dialogue” modeled after that of the United Nations. In June 2011, in recognition of the work being done to support the community, the district designated Byrne Creek as a pilot Community School for the 2011–12 school year.

 

 

Learning by Doing, Part of a Challenging Curriculum

Quest Early College High School, Humble, Tex.

A personalized and nurturing learning experience for all students is the foundational goal at Quest Early College High School—winner of the 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award—in Humble, Tex.

Through community partnerships and collaborations, students learn by doing by taking part in service learning, internships, and social actions that allow them to understand the relevance of what they learn. Students to take ownership of their own learning by designing their own physical fitness goals and activities, beginning college coursework that can earn them up to 60 college credits while in high school, and designing their own senior capstone research projects that reflect a social issue that has personal meaning.

Student Voice and Project-Based Learning

Malcolm Price Laboratory School, Cedar Falls, Iowa

The 2010 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award winner, Malcolm Price Laboratory School, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, has a long-standing tradition of focusing on the whole child. Price Lab believes that its community is not so much a place as an experience of feeling valued, connected, and responsible.

Among other efforts, the K–12 school actively seeks to engage students through programs that support project-based learning. Students in elementary, middle, and high school devise or choose projects of personal interest—examples include hosting a radio show, investigating string theory, producing a film production, and developing a game. The students then see these projects through from conception to completion.

This student-centered approach has been fundamental in developing important 21st century skills, such as demonstrating initiative and self-direction, and using individual talents for productive outcomes. It has also allowed students to have a greater voice and develop a greater sense of ownership in the school and its activities.

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