Tagged “Parent And Family Engagement”

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Middle Grades

Bringing STEM Home to Forge Community Bonds

Vanguard Preparatory School, Apple Valley, Calif.

Recently named a California School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, Vanguard Preparatory School is facing the achievement gap head on. Located in Apple Valley, a rural town in California, Vanguard’s focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects has made it a standout in the area. Vanguard runs family STEM nights to further strengthen the connection between the classroom setting and the family support network.

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.

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.

A Welcoming Community Provides a Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment

Guilford Young College, Glenorchy, Tasmania, Australia

Guilford Young College is a co-educational senior secondary school in Tasmania. The school prides itself on acknowledging the whole person, encourages achievement, participation, and service and commits itself to the development of lifelong learning and the respect for self and others. It is a welcoming, compassionate community that provides a safe and inclusive learning environment for all.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Guilford Young College has increased its knowledge and understanding of mental health and further embedded the importance of a whole school approach to health and well-being. Responsibility and leadership has been broadly distributed across the staff and a parent group provides an open and non-threatening forum for parents to raise their concerns about student well-being, to provide feedback on school policies that impact on students and families, and to provide expert input on mental health and social pressures for young people.

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.

School Organizes to Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Wagga Wagga Christian College, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Wagga Wagga Christian College is a coeducational K–12 school which fosters a family environment that develops responsibility and trust between peers and multi-aged young people. In 2007, the faculty determined the need to develop a welfare system to be proactive and responsive, not reactive. As a result the school has refined its transition programs, building stronger links with parents and the community beyond the school; expanded its student leadership program, empowering students at all levels of leadership; and implemented resilience programs, highlighting the safe use of social networks, cyberbullying, and sex education and relationships. Feedback is sought at parent association meetings about the mental health and well-being programs that could be implemented for students and parents.

Responding to Individual Student Needs Brings Success

Lake Macquarie High School, Booragul, New South Wales, Australia

Lake Macquarie High School is a small school on the north coast of New South Wales in Australia. Student welfare underpins the school's success and values of tolerance, understanding, responsibility, caring, respect, and cooperation are part of the school culture. An outstanding feature of the school is the experienced and dedicated teachers who deliver effective pastoral care programs that reinforce positive behaviors. Teachers regularly participate in training and development to support the school's commitment to excellence.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Lake Macquarie High School has used the framework to become more flexible in its approach to individual student needs. Resources and training are used to extend knowledge and perceptions around mental health issues and, as a result, students and parents are receiving personalized guidance and assistance on issues including self-harm, depression, eating disorders, and grief and loss.

Canadian High School Encourages Parents and Students to be Proactive in School Community

Iroquois Ridge High School, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, has focused on increasing the involvement of the school community and establishing a parental engagement program that matches parents' skills with the school's needs. Its transition program helps 9th graders connect to the school community by developing a sense of belonging.

Additionally, on-site community professionals provide access to services for youth and parents. The Tuesday at Ten and Tuesday at Seven programs connect parents with one another and with the school to support learning about healthy lifestyle choices. Students have been heavily involved in advocating for and opening a local youth health clinic, the first-ever in Oakville. Iroquois Ridge is a Healthy School Communities site.

 

 

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