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This Institute for Learning Knows What it Means to Engage the Community

Segue Institute for Learning, Central Falls, Rhode Island

Segue Institute for Learning received the 2014 Rhode Island ASCD Whole Child Award for its work to engage the community in all aspects of its programs. The school has exemplified what it means to engage the community by embracing the involvement of its community partners and families to help support their students. Furthermore, they support their students through student driven advisories that revolve around culturally competent and engaging activities. Curriculum is geared toward success in high school and includes service learning, performance based assessment and portfolios. In addition, the health education curriculum includes social/emotional dimensions. Congratulations Segue Institute for Learning for this great honor!

Meeting the Needs of a Diverse Student Body

Coombabah State High School, Coombabah, Queensland, Australia

Coombabah State High School was established in 1986 as the community high school for the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast, serving students from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The student population has a high degree of mobility and this transient factor contributes to the increasing challenge for teachers to provide challenging and meaningful learning opportunities—at least 30 per cent of the student body is new to the school each year. The school offers many vocational education subjects ranging from hospitality, business, child care, multimedia, and health, to community and recreation. Students can also select from a vast range of academic subjects.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Coombabah State High School has been able to develop a supportive environment for all students and staff. For example, all year 8 teachers meet with student support teams, the head of the middle school, and outside personnel, including a mental health expert to identify at-risk students. Teachers are trained to quickly identify students who they feel are experiencing difficulties in the classroom in relation to coping skills, content, and social issues. The students are then interviewed and individual programs are developed to assist in the areas of concern.

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.

Oakland Transforms into a Full-Service Community School District

Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, Calif.

Committed to fulfilling the vision of having all students graduate from high school, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) has started a four-phase effort to transition into a full-service community school district that supports the unique needs of each child.

Determined to see that each student is in a safe, healthy, and supportive school with high-quality and effective instruction and prepared for success in college and future employment, California's OUSD believes that it is 100 percent necessary to have a high-quality instructional core, as well as student and family support services accessible to all students. The growing community-wide culture of a shared purpose and relational accountability has also helped promote the creation of a five-year strategic plan to reach these goals.

Named the most improved urban school district in California, OUSD will continue to make incredible strides in its mission to transform the district into one that truly serves the whole child.

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Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

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