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Building a Community of Learning

Excerpt from EL Education's Core Practices: A Vision for Improving Schools

Created By

EL Education

Topic

  • Academic Achievement
  • Character Education
  • School Culture

The foundation of a successful school is a community that brings out the best in students and staff. A school climate and culture built around clear expectations, rich traditions, and an intentional climate of learning supports students and staff in promoting academic success and compassionate character.

The foundation of a successful EL Education school is a community that brings out the best in students and staff. The school climate is characterized by safety, kindness, joy in learning, and positive leadership by staff and students. The school’s mission encompasses academic success and compassionate character. The school celebrates both student academic growth and character development. Teachers and school leaders communicate clear expectations for student character and model those values in their own practice. Policies and practices encourage students to take responsibility for learning, to demonstrate empathy and caring, and to be stewards of the school.

A. Clear School-Wide Expectations

  1. School-wide expectations for student character and behavior are founded in a commitment to learning and respectful community.
  2. The school formally documents a set of character traits (i.e., a code of character) to which all students and staff members aspire. Those traits include both relational character (treating others well) and performance character (doing one’s best), so that success as a good person and success as a scholar are joined. All school members—students and staff—are held accountable for upholding the code of character.
  3. School faculty members explicitly teach and refer to the character traits in classrooms. They are used daily to acknowledge positive or challenging behaviors. Teachers support students to make connections between character and their academic success.
  4. The school establishes policies and procedures that celebrate character traits and hold students accountable to them. Character achievement is identified in progress reports, disciplinary protocols, awards, and public acknowledgments.
  5. When students or teachers report student progress, learning targets for academic growth are separate from learning targets for character. Both are important.
  6. Adults model the character traits with students and in their professional relationships.
  7. The character traits are practiced in the lunchroom, in the halls, during recess, before and after school, and whenever students represent the school in the community.

Download this resource to read the full text.

Created By

EL Education

Topic

  • Academic Achievement
  • Character Education
  • School Culture

The foundation of a successful school is a community that brings out the best in students and staff. A school climate and culture built around clear expectations, rich traditions, and an intentional climate of learning supports students and staff in promoting academic success and compassionate character.

The foundation of a successful EL Education school is a community that brings out the best in students and staff. The school climate is characterized by safety, kindness, joy in learning, and positive leadership by staff and students. The school’s mission encompasses academic success and compassionate character. The school celebrates both student academic growth and character development. Teachers and school leaders communicate clear expectations for student character and model those values in their own practice. Policies and practices encourage students to take responsibility for learning, to demonstrate empathy and caring, and to be stewards of the school.

A. Clear School-Wide Expectations

  1. School-wide expectations for student character and behavior are founded in a commitment to learning and respectful community.
  2. The school formally documents a set of character traits (i.e., a code of character) to which all students and staff members aspire. Those traits include both relational character (treating others well) and performance character (doing one’s best), so that success as a good person and success as a scholar are joined. All school members—students and staff—are held accountable for upholding the code of character.
  3. School faculty members explicitly teach and refer to the character traits in classrooms. They are used daily to acknowledge positive or challenging behaviors. Teachers support students to make connections between character and their academic success.
  4. The school establishes policies and procedures that celebrate character traits and hold students accountable to them. Character achievement is identified in progress reports, disciplinary protocols, awards, and public acknowledgments.
  5. When students or teachers report student progress, learning targets for academic growth are separate from learning targets for character. Both are important.
  6. Adults model the character traits with students and in their professional relationships.
  7. The character traits are practiced in the lunchroom, in the halls, during recess, before and after school, and whenever students represent the school in the community.

Download this resource to read the full text.

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