Tagged “Service Learning”

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A High-Mobility Middle School in Missouri brings sudents together

Fox Middle School, Arnold, M.O.

 

The staff at Fox Middle School has become character education leaders frequently called upon to share best practices with other educators. Service learning is seen as a tool to help students learn important skills—and learn to appreciate what they have. As a school with only two grades and a high mobility rate (15 percent), Fox works hard to ease the transition for all new students. Both parents and students write letters to their teachers before the year begins to let them know about their learning needs and interests. In order to meet the dual challenges of having many students whose families are financially stressed and being faced with shrinking school budgets, Fox teachers “go above and beyond,” according to principal Aaron Wilken. “They do anything to make the kids successful. They make do with what we have. Staff members are willing to take risks and [exercise] responsibility.”
 

Service-Learning improves School and Community

Brentwood Middle School, Brentwood, M.O.

 

Educators at Brentwood Middle School, a school that consistently makes AYP and has parent involvement and no major behavioral concerns, decided to perform a complete overhaul of its culture and daily activities. Why? They did not want to become stagnant or settle for good; they want to strive for excellence. Teachers infuse character into lessons. Students create service learning projects to improve the school and community. Parents and community members flock to volunteer their services. BMS has become more than good; it is an excellent place to learn and grow. Excellence in all we do and say, that is the Brentwood way!
 

Charter School Promotes Parents as Primary Educators

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, Franklin, Mass.

Established in 1995 as one of the first charter schools in Massachusetts, Benjamin Frankilin Classical Charter Public School (BFCCPS) also has the distinction of being among the first schools in the country to be named National Schools of Character, in 1998. Named a National School of Character again in 2011 by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, the mission of BFCCPS is to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children by providing students with a classical academic education coupled with sound character development and community service.

One of the key strengths of BFCCPS is its determination to maintain its original unique and focused vision to integrate virtues not only into its mission but into what takes place there every day—and its history of success in doing so. In addition to providing an education based on the cardinal virtues of the ancient Greeks, BFCCPS uses a teaching strategy borrowed from an American founder, Benjamin Franklin, to set weekly character goals which enable staff and students to focus on these virtues in both academics and personal interactions, in order to help develop virtuous habits. Also, the school incorporates current research based strategies taken from Responsive Classroom, such as class meetings and service opportunities, to facilitate reflection on the character goals and practice in achieving them.

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