Tagged “Engaging Learning Strategies”

Backed by Supportive Staff, Students Pursue Academic Passions

Mullenix Ridge Elementary School, Port Orchard, Wash.
 

Mullenix Ridge Elementary School has been chosen to receive a Washington State ASCD Supported Students Award. The emphasis in this Port Orchard, Washington school is to enable all students to pursue their passions through the encouragement of mentors and keen awareness of individual development. Staff members work together to ensure that every child receives the necessary support and interventions to achieve their potential. This sense of teamwork carries over to the students as well, who participate in extracurricular activities such as the kindness club in order to perpetuate the welcoming school environment.

An Early Intervention Support System Yields Success

San Lorenzo Valley Middle School, Felton, Calif.

San Lorenzo Valley Middle School—located in Felton, California—has just been named a California School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. This rural school has made great strides in recent years on California’s Academic Performance Index (API). Much of the school’s success can be attributed to its thorough and effective academic counseling programs, which ensure that every child is supported and can receive help if needed.

Customizing Programs to Meet Student Needs

Pioneer Middle School, Tustin, Calif.

Tustin, California, is home to Pioneer Middle School, a recently named California School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The school has successfully developed and implemented a program known as Pyramid on Interventions, which has received national recognition for its applications in improving student proficiency. Pioneer Middle School has also seen major growth and improvement in student achievement on standardized tests, particularly in the last five years.

School and Communtiy Pride is Driven by Student Success

Pierce County High School, Blackshear, G.A.
 

Whether in a classroom or on an athletic field, student achievement drives the success that builds pride in a community and a school. Nowhere is this truer than at Pierce County High School in rural southeast Georgia. The school’s 965 students, almost half of whom are economically disadvantaged, have demonstrated what leadership focused on student learning can accomplish. In 2004, PCHS ranked at the bottom of the state in students passing the high school graduation tests and only 55 percent of the students graduated. In 2011, 86 percent of the students graduated and the school ranked 17th in the state on the graduation exams. Everyone wants to be the best: a result of high expectations, solid achievement and collaboration.
 

Town Meetings and Shared Grade-Level Planning

Pierce Elementary School, Birmingham, Mich.

Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Pierce Elementary School has made a significant transformation as a result of adopting character education as its focus. The changes have impacted students and staff alike. The administration, along with the leadership of the character education and wellness committees, have all played positive roles in this transformation. The touchstone, Pierce Path, unified the school community with a common language, and projects such as the Family Path (the opportunity for families to create their own touchstone and highlight core values) are universally recognized at the school. Several school-wide events focused on character are held throughout the year, including Spirit Week, Peace Day, and assemblies. The school utilizes "town meetings" by grade level and allows for ample reflection at the student level. The addition of a shared grade-level planning time helped to rejuvenate and inspire teachers and led to formation of an ethical learning community.

Ethnically Diverse School Transforms School Discipline

Bingham Farms Elementary School, Bingham Farms, Mich.

Located in the affluent Birmingham district northwest of Detroit, Bingham Farms Elementary School celebrates being one of the more ethnically diverse schools in the area. Encouraged by the district to develop a touchstone, this school's staff, students, and parents are now unified around their vision for positive character known as the "Bingham Best." According to Principal Russ Facione, the touchstone allows students to "reflect and refocus" and take charge of their choices. "It has literally transformed discipline in our building," he adds.

Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Bingham Farms also boasts numerous Promising Practices awards and creative strategies that have enabled students to succeed—both academically and socially. All students, for example, have learned a five-step conflict resolution strategy called Solve-It-Spot. Students are reminded of the steps through posters placed around the school and practice during class meetings. Students report that the strategy is informally implemented by peers, and parents testify to seeing Solve-It-Spot practiced at home.

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