Title

What Can We Do to Build Community and Culture in Our School? We Have a Menu for That!

First Presenter's Institution

Winchester Public Schools

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Meet & Greet Poster Reception (Harborside)

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The quote by Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” has been proven over and over again. With so many programmatic choices available, what really helps to build culture and a positive climate? This poster presentation will showcase some of these choices so the attendees can determine what may work for them.

Brief Program Description

Culture, community, and climate are the “heartbeat” of a school. Please visit the Heartbeat Café to learn about various programs and strategies known to build culture in a school. The “menu” includes Starters, Community Building Specials, Climate Entrees, Sides, and a Kids’ Menu. Attendees will leave with ideas and resources on building a strong school culture and community. Audience: K-12

Summary

Building a strong school climate and sense of community in a school is not a one-size fits all task. After 26 years in public education as a teacher, counselor, principal, and division-level administrator I have collected some great ideas and resources to help with this very important task. Visuals and resources on implementing a House System, Bucket Filling, Morning Meetings, Restorative Circles, PBIS, and moves that provide quick wins in moving toward improved school culture will be shared. Pros, cons, and unintended consequences that have been experienced will be shared. Attendees will also receive a “cheat sheet” on implementation integrity and the importance of conducting a needs assessment. This will allow for prioritization and meaningful selection of options to improve school climate and build community. The goal is to have attendees walk away with resources, ideas, and options that will help them work to build culture and community in their unique setting.

Evidence

Community building initiatives help to build a positive school climate. House systems have been in existence at the Ron Clark Academy for many years. They have been replicated across the country in various ways. Extensive resources about houses will be provided along with data showing how state test scores improved and discipline referrals decreased when the house systems were introduced at an inner-city, high poverty elementary school. Bucket filling was introduced division-wide across 16 elementary schools and each school had a decrease in office referrals. Schools with school-wide programs such as PBIS and Responsive Classroom are seeing fewer discipline referrals and better attendance rates. The key is to determine which program or initiative fits into the existing school environment. Once determined, buy-in and implementation are key components that determine success.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

  1. Dr. April M. Bruce holds a B.A. in Elementary Education, M.A. in School Counseling, M.A. in Educational Leadership, and an Ed.D. in Leadership Studies. She is a 26-year veteran who has served as a middle school teacher, elementary counselor, elementary principal, and central office administrator. She worked for Lynchburg City Schools in Lynchburg, Virginia for 25 years and has recently joined the Winchester Public Schools in Winchester, Virginia. She has worked with dozens of schools to assist with building school culture that encourages a strong sense of community.

Keyword Descriptors

Climate, culture, community building

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-9-2020 4:45 PM

End Date

3-9-2020 6:00 PM

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Mar 9th, 4:45 PM Mar 9th, 6:00 PM

What Can We Do to Build Community and Culture in Our School? We Have a Menu for That!

Meet & Greet Poster Reception (Harborside)

Culture, community, and climate are the “heartbeat” of a school. Please visit the Heartbeat Café to learn about various programs and strategies known to build culture in a school. The “menu” includes Starters, Community Building Specials, Climate Entrees, Sides, and a Kids’ Menu. Attendees will leave with ideas and resources on building a strong school culture and community. Audience: K-12