First Presenter's Institution

Cincinnati Public Schools

Second Presenter's Institution

Cincinnati Public Schools

Third Presenter's Institution

Wilmington College

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom E

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

Heart – Social and emotional: The presenter will share research-based strategies that are to strengthen youth socially and emotionally used at an urban elementary school/community learning center in the Midwest.

Home – Family and community: The presenter will share strategies to promote family and community involvement as partners to promote early literacy and engage them in their child’s schooling.

Brief Program Description

The presenters will share with school teachers, counselors, and administrators 1.) definitions of terms (community learning center, developmental assets, strength-based characteristics, and growth mindset) as well as its application in an urban schooling context, 2.) strategies to promote “grit” to increase student achievement among elementary-aged students, and 3.) field-tested actions to infuse resilience in a thriving school community.

Summary

A low-performing urban school (turned community learning center) with demographics (95% African-American, 100% free/reduced lunch, and 30% students with disabilities) experienced an academic transformation with consideration of how to develop life-long learners. The growth mindset and strength-based characteristics research has been applied to create a school community that yields a student-body focused on their own future success. The strategies that we implemented and will be shared with conference participants:

  • Parent Involvement strategies
    • Parent training programs (Parent Academy and Born Learning)
    • My Block – parent leaders that promote early literacy to other parents
    • Community Ambassador project-using community to promote early literacy
    • Monthly literacy nights for families
    • Community engagement strategies
      • Community partnerships to promote the wellness of the whole child from one-on-one/small-group mentoring and tutoring opportunities for students to a school-based clinic with mental health support
      • Community-building strategies that set common expectations and build socio-emotional health by focusing on strength-based characteristics
        • Positive School Culture orientation (First two days of school) with follow-up throughout the year
        • Global Environmental Literacy program development and implementation
        • Weekly 20-30 minute school-wide meetings/assemblies that promote strength-based characteristics and community (begins the second week of school)
        • Weekly 60-minute advisory sessions to discuss college and career preparation and socio-emotional strengths in small groups facilitated by staff members, which allows the students voice and choice (begins the third week of school).
        • Careful monitoring of implementation
          • Weekly 45-minute meetings with teacher and administration to plan for individual student academic performance and socio-emotional interventions
          • Monthly teacher committee work/meetings with benchmarked goals for the year that are aligned to achieve outcomes
          • Partners complete 90-day plans with monthly monitoring
          • Student conferencing with academic success folders that are data-focused
          • Opportunities for reset or readjustment, based upon data-based feedback

Evidence

Theoretical basis: The field-tested practices are based upon a variety of theoretical frameworks and research-based methods. Our community partnerships must fulfill a developmental asset for students (Starkman, et al, 2006). Our school community has embraced and embedded the concept of the growth mindset research, which promotes the concept of “grit” and persistence (Dweck, 2006). We are also ensuring that our students understand the strengths that are associated with success, using the Values in Action’s strength-based characteristics research (Wagner & Ruch, 2015). By intertwining the research perspectives with strategies to increase student achievement, we are witnessing a transformation of our school. We are experiencing positive results as noted by the following outcomes.

  • Increase in enrollment (35%)
  • Increase in student achievement (Moved from Academic watch to Effective rating)
  • Increase in academic performance evidenced by state assessment scores
  • Decline in conduct infractions
  • Lower incidents of misbehaviors that lead to suspension and expulsions
  • Increase in PTO participation in meetings and sponsored activities
  • Increase in donations and monetary support of the school

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Kimberly Mack serves a principal of John P. Parker School and has served as a school administrator in Cincinnati Public Schools for 15 years. She is a certified School Turn Around Specialist and has a proven track record of success as featured on the NBC News Education Nation and the Mayerson Academy Report. Her research interests focus on how to promote school-community relations to increase student achievement and issues related to social justice through advocacy for the disenfranchised. As a published author and motivational speaker, Dr. Mack shares her belief in the power of partnerships to help all students achieve greatness.

Keyword Descriptors

School-community relations, resilience, grit, community learning center

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-5-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

3-5-2018 4:15 PM

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Mar 5th, 3:00 PM Mar 5th, 4:15 PM

Promoting Resilience and Community in a High-Poverty Urban School

Ballroom E

The presenters will share with school teachers, counselors, and administrators 1.) definitions of terms (community learning center, developmental assets, strength-based characteristics, and growth mindset) as well as its application in an urban schooling context, 2.) strategies to promote “grit” to increase student achievement among elementary-aged students, and 3.) field-tested actions to infuse resilience in a thriving school community.