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School Program Helps Students Reach Their Full Potential

Canberra Secondary School, Singapore

This school aspires to develop students to their full potential—to teach them the right values, create a mindset for excellence, and nurture them to be responsible and caring citizens.  The Character Development Committee at this school put in place a structured program to enhance students' social emotional competencies. At the beginning of the year the Committee—after assessing student social emotional competencies—determines student social emotional needs. The Committee plans social emotional workshops and wellbeing periods to help them work on the needed skills. The workshops at this school were aimed at providing students with strategies to understand their strengths and weakness, teach them skills to help them cope with transition and change management, as well as encourage them to accept responsibility, and look ahead to the future. The wellness lessons helped their students develop self-awareness and self-management skills that will help them achieve personal overall wellbeing. The program served as a platform for teacher-student interaction and helped to develop camaraderie among students. At the end of the year students evaluate their competencies, which is then used to evaluate the program. The Wellbeing Program at Canberra Secondary School is a Singapore Health Promotion Board Platinum CHERISH Award winner for its efforts to improve student overall health and wellbeing.

School Camp Helps Students Learn Healthy Habits

Yishun Secondary School, Singapore

Yishun Secondary School conducts needs assessment for students annually. Physical measurements at the beginning of the year shows school leaders which students need a little extra help to learn about and stay healthy. The school offers students the opportunity to participate in the Keep in Shape Through Sports (KISS) camp to educate students on their diet and ensure students are physically active. To ensure the effectiveness of the program, school leaders provide support by allocating funds to the program and monitoring school foods to provide only healthy food and drinks. Physical education teachers were excused from other school duties to conduct the program and parent involvement helped ensure the program's effectiveness. As a result of the program, around 30% of the overweight students passed their physical proficiency test and 85% of the students who participated in the camp lost weight beacuse they better understood how their diet and exercise affected their weight. In addition, the program evaluations and feedback was very positive from both parents and students. Yishun Secondary's KISS camp received the Singapore Health Promotion Board CHERISH Platinum Award for efforts to improve student health and develop life long healthy habits.

Emphasis on Real World Skills Sets Washington School Apart

Skyview High School, Vancouver, Wash.

Skyview High School has been recognized for its efforts to go above and beyond requirements with the Challenged Students Award from Washington State ASCD. Skyview, located in Vancouver, Washington, is notable for its educational innovations, which allow the students to pursue their interests extensively at the precollege level. Students are able to learn about and train in the fields that they may one day pursue in the working world, gaining crucial skills and knowledge at an early age. The school’s challenging academic curriculum, which features 19 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, is paired with an engaging extracurricular framework whose offerings range from choir to knowledge bowl.

Emphasis on Real World Skills Sets Washington School Apart

Skyview High School, Vancouver, Wash.

Skyview High School has been recognized for its efforts to go above and beyond requirements with the Challenged Students Award from Washington State ASCD. Skyview, located in Vancouver, Washington, is notable for its educational innovations, which allow the students to pursue their interests extensively at the precollege level. Students are able to learn about and train in the fields that they may one day pursue in the working world, gaining crucial skills and knowledge at an early age. The school’s challenging academic curriculum, which features 19 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, is paired with an engaging extracurricular framework whose offerings range from choir to knowledge bowl.

Language Learning Meets Emotional Understanding

Open High School, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
 

Open High School—designated a MindMatters school by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute—s a school like no other. Centered in Randwick, Australia, the school specializes in languages via distance learning. Nearly 2,000 students from both public and private schools have the opportunity to choose from 103 courses in 13 languages that are not available to them in their local schools. Aside from language offerings, Open High School is committed to providing an emotionally supportive learning environment for all of its students and staff.

Harnessing Leadership Potential to Keep Teens in School

Fontana Unified School District, Fontana, Calif.

Fontana Unified School District, located in Fontana, California, has been awarded a grand prize grant in whole child partner National School Board Association’s 2013 Magna Awards. The district has developed and implemented the Fontana Leadership Intervention Program (FLIP). FLIP, which is directed at middle and high school students, offers students a variety of classes ranging from ethics to drug and alcohol resistance. The program also requires participation in community projects and seminars for parents as well. This multifaceted outreach has already made a visible difference in behavior issues at both the middle and high school levels.

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.

 

 

Honesty, Kindness, Respect, Responsibility, and Service are developed at this New Jersey School

South Brunswick High School, Monmouth Junction, N.J.

 

South Brunswick manages to challenge its students, staff, and community members by focusing on moral and performance character. At South Brunswick, Strive for Five serves as the driving philosophy for developing character by focusing on honesty, kindness, respect, responsibility, and service as the five tenets that shape the culture of the school. Principal Tim Matheney and activities coordinator Gina Welsh champion the effort to develop and sustain a culture of character and support their staff and colleagues as they, too, Strive for Five in their daily practice and long-range plans. South Brunswick coaches expect their teams to stand for something bigger than themselves; they encourage each team to identify a cause to champion and to find ways to sponsor that cause throughout the season.
 

Intensive College Preparatory School Achieves Impressive Results with Low-Income Students

The Preuss School UCSD, La Jolla, C.A.
 

This public charter school of 800 students in grades 6–12 provides an intensive college preparatory education for low-income students drawn from all over San Diego, each representing the first generation in their family to attend college. Through the implementation of a single-track curriculum, smaller classes and individualized student supports, Preuss has achieved impressive results. Students in 10th grade have attained a 100 percent pass rate on the California High School Exit Exam for the past five years. The school boasts a 99 percent graduation rate, a 97 percent attendance rate, and a 96 percent rate of acceptance of its seniors into four-year colleges, excellent examples of the school’s proven success and why it was recognized by Newsweek as the nation’s top 2011 “Miracle High School.”
 

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