Tucked away in the hills of rural western Oregon, the Vernonia and Gaston school districts defy many of the stereotypes most of us hold when we think of rural schools. Their communities face both common and unique challenges. Vernonia Elementary Principal, Michelle Eagleson, and Gaston Superintendent, Summer Catino, share how their small schools and communities achieve greatness.
Through its work with Inflexion, MUHSD is seeing strong results in student outcomes and in closing the opportunity gap for underserved students. California School Dashboard data show College/Career Indicator scores for African American, Hispanic, English Learners, students with disabilities, students who are homeless, and students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged are 16 to 29 points higher than the state average.
So you’re familiar with community schools. You’re interested. But getting started can feel like the hardest part. While your own school/district’s path may ultimately differ from Anaheim Union School District’s, their example can help you begin mapping out where to start.
Like it or not, the cultural identity of your school drives everything else you do. Who you truly are and what you believe about yourself at the core is defined by what you do. In an increasingly competitive climate, it’s more important than ever to clarify who you are and what you value.
Empathy Interviews provide an opportunity to really understand a student, or group of students, by diving deeper than the surface-level question, “How are you?” and receiving the typical response, “I’m fine.” These interviews inform intentional classroom and school-level action by elevating student voices and garnering a better understanding of student needs (SEL and well-being), and experiences (engagement). This resource provides step-by-step instructions on how to conduct an empathy interview.
Effectively implementing a schoolwide PBIS system that is equitable and meets the needs of all students may feel like a fairy tale. But by understanding the barriers to successful implementation and the supports needed to overcome them, school leaders can better prepare for and modify PBIS at their sites.
Educators and OST providers understand and believe in the power of SEL, but often seek clarity about how to demonstrate and observe SEL in action.
The Engaging Strategies and Brain Breaks are practical ways to introduce and broaden the use of SEL practices in classrooms, schools, and even workplaces.