Newsletter Archive

The 2014 issue archives are experiencing technical problems and will return to the site soon. Please contact us at wholechild@ascd.org with questions or to receive a copy.

Reflecting on How We Learn, Teach, and Lead

Educating the whole child and planning for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement requires us to be whole educators who take the time to recharge, reflect, and reinvigorate. How did you reflect on your practice this summer and what goals have you set for the new school year?

Reducing the Effects of Child Poverty

Children represent 24 percent of the population, but they comprise 34 percent of all people in poverty. How can we reduce the effects of poverty on our students?

The Effective Principal

The topic of principal effectiveness and its role in comprehensive, sustainable school improvement has been on our minds as we bring our ASCD Forum discussion to a close...

The Best-Case Scenario

As demonstrated by the tragic events of not only the last few months in Connecticut, Georgia, and California, but also the last 10 years across the nation, school safety is a complicated issue with no single or simple solution...

Opportunity to Learn, Teach, and Lead

The Common Core State Standards are not the whole answer; they do not address all the facets of learning under a whole child approach to education. Let's take the next step in putting actions into practice in schools today...

A Progress Report on Teacher Evaluation

In the past three years, 36 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have changed their teacher evaluation policies, mainly to qualify for federal Race to the Top funds or No Child Left Behind waivers. Is your state (and school) going through these changes?

The Way We Do School Improvement

Every school has a culture. Some are positive, while others are toxic; many are somewhere in between. A school's culture affects the lives of everyone in the building. Educators working in a positive school culture experience collegiality, trust, and tangible support as leaders and peers...

Healthy In Every Way

Children's healthy development and its effect on academic achievement is as important in schools today as it was in 1949. Just as one can be physically healthy or unhealthy, one can also be mentally healthy or unhealthy...

What Do Your Students Need?

Students as learners are also students as people, with hopes, fears, and needs. That's why it's so important to build adult-student relationships that support and encourage each student's academic and personal growth...

Will You Be the Next to Change?

We are changing the public debate about what constitutes a good school. We are changing the public perception that good schools don't exist—they exist in your own backyard!

Encourage and Ensure Engagement

To many students, school is just a place they go. How do we create engaging learning experiences that make school more personal for them?

Comprehensive, Continuous, and Coherent Assessment

Through a combination of assessments of and for learning, we get a more comprehensive and continuous picture of student achievement and long-term success...

Keep Kids Moving And Motivated To Learn

By the time students graduate from high school, they have spent thousands of hours in a classroom, most likely sitting. That's a lot of sitting...

Building a Community of Learners

Adults need to talk about how students are learning and what and how teachers are teaching. Effective professional learning communities provide opportunities for adults to learn and think together...

Families and Schools Get Engaged: A Long Road to a Great Marriage?

Are you prepared to let isolated incidents get in the way of all the great things that can come from a committed partnership?

The Path to Inclusion

By definition, a school taking a whole child approach to education is an inclusive school...

Shaping Spaces to Facilitate Learning and Development

How are our schools shaping our students' learning experiences; social, emotional, and cognitive development; behavior; and readiness for their futures?

What’s Holding Us Back?

We know that meaningful connections between schools and communities are essential to ensuring that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, so what keeps us from forging these connections more consistently?

One Size Doesn’t Fit the Middle Grades

Issues involving humans are rarely, if ever, straightforward and simplistic enough for a one-size-fits-all approach to be successful. In few cases is this truer than when it comes to the problems we face ensuring the success of each student during the middle grades...

Ready and Able in the 21st Century

Ensuring that students are truly ready for college, careers, and citizenship requires more than preparing them to take and pass standardized tests, meet graduation requirements, and be eligible for postsecondary opportunities...

Finding a Home Among Digital Natives

In our education technology dreams, we can see young people using technology to engage in learning about a multitude of subjects, develop skills that will solve tomorrow's problems, connect to people around the world, and prepare for jobs we can't even conceptualize...

Pathways to Success

Did you know that recent molecular biology research has detailed how physical activity has a positive influence on your ability to learn, emotional stability, and physical health?

The Science of Learning

Does it help your lesson planning to understand a little bit about how your students learn and their memories, attention, and reasoning? Will that knowledge help you create a more engaging and challenging lesson and support struggling students?

Learning In and Through the Arts

After analyzing four years of data, we know that of the five tenets of a whole child approach to education, "engagement" is the tenet that whole child supporters are most interested in. A major factor in ensuring each student is healthy, safe, supported, and challenged is engaging them in the process of building each critical dimension...

Get an Attitude

Large or small, ethnically diverse or homogenous, urban or rural, primary or secondary: bullying occurs in every school and among students of all backgrounds. Yet some schools have a much higher incidence of bullying while others have minimal problems. If demographic factors don't predict the incidence of bullying, what does?

The Whole Teacher

How is it that some educators are able to address the health and safety of their students; remain supportive; engage and challenge each student; and then head home at the end of the day with enough time and energy to exercise, cook a healthy meal, spend time with family and friends, and get enough sleep?

Make Learning Stick

While many of us envision summers vacation as a time for family trips, going to camp, and other fun and enriching activities, many parents lack the time, financial resources, and accessibility to activities that ensure their children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged throughout the summer...

Dedicated to Time Out

Isn't it funny how the things we resisted as kids are often our favorite things as adults? Sleeping and eating are two examples of activities I wasn't fond of as a child but can't get enough of these days! What about "time outs"?

Leading a Whole Child Approach to Education

We often see people who we think are natural-born leaders. While this may be true for a very small group of people, most leaders need support and resources to develop their skills. Yet we too often expect school leaders to automatically have all the answers...

Bringing down the House…and the Senate!

Today the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) heard our collective call to redefine a successful learner from one whose achievement is measured solely by academic tests to one who is knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically inspired, engaged in learning, prepared for work and economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling...

A Blueprint for Our Future

The federal government recently released its much-anticipated blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)...

How Far We’ve Come

Thousands of inspired whole child supporters are working to make 2010 a historic year for transforming the conditions of learning, teaching, and community involvement...

Vision In Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award

You know it almost the moment you walk through the door. It's obvious in the way adults and students interact, in the quality of teaching throughout the building, in the seamless flow of leadership from administration to parents to staff to community members...

Be It Resolved

Only by working together as policymakers, practitioners, and parents can we ensure that schools and communities have the knowledge and resources to ensure that each child in each school in each of our communities is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged...

Not by Accident

School climate, or the quality and character of school life, is composed of the patterns of people's experience in the school community. While it reflects the norms, values, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures of the school community, it also affects these dimensions of school life...
 

Cultivating Students’ Trust

As educators, most of us accept that we must earn a degree, a paycheck, a promotion, and even the respect of our colleagues. But do we accept that we must earn the trust of our students?

Meeting Students Where They Are: Preparing Them for What’s Next

When imagining the kind of adult we'd like to see each child grow into, most of us probably come up with a similar list of qualities: kind, caring, disciplined, confident, self-directed, and so forth. Most of us, admittedly, would prefer if all children possessed those qualities right now...

To Give and to Get

My first year working in a school, I noticed that teachers were almost always in the role of giver and students in the role of receiver. Teachers were left exhausted, and students were hungry for opportunities to contribute to their classmates, teachers, schools, or communities...

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

A huge segment of students—those attending rural schools—don't often come up in conversations about education. Nearly one-fifth of the U.S. student population, or 10 million students, attends rural schools...

Bouncing Back

What happens when a ball is suspended in the air and then dropped? It bounces, of course, but it does not return to the same height from which it was dropped. With each progressive bounce, it continues to get lower and lower...

Above the Rest

When you think of your favorite teacher, what makes him or her stand out from the rest? Was it the questions that person asked about your life beyond the school walls? Did that person expect more of you than even you expected from yourself?

Vision in Action

In our last newsletter and in the October Whole Child Podcast, we shared how many school communities are using the community conversations guide to engage stakeholders and develop a vision and commitment for educating the whole child. The guide asks stakeholders what educating the whole child means to them, and we found...

Piecing It Together

In the quest to educate the whole child, does it sometimes feel like a struggle to complete a complicated puzzle? Do you wonder if all the pieces are there and if they will ever fit together?

Now, More Than Ever

While we face tremendous challenges in the year ahead, we know that each of you will be a voice for whole child education. We were excited to see the recent recommendations to ensure the continuity of learning for schools during extended student absence or school dismissal...

When a Lion Roars

When a lion roars, few question his commitment, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy roared often as a champion for children. Today, like many in the United States and around the world, we mourn the passing of a legend in American democracy...

Moving Beyond Barriers

As whole child supporters, we know family engagement is a key component of educating the whole child. What is less clear is how families and educators can create and sustain meaningful partnerships and why our efforts sometimes fail. While research and common sense reaffirm our desire to encourage meaningful family involvement, the demands on families and educators often create barriers...

Proving While Improving

Educators use data for two major purposes: accountability and performance improvement. Accountability requires schools to prove something, while performance improvement is focused on improving student performance...

The Impact of Action

You know what it looks like when it's working: schools coordinate with community partners; states develop and support policies that educate the whole child; teachers support student voice...

Go Beyond the Choir

You hear the questions and comments: "Isn't the whole child movement anti-accountability? What about test scores? I don't have time to do this, even though I believe in it." Now, we help you with the answers!

The 21st Century Imperative

Most schools continue to use a model that was designed to prepare students for life in the middle of the 20th century. Ensuring students have a strong foundation in reading, writing, math, and other core subjects is as important as ever, yet these skills alone are insufficient for success in the 21st century...

Where Else Would They Go?

Marc Cohen, principal of Martin Luther King Middle School in Montgomery County, Maryland, and one of the recipients of ASCD's 2009 Outstanding Young Educator Award, sent us the following commentary this week questioning how we balance educating the whole child with crisis response...

Raise Their Voices!

For the 1,300 students at Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, the expectation for meaningful involvement with the school, local, and global communities is nonnegotiable from day one of the 9th grade...

Ready. Set. Go.

Times are challenging for schools and districts across the United States, but the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act offer a unique opportunity for strategic collaboration. The stimulus dollars will not begin to solve all the challenges that schools and communities currently face...

Featured Whole Child Community: Steelton-Highspire

This week is assessment week at Steelton-Highspire School District. Last year, Steelton-Highspire was ranked 495th out of 500 districts in Pennsylvania for reading and 494th for math. But this year hasn't been anything like last year...

Education in a Time of Budget Cuts

The good news is that a significant portion of the U.S. federal stimulus package is heading to schools. The bad news for many school districts is that any funds they receive are likely to provide only a portion of what is needed to avoid budget cuts...

In Case You Missed It

The year 2009 has already proven to be big for the Whole Child Initiative, and we are confident there is much more in store...

What Does It Look Like When It’s Working?

If you've signed the petition, graded your school and community, accessed our resources, and advocated for policy change but still wonder what a school and community working together to ensure children are...

Someday Happens

Someday happens. We saw that phrase on what probably was a homemade T-shirt at an inauguration event this week. And it gave us hope. It reminded us that perhaps the most powerful 45 words in the U.S. Constitution, the 45 words of the First Amendment, are the best possible tools for change and progress...

Making the Grade

What can we expect from President-elect Obama? Will he bring about positive change? How will his administration impact education for all children? We all have these kinds of questions, and many of us have high expectations for the answers...

We the People

Recently, we shared three key pieces of legislation with you. Many of you analyzed and evaluated the importance of each piece of legislation and took action. To date, approximately 2,000 letters of support have reached members of Congress...

Changing the Conversation

At this moment in history, there is nothing more nonpartisan than the desire for change. We've heard a lot about change recently. What kind of change do your kids need—the kids in your school, your community, and your home?

Walking the Talk

Every child should be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Schools and communities must focus on preparing students for the 21st century. It's easy to agree with these statements...

Risky Business

During the nation's worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, we've been bombarded with information about investments, reforms, and the future of home ownership. What do students know about investing?

Planned Responses to Unplanned Change

Crisis. Trauma. Cataclysmic events. Unfortunately, no community is immune. And within just the last few weeks, too many have been struck by economic, social, and natural disasters...

Pomp and Circumstances

It's the first day of high school. Thirty students sit in homeroom: 14 are white; 9 are Hispanic; 5 are black; 1 is Asian; 1 is of mixed race...

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Whole child education isn't easy. Sometimes even with all the right intentions we fall short of the mark...

Happy New School Year!

Welcome back to your whole child newsletter! We've had our summer break and are ready to start the new school year. As you plan for this year, how will you ensure that the children in your school and community are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged? What can you do?

We’ve Got Good News and Bad News

A recently released congressionally mandated report by the National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education 2008, offers both good and bad news for the whole child at school...

Locked in a Conspiracy

James P. Comer, the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine's Child Study Center and a whole child commissioner, often says that the community in which he was raised was, "locked into a conspiracy to make certain that I grew up to be a responsible, contributing citizen" ...

Relationships, Relationships, Relationships

Ask anyone you know about his or her favorite teacher and the stories come pouring out. The coaches, youth ministers, choir directors, and school personnel who positively impacted our lives hold a special place in our memories...

Our Children Need Hope. Our Children Need You.

We know about the need for whole child education. We hear about it in the news: "achievement gap," "cyber-bullying," ...

Social and Emotional Learning Matters!

Hot off the presses, our whole child partner the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has released a preliminary report about the impact of school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs on academics...

Happy Anniversary!

Just one year ago this week, ASCD launched the whole child Initiative by releasing The Learning Compact Redefined: A Call to Action, and developing WholeChildEducation.org...

Today in America

Today 6,000 talented young people will drop out of school. Today over 9 million children do not have health insurance...

Whole Child Education: What’s New

This new year has brought a new look to WholeChildEducation.org! In our last newsletter, we introduced the search feature that we added to our home page...

New Year, New Tools, New Questions

Happy New Year, and welcome back to your whole child education newsletter! We hope that you have begun 2008 healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged...

Civic Participation and the Whole Child

Tip O'Neill, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, once said, "All politics is local." No statement could be more true when it comes to educating the whole child...

Partners and Voting and Funding: Oh, My!

We're excited to report that leading education, health, arts, and civic organizations have committed to furthering the whole child cause...

Making The Case for the Whole Child

Why is now the time to advocate for the whole child? Common sense and research tells us that children must be...

Ask Questions, Be Heard, Learn More, Do More

So you've signed the whole child pledge; what now? It's time to act: Ask Questions...

Updates from the Grade Your School and Community Tool

It's time for a progress report from the Grade Your School and Community Tool! Over 4,000 individuals have graded their schools and communities...

It’s Time to Start Talking About the Whole Child

Now that school is back in session, it's time to start the conversation about the whole child. It's time to ask yourself and others what it means to educate the whole child...

A Different Kind of Back-to-School Supply List

It's that time of year again when stores are filled with families seeking school supplies and children exclaiming, "I need a new backpack/ruler/notebook/calculator/pair of shoes..."

What’s Working? What’s Not? Share Your Story

Jennifer from Connecticut says her community is emphasizing hard work and striving to achieve equity...

Summer Homework: Ask Questions, Be Heard, Learn More, Do More

Summer camp, family vacations, outdoor concerts, reading in a hammock, hiking in the woods: why is it that our summers so naturally support the needs of the whole child while our school years don't?

Resource Clearinghouse Supports the Whole Child

July is the perfect month to begin planning for the coming school year. Research and common sense tell us that when kids are sick, scared, marginalized, alone, or bored, they can't do their best...

Grade Your School and Community

Most users of ASCD's new whole child Web site give their schools and communities a "B" grade on ensuring that all children feel healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged...

Healthy, Safe, Engaged, Supported, and Challenged

Parents believe a well-rounded education is critical for success, but art, music, social studies, and physical education and health are being pushed out of the curriculum in too many schools...

A New Opportunity to Act

ASCD has launched a new public engagement and advocacy campaign and we want you to be a part of it...

Share |

ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts around the world, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.

GET STARTED »

LEARN MORE »

 

 

The Examples Map

Use our interactive map tool to find examples of schools and communities worldwide that are implementing a whole child approach to education.

Go Now »