Tagged “Community Engagement”

Collaborative Partnerships Key to Community Success

Henrico County Public Schools, Henrico, V.A.
 

Henrico County (Va.) Public Schools received an American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) Award in 2011. Collaborative partnerships are the key to the Henrico program’s success. “Parents, central office personnel, school board members, feeder schools, and the business community are constituents that all have a stake in successful students,” read the application submitted by Henrico’s educational specialist in library services, Ann M. Martin. “Our model is based on an all-inclusive approach, with students and staff at the center of the circle and each succeeding circle encompassing more of our stakeholders. When a library activity occurs, we include as many stakeholders as possible.”
 

School Creates Positive Change in the Community

Trinity Middle School, Washington, P.A.
 

Trinty Middle School was recognized as one of Pennsylvania's Schools to Watch for its commitment to creating positive change within the larger community. Students and staff are actively engaged in the community and are always looking for new ways to challenge themselves. The student's ability to succeed while continuing their efforts in the community makes Trinty Middle a force to be recognized with.
 

Community Eductaion Goals Empower School

Cimino Elementary School, Valrico, F.L.
 

Cimino’s character education (CE) story began 10 years ago, when it opened. It was imperative that the new Cimino family enter a welcoming environment, so a CE Committee comprising faculty, parents, community members, and students was developed. The Committee developed CE goals to empower the school’s mission, according to the population’s needs. Ten traits have become paramount in Cimino’s efforts to achieve a school population comprised of enthusiastic individuals who love doing what is right. Teachers conduct lessons, model appropriate behaviors, and spread the character fever to all students.
 

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.

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."

Nurturing Confidence, Compassion, and Personal Excellence in Students

Corpus Christi College, Bateman, Western Australia

Corpus Christi College is a co-educational high school of nearly 1,200 students located just south of Perth. The school provides a modern, exciting, and forward-thinking education experience for students, nurturing confidence, compassion, and personal excellence. The school is committed to educating young people to serve as school and community leaders and students are prepared to become life-long learners and global citizens.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Corpus Christi College has established a functional school-based core health and well-being team with clear processes and roles to support their work. The school has increased the number of trained staff and the range of professional development opportunities available to support staff wellness. Students are encouraged to take proactive leadership roles in mental health and well-being initiatives and mental health and resilience themes are integrated throughout the curriculum and extracurricular activities. Parent, family, and community involvement has expanded with regular parent information forums and direct links with community mental health services.

High School Shows Strength in Unity

Balga Senior High School, Balga, Western Australia

Balga Senior High School is located in a northern suburb of Perth, a metropolitan area that is culturally diverse. The school has strong pastoral care programs that address the social and emotional needs of students. The school motto, "Strength in Unity," implies that cooperation is the key to providing a happy and pleasant environment in which all can strive for excellence in their educational pursuits.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, staff at Balga Senior High School are a vibrant and active team committed to ensuring that all students feel safe in a supportive environment and that the students' social, emotional, and physical needs are met. The school is a leader in connecting with the local community and has built relationships with many community organizations, including The Smith Family, North Migrant Resource Centre, and the Youth on Health Festival, Western Australia's largest youth performing and visual arts festival. Students participate in the festival annually. Student spirit groups provide practical opportunities for student voice in school thinking and activities and promote tolerance of differences through extra-curricular activities.

Mentor Teachers Build Relationships and Personalize Learning

Castlemaine Secondary College, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Castlemaine Secondary College serves 760 students and is located 120 kilometers northwest of Melbourne. The school recently dedicated itself to improving relationships between all members of the school community, improving the personalization of student learning, and developing the school's community partnerships. This has in turn resulted in the school developing the capacity of all teaching staff to be teachers of well-being. The introduction of a new pastoral care structure, including small small mentor groups, has also aided in improving relationships and the personalization of student learning. In addition all teaching staff have become mentors, and they have a key role in serving as the first point of contact for parents and other teachers whenever there are any concerns about students in their groups.

Building a Positive School Culture for Diverse Students

Woodville High School, Woodville, South Australia

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Woodville High School has a complex and diverse student population with students coming from 56 cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In 2010, 12 percent of students were identified as students with disabilities, 51 percent as English language learners, and nearly 40 percent are from non English-speaking backgrounds.

Recently well-being became a key focus of at Woodville High School and was incorporated into the site learning plan. Since then, the school has developed initiatives on youth empowerment, building relationships, as well as a "no blame" and a restorative approach to behavior management. School policies have been revised and new procedures around bullying and harassment, including cyberbullying, have been developed. Staff are more confident and have the resources to address a range of mental health concerns and mentoring, parent, and community programs have been established.

Strong Community Connectedness Builds Confidence

Clayfield College, Clayfield, Queensland, Australia

Clayfield College is a preK–12 day and boarding school located in the Brisbane suburbs that offers a safe and supportive learning environment, where personal excellence is encouraged. Students come from diverse cultural backgrounds, have varied ability levels, and receive quality teaching and learning within a broad and engaging curriculum, including academic and vocational pathways. Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, students experience a strong feeling of belonging to the community and, through participation in activities, build greater confidence and develop and strengthen relationships; staff feel respected and valued; and parents, families, and members of the community are viewed as vital pieces of the jigsaw.

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