Tagged “School Connectedness”

Connecting Students to Their Community and Beyond

Northport High School, Northport, N.Y.

Students at Northport High School in Northport, N.Y., are intent on making a difference in the world. A large part of the school's culture centers on a strong sense of civic engagement that lends to students being connected and involved in the school's academic and social life; serving local community needs; and participating in advocacy, global awareness, and social-development projects.

With a challenging and diverse curriculum that infuses civic education and student empowerment, Northport students have opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills that connect what they learn in class to the world around them.

At Northport, young people have many opportunities to be active leaders for social justice in the community. Students for 60,000 is a student organization that provides humanitarian assistance to those in need. Projects have included feeding and clothing the poor or homeless locally and internationally and teaching English to recent immigrants in their town.

Also members of A Mid-winter Night's Dream, another student club, have testified before Congress on issues related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. These students have been able to conduct research alongside scientists and have raised over $1.5 million in seven years to support patients with ALS and further research.

Student Voice and Project-Based Learning

Malcolm Price Laboratory School, Cedar Falls, Iowa

The 2010 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award winner, Malcolm Price Laboratory School, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, has a long-standing tradition of focusing on the whole child. Price Lab believes that its community is not so much a place as an experience of feeling valued, connected, and responsible.

Among other efforts, the K–12 school actively seeks to engage students through programs that support project-based learning. Students in elementary, middle, and high school devise or choose projects of personal interest—examples include hosting a radio show, investigating string theory, producing a film production, and developing a game. The students then see these projects through from conception to completion.

This student-centered approach has been fundamental in developing important 21st century skills, such as demonstrating initiative and self-direction, and using individual talents for productive outcomes. It has also allowed students to have a greater voice and develop a greater sense of ownership in the school and its activities.

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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