Tagged “Elementary”

Ethical Learning Community creates successful 21st Century Learners

Allen Creek Elementary School, Rochester, N.Y.
 

Allen Creek Elementary School embraces the belief that character is developed through work at school; for that to occur, there must be an Ethical Learning Community where all members support and challenge one another. ACES believes that the integration of character into all aspects of the school experience is critical to the success of the 21st century learner, and that it is needed to meet the many state and federal mandates.
 

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.
 

School Culture bridges School’s Socioeconomic Divide

Lawrenceville Elementary School, Lawerenceville, N.J.

 

Located in a small suburban community midway between Trenton and Princeton, the students of Lawrenceville Elementary School are both culturally and socioeconomically diverse. Bridging the socioeconomic divide is a challenge that LES faces. LES seeks to ensure that all children feel like they are included and that they belong to the community. The school culture emphasizes kindness, caring, and safety. LES is a place where all children embrace and respect the same core values. LES continues to strive for academic excellence, having met all AYP indicators for nine consecutive years. LES's state test scores are consistently the highest elementary scores in the school district.
 

Missouri School provides a “Home Away from Home” for Students

Ellisville Elementary School, Ellisville, M.O.
 

Ellisville Elementary is not just a school; it’s a home away from home where smiles are simply a way of life. Students arrive eager to learn each day and leave anxious to return to EE’s warm and inviting environment. First-time visitors to EE consistently comment on the friendliness of the staff and students and the welcoming atmosphere. At EE, we believe that character education (CE) is an integral part of the elementary learning experience. EE began CE in 1992; in 2008, teachers expanded their efforts by focusing on creating stronger classroom communities through class meetings.
 

School Environment gives School Community a Strong Sense of Belonging

Henry Raab Elementary School, Belleville, I.L.

 

Under direction from the principal, Henry Raab Elementary School formed a Leadership Team (LT). It was this collaborative group that identified the school's core values, mission and vision, and school pledge. As its program strengthened its focus on core values, staff began looking for other ways to enhance the school environment. Through surveys and discussions, the main goal became to ensure that all members of the school community felt a strong sense of belonging. The school also began focusing on teamwork and intrinsic recognition. HRES's celebrations ensure that no child is left out. Core values and teamwork are the focus of each day.
 

IB School in North Carolina Fosters Whole-School Ownership

Cotswold Elementary School, Charlotte, N.C.

Character education has long been an integral part of Cotswold Elementary School’s focus. Since becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, the school’s character focus has shifted to include the IB model. The IB curriculum was developed by staff members using the IB guidelines, so there was strong buy-in and modeling. “Everyone in this building takes responsibility for character education,” states former principal Denise Hearne. “Whatever we’re asking the kids to do, we do ourselves. This has fostered whole-school ownership.” Staff members agree that the shift to the IB model was a “perfect fit” for Cotswold given the school’s longtime commitment to character and service, both integral components of the IB program.

 

School Grows as a Caring School Community

Bowles Elementary School, Fenton, Mo.

Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Bowles Elementary School was one of the first schools in the Rockwood School District to pilot the Caring School Community model. Over the past seven years, it has moved from a "trait of the month" approach to a deeper, more comprehensive approach tied to curriculum and content. While Bowles' socioeconomic status is the second lowest in Rockwood, this Title I school continues to strive to be among the highest achieving of the 19 elementary schools in the district. Former principal Dave Cobb describes Bowles as a caring community that places a priority on building relationships. "Without relationships, we believe that strong character cannot be achieved." Building relationships is challenging, given the school’s ever-shifting demographics. But that diversity and student mobility has "challenged us to do out-of-the-box thinking," according to Cobb. "We literally have to do whatever it takes." Despite demographic changes, Cobb notes that Bowles has been able to maintain parental support and good test scores.

School Models Character Despite Challenges

Bayless Elementary School, St. Louis, Mo.

Bayless School District is located on the south side of St. Louis and is designated as one of the most diverse school districts per capita in the state of Missouri, with over 17 languages spoken at home. Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Bayless Elementary School has 43 percent minority students and more than 60 percent of the student body receives free or reduced-price lunch. Dr. Maureen Clancy-May, the district superintendent, says that despite these challenges, "Bayless staff is creative in finding funds. They turn challenges into opportunities." Clancy-May also describes the Bayless environment as one of total integration of the core values. She says that when you walk through the doors you can "feel it, see it, and taste it." Both staff and students model character with each other. When speaking with Dr. Gina Siebe, the principal of Bayless Elementary, or with parents or members of its character education committee, one is struck by their deep commitment to the development of students of character.

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."

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