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Honesty, Kindness, Respect, Responsibility, and Service are developed at this New Jersey School

South Brunswick High School, Monmouth Junction, N.J.

 

South Brunswick manages to challenge its students, staff, and community members by focusing on moral and performance character. At South Brunswick, Strive for Five serves as the driving philosophy for developing character by focusing on honesty, kindness, respect, responsibility, and service as the five tenets that shape the culture of the school. Principal Tim Matheney and activities coordinator Gina Welsh champion the effort to develop and sustain a culture of character and support their staff and colleagues as they, too, Strive for Five in their daily practice and long-range plans. South Brunswick coaches expect their teams to stand for something bigger than themselves; they encourage each team to identify a cause to champion and to find ways to sponsor that cause throughout the season.
 

Intensive College Preparatory School Achieves Impressive Results with Low-Income Students

The Preuss School UCSD, La Jolla, C.A.
 

This public charter school of 800 students in grades 6–12 provides an intensive college preparatory education for low-income students drawn from all over San Diego, each representing the first generation in their family to attend college. Through the implementation of a single-track curriculum, smaller classes and individualized student supports, Preuss has achieved impressive results. Students in 10th grade have attained a 100 percent pass rate on the California High School Exit Exam for the past five years. The school boasts a 99 percent graduation rate, a 97 percent attendance rate, and a 96 percent rate of acceptance of its seniors into four-year colleges, excellent examples of the school’s proven success and why it was recognized by Newsweek as the nation’s top 2011 “Miracle High School.”
 

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.
 

Staff Commitment Turns School Environment Into a Place of Learning

Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, N.J.

Changing the culture of a large, diverse high school from a place of teaching to a place of learning requires determination and the commitment of the entire school staff. Documented growth for all students and closing achievement gaps over the last five years has demonstrated that Bloomfield High School has made this transformation. BHS is a microcosm of America. Its nearly 2,000 students, 45 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged, and 16 percent of whom receive special education services, are almost equally African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic. Consistent academic growth over time has led to the community’s resurgent pride in the school and the school being named a 2010 National Title I Distinguished School.
 

Individualized Education Helps Support School’s Diverse Student Population

Northview High School, Florissant, M.O.

Northview High School is a public separate special education school in the Special School District of St. Louis County. Northview serves a diverse student population with significant support needs as outlined in their individualized education plans. Students either require significant support to access curriculum or have not been successful in the traditional school environment. The movement from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation has been very challenging as we are a special education school working with students across the continuum. The character education journey has taken strong dedication and is the result of a steady increase in staff commitment.
 

Innovative Learning Program earns National Recognition

Eagle Rock, Estes Park, C.O.
 

Eagle Rock, an initiative of the American Honda Education Corporation, is both a school for high school–age students who have dropped out of school elsewhere and a professional development center for adults, particularly educators. The school is a year-round, residential, and full-scholarship school that enrolls young people ages 15–17 from around the United States in an innovative learning program with national recognition. The Professional Development Center works with educators from around the country who wish to study how to re-engage, retain, and graduate students. ERS's success hinges on character development as a means to improve academic performance.
 

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.

High School Shows Strength in Unity

Balga Senior High School, Balga, Western Australia

Balga Senior High School is located in a northern suburb of Perth, a metropolitan area that is culturally diverse. The school has strong pastoral care programs that address the social and emotional needs of students. The school motto, "Strength in Unity," implies that cooperation is the key to providing a happy and pleasant environment in which all can strive for excellence in their educational pursuits.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, staff at Balga Senior High School are a vibrant and active team committed to ensuring that all students feel safe in a supportive environment and that the students' social, emotional, and physical needs are met. The school is a leader in connecting with the local community and has built relationships with many community organizations, including The Smith Family, North Migrant Resource Centre, and the Youth on Health Festival, Western Australia's largest youth performing and visual arts festival. Students participate in the festival annually. Student spirit groups provide practical opportunities for student voice in school thinking and activities and promote tolerance of differences through extra-curricular activities.

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.

Supporting Disengaged Youth In and Beyond School

Albury Wodonga Community College, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia

Albury Wodonga Community College is an independent school for disengaged youth who face multiple barriers to learning and engagement in school. Since opening in 2006, the school has realized that it needs to provide both school and community level support for its students. The school is not solely focused on helping students finish school, but given the high number of students with mental health issues, is also committed to providing students with the knowledge and resources they require to cope with their issues. This includes knowledge of local support agencies and referral and links with community partners. Many students leave the school with the capacity to identify when they need support and know how to access it.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Albury Wodonga Community College has increased opportunities for students to successfully re-engage with education, established alternative pathways for student success, provided programs for young mothers, built facilities to assist with engagement with and connectedness to the school, and created stronger and more efficient community partnerships to support off-site classes along with a case worker to follow up with those students with extensive needs.

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