Tagged “Child Development”

School’s Active, Caring Environment Guarantees Student Success

Reading Middle School, Reading, Ohio

The mission of Reading Middle School, an active and caring community, is to guarantee the development of all students as successful, lifelong learners who become contributing citizens after graduation. A 2013 School to Watch, whole child partner The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform gave this school this recognition for providing a challenging, comprehensive curriculum; best practice instruction; and quality extracurricular activities supported by an exceptional staff in state-of-the-art facilities in partnership with parents and community.
 

School Library Helps Provide a Hub of Collaboration and Student Learning

New Augusta Public Academy-South, Indianapolis, Ind.

New Augusta Public Academy South elementary school, part of the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township, serves 531 students in kindergarten through 5th grade. The work of faculty and staff focuses on creating a safe, caring and respectful environment that is necessary for powerful learning, building a culture of respect with collaboration, and organizing meaningful curriculum connected to state standards. The school uses research-based teaching and learning practices that actively engages students; promotes collaboration among staff, students, parents, and community patrons; and prepares students to live and learn in an ever-changing technological and global society. The school library is embedded in every aspect of life at New Augusta and has become the hub where all of this school collaboration and student-centered learning happens. The school librarian works side-by-side with the classroom teachers to help students learn in multiple ways: inquiry based projects, distance learning, and helping students develop a love of reading. Winner of whole child partner American Library Association's 2013 National School Library Program of the Year, the library and school librarian have helped make this school an admirable example of what a stimulating, student-centered school environment should look like.
 

Building Tomorrow’s Leaders

Hidden Creek Elementary School, Port Orchard, Wash.
 

Washington State ASCD has selected Hidden Creek Elementary School as the winner of its State School of Character Award. This Port Orchard, Washington school works to ensure that each child is developing not only academically, but emotionally and socially as well. This is accomplished through character education modules and an academic program that is customized to meet individual needs. At Hidden Creek, staff members believe in the aptitude for success in every student, and they strive to help the students meet their goals every day. The school combines supportive programming and goal setting exercises to keep its students on the path to success.

Respect and Support Frame Academic Achievement

South Middle School, Lancaster, South Carolina

South Middle School has been named a South Carolina School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The Lancaster, South Carolina school maintains a partnership with Winthrop University in order to continue its pursuit of academic excellence and high standards for students and staff alike. Visitors to the school immediately note the culture of mutual respect among students and staff. Students receive support from individualized interventions designed to keep all learners on track for success.

Collaboration Leads to Engagement

Sinaloa Middle School, Novato, Calif.

Whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform recently added Sinaloa Middle School to its list of California Schools to Watch. Sinaloa, located in Novato, California, is constantly working on new ways to improve the student experience and close the achievement gap. This is most notable in Academic Performance Index (API) scores for students with disabilities, which have increased by nearly 100 points since 2007. Aside from numerical success, faculty collaboration has yielded a series of strategies and initiatives designed to promote student engagement with the school and learning as a whole.

Early Childhood Program Eases Students into the School Environment

Washington Drive Primary School, Centerport, N.Y.
 

Washington Drive Primary School, located in the New York Harborfield Central School District, fosters self-reliance and positive attitudes toward school and learning in students. The early education program, specifically for 5- to 8-year-olds, provides a wide variety of developmentally appropriate opportunities in which children create, explore, discover, and learn. Throughout the program, children acquire thinking and problem-solving skills, which staff members use to nurture the student's individual personalities and specific learning characteristics. Ongoing staff development is an essential component of the program.
 

Elementary School Leads Students Through a Journey of Learning

Eldridge Park Elementary School, Lawrenceville, N.J.
 

Eldridge Park has created a culture of character where every first step and all the steps thereafter lead their students on a journey that has already begun to shape the paths of their lives. Students, staff, and community members describe Eldridge Park as a cocoon that prepares and places the most beautiful of butterflies into the world—their children. A smiling principal meets students at the morning buses, a police officer high-fives students walking to school, and teachers meet students coming to early-morning clubs with projects ready. Daily activities and projects connect to core values. Families are actively involved and are a regular presence within the school. Students are encouraged to be “bucket fillers”—people who celebrate one another’s successes. Eldridge Park is an inclusive, family-oriented, and high-energy environment where going the extra mile is a way of life.
 

School is Built on the Belief that Every Adult Needs to Commit to Every Child

Lesher Middle School, Fort Collins, C.O.

Lesher Middle School is a school of choice, as are all the schools in the Poudre (Colo.) School District. In 2004, it was a traditional junior high school with declining enrollment. The school had an International Baccalaureate Middle Years (IBMY) program that was only open to select students. Today, it is a thriving middle school, at capacity enrollment with 700 students coming from 29 elementary schools, 40 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged. Now, all the students are enrolled in the IBMY program and are benefiting from a global perspective to their studies. Lesher’s transformation and very survival was built upon the belief that in order to “break ranks,” every adult needs to commit to the success of every child.

School Celebrates All Voices as Children, Parents, and Staff Unite.

Stockton Elementary School, Cherry Hill, N.J.
 

Richard Stockton Elementary School celebrates all voices as children, parents, and staff unite. SES plans together, shares sorrows, respects one another, celebrates differences, and experiences amazing daily adventures. The staff broke into groups to create an ideal school and presented to each other their team vision. Trust, respect, a collaborative work environment that was welcoming and safe to students, staff, and parents were common threads. Today what stands out at Richard Stockton is the comprehensive approach to character education, the opportunities for student and staff voices to be heard, and the goal of providing genuine opportunities for moral growth.
 

A SAFE Approach: Successful Appropriate Foundation to Educate All Children

Roosevelt Primary School, Ferndale, Mich.

Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Roosevelt Primary School is committed to providing a Successful Appropriate Foundation to Educate all children. The key letters spell out SAFE. The school has created a caring community—or, as staff and parents would say, a "family." Principal Dina Rocheleau says, "My staff is so committed to make this work, and they have such a connection with each other. Even when they have conflict with each other, they know how to resolve it." Under the guidance of this principal, staff created classroom climates that teach children essential values. They moved to a relation-based approach that focuses on love, safety, and the whole child. There is no competition at Roosevelt, and they celebrate successes as a class and a school family. Service learning projects emphasize to young children that not only should they be helpful, safe, kind, respectful, and responsible within the school but that their outreach to people beyond the campus makes a world of difference. First-grade teacher Jennifer Zublick observes: "Our staff works together so well."

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