At Monday night’s (2.25.13) regularly scheduled Worthington Board of Education meeting the students and staff from Worthington Estates Elementary School provided an update on their school renewal program “A Leader in Me.”
Almost a decade ago now, former Worthington Assistant Superintendent Mark Glasbrenner charged Worthington Elementary Schools with creating a renewal of their school program. The renewal was to be generated by staff, students and families and help all students learn the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. Each of our elementary schools individualized their programs to meet the unique needs of their school communities. At Worthington Estates the school community decided to adopt a leadership development program “The Leader in Me” from Franklin Covey.
Last night’s presentation in front of several hundred people was done completely by the elementary age students. As we arrived to school students looked us in the eye and shook our hand with a firm handshake. They then led us to a table where students were ready to share their data notebooks with adults. Each page of the data notebook outlined a students learning goal, and as students were assessed on their learning progress, they graphed their progress and set goals for how they could make greater progress.
After reviewing several data notebooks the formal presentation began. Students from all grade levels described each of the eight habits from the Leader in Me and how they implemented the habits both into their life at school and at home. I was impressed not only with their grasp of the material but even more so by their confidence in speaking publicly to a room full of adults.
With 602 current students Worthington Estates is the third largest school in Worthington behind only TWHS and WKHS. All 602 students at Estates are learning critical life skills, that when they become habits, will potentially support them for years to come. If my own children (or if I myself) internalized habits such as “Put First Things First” and “Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood” I believe they would transferable have skills for success in any environment.
School renewal in Worthington has been a mixed bag. We have seen some unbelievable successes such as Worthington Estates, Phoenix, IB Programs, etc…we have seen school make some really positive changes without total transformation and we have had other schools struggle to really internalize the process. In 2013 we are comfortable that all of our schools in Worthington are unique by choice and they all provide a consistently high level of education. Their uniqueness is designed and fostered to serve the community in which they reside.
Monday night was Worthington Estates’ night to shine. Shine they did! Principal Tom Forsgren and the Worthington Estates teaching staff should be incredibly proud of their efforts. Proud of last night for certain, but more importantly, proud that they have invested their time and efforts into a program and as school that is dedicated to helping all students reach greater success today and into their future. It’s really a “win-win.”