Author: Cathy Ames-Director of Curriculum and Instruction at CCSC

 

According to the Indiana Youth Institute’s Kids Count Data Book of 2021, 31% of Foster Youth lost academic and secondary support during the pandemic.  Children living in poverty increased by 15.2%.  25.9% of Hoosier high school students did not feel safe at school and the absenteeism rate in schools doubled from Fall 2019 to Fall 2020. Prior to Covid, almost one-third of Hoosier students in grades 6-12 reported feeling sad or hopeless for two or more weeks in a row.

 

Social-Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitude, and skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

 

Even though social-emotional learning is not an identified subject like English or math, there is a strong need for it to be interlaced into the framework of a school’s curriculum.  Academic lessons that foster a sense of self-awareness, empathy, and inclusiveness allow students to see the relationship between their learning and the world around them.  This helps students better cope with emotional stress, solve problems, and avoid peer pressure.  On average, successful and well-implemented social-emotional interventions and programming increase student academic performance by 11%. These programs also have a positive impact on teachers and are best suited for success when it begins in the kindergarten classroom.  

 

Cloverdale Community School Corporation is committed to teaching and educating the whole child. We understand that our students come from a range of different backgrounds, hold different beliefs, and have varying capabilities, but also understand that each and every one of our students has a genius inside them and it is our job to help develop that genius.  This year CCSC is adopting a new program called Leader in Me.  It is a research-based program designed to address social-emotional needs, college and career readiness, and the development of a strong leadership culture.  

 

Leader in Me is a three-five year program through Franklin Covey Education and has been purchased through ESSER II and ESSER III funds.  It is a program based on a theory of change known as the See-Do-Get Cycle.  When you change the way you See things, it influences what you Do and the results you Get.  Instead of focusing on academic measures alone, Leader in Me embodies a holistic approach to education, redefining how schools measure success.  This approach equips educators with effective practice and tools to teach leadership to every student, create a culture of student empowerment, and align systems to drive results in academics.  Leader in Me schools believe that anyone can be a leader by intentionally leading one’s own life and working positively with others through encouragement, in order to see the greatness in others, whether that is their own family, friends, neighbors, or even colleagues.  This program bridges the gap that most students feel between home and school, by helping to develop other life skills that they need to maneuver the challenges of a growing society and workforce. Students become focused on their “end in mind” which works to accelerate achievement and decreases incidences of off-task behaviors.  

 

Leader in Me will be implemented in all three Cloverdale buildings and will focus on a safe, healthy, and supportive environment with additional support for student academic achievement.  The school community will work on creating a cultural change within our buildings, by lifting student and teacher morale, decreasing behavior referrals, and helping students to find their own voice by being proactive in their actions and deeds. It is the goal of the Cloverdale Community School Corporation Leader in Me program to create Clovers who are proactive, thoughtful, and positively motivated into becoming the leaders they were all destined to be.