Tagged “Child Development”

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.

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 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."

Family Atmosphere Fosters Sense of Belonging

Imagine Schools South Lake, Clermont, Fla.

Despite being one of the largest of the more than 70 Imagine Schools campuses, Imagine South Lake feels like a "family" school. Each day, students are greeted by the principal (who knows everyone by name), other administrators, teachers, parents, and student safety patrols. Teacher turnover is minimal, and the re-enrollment rate is above 95 percent. When speaking of her schoolmates and teachers, fourth grader India says, "They are my family." Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Imagine South Lake's staff students, and parents live the core values. Staff members incorporate character within the classroom in ways that best meet the needs of their students and reflect the school's mission statement. Middle school language-arts teacher Joyce Crawford notes that "being here at Imagine means you have a voice;" all classrooms have meetings where students' "voice and choice" is heard and appreciated. Teachers care about the students academically, socially, and emotionally. Fourth grader Eliya states that the teachers "don’t want us to fail. They teach us how to learn from our mistakes."

Focusing on the Moral and Social Development of Students

Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, Washington, D.C.

Beauvoir is located on the grounds of the National Cathedral located in Washington, D.C. Head of School Paula Carreiro came to Beauvoir 19 years ago and began exploring school culture based on shared core values and individual character. A focus on the whole child and each child's moral and social development now pervades the Beauvoir program. Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, the school invests time and resources into both social and academic curricula. Beauvoir also emphasizes responsiveness to the needs and concerns of students, parents, and staff. The school's associate teacher program provides two teachers in every classroom. Since about 85 percent of Beauvoir students are from dual-working-parent families, parent schedules are accommodated in many ways, particularly at drop-off time, in school communications, and for volunteer opportunities. Parents attest that Beauvoir's approach lets them "push back" many of today's negative influences.

Believing Leads to Achieving

Hotchkiss K–8 School, Hotchkiss, Colo.

A recipient of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform's 2011 Schools to Watch® Award, Hotchkiss K–8 School in Colorado is set on maintaining a positive school culture through focusing on their "Famous 3": passion, purpose, and plan.

Dedicated to providing middle-level students with the utmost ability to achieve success, programs like Child Advocacy Program (CAP) and Help, Understanding, Guidance & Support (HUGS) have been used to instill a sense of responsibility among students, promote proactive engagement, and develop a relationship between the staff and students that encourages high performance across both an academic and nonacademic spectrum.

Hotchkiss K–8 continues to flourish as an exemplary school, and we agree wholeheartedly with their motto: "If you believe, you can achieve."

School Serves as Community Hub

Roy Clark Elementary School, Tulsa, Okla.

Known as the hub of the community, Roy Clark Elementary School, in Tulsa, Okla., is the epitome of a community school that focuses not simply on the academic performance of their students, but also on individual lifestyles.

Examples of its commitment to student overall well-being are evident: Roy Clark Elementary School showed an incredible jump from 68 to 100 percent participation in parent-teacher conferences and an astounding increase—from 25 to 100 percent—in the number of students eating breakfast.

As a recipient of the 2011 National Community Schools Award for Excellence from whole child partner the Coalition for Community Schools, Roy Clark Elementary is using its community resources from more than 30 partners to create a truly outstanding environment that positively affects students.

Community School Provides Easy Access to Host of Services

Ethel M. Taylor Academy, Cincinnati, Ohio

A recipient of the 2011 National Community Schools Award for Excellence from whole child partner the Coalition for Community Schools, Ethel M. Taylor Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the true spotlight of its community.

Focused on strengthening the seamless integration of academic and nonacademic partnerships, the school provides easy access to a host of services through its Community Learning Center, where partners and community and family members are able to play a vital role in students' success. Forty-two percent more of students are scoring proficient or higher on the Ohio Achievement Assessment, and community volunteers have increased by over 100 percent—a true testament to the excellence in academics and infectious dedication Ethel M. Taylor Academy inspires.

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