Education news

West Side Elementary School in Catoosa County announced Tuesday, Jan. 5, the school has been certified and named as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by FranklinCovey Education.

This recognition is evidence that the school has produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes, by implementing the Leader in Me process with fidelity and excellence. It is also because of the extraordinary impact the school is having on staff, students, parents, and the greater community.

Robert Mountjoy, principal of West Side Elementary, said, “We are honored to have been certified and named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. We have seen amazing results from implementing the Leader in Me process at our school, such as improvements in student learning, confidence in our students, and an increase in parent involvement. We have seen success in student attendance, a decrease in student discipline referrals, and it can be contributed to students taking ownership in their education. This process not only has had a significant impact on all students, but our staff as well. Having these tools helped us navigate a pandemic by staying focused on our “big rocks.” Leader in Me will always be considered best practice at West Side Elementary.”

Leader in Me is an evidence-based, K-12 comprehensive whole-school transformation model and process — developed in partnership with educators — that empowers students with the social emotional, leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. Leader in Me helps schools create well-rounded learners by developing the whole-person and preparing students to become life-ready learners.

The process unites students, staff, and families around a common goal to prepare students with college, career, and life-readiness skills that are necessary to thrive in today’s ever-changing, fast paced environment, such as: critical thinking, creativity, self-discipline, vision, initiative, communication, relationship building, goal achievement, public speaking, global awareness, social-emotional learning, teamwork, listening skills, time management, leading projects, self-directed learning, valuing diversity and problem-solving.

Lighthouse certification is a highly regarded standard set by FranklinCovey Education that is attainable by every Leader in Me school and occurs as a result of implementing Leader in Me with fidelity. As it is a significant benchmark, applying for this certification typically occurs three to five years after a school begins the Leader in Me process.

FranklinCovey Education has designed the Lighthouse Rubric to establish high standards for quality and, ultimately, school outcomes. Schools use the Lighthouse Rubric to measure outcomes in three areas: teaching leadership principles, creating a leadership culture, and aligning academic systems. Schools also measure their success as it relates to their unique school. Lighthouse Schools serve as exemplars to their community and to other schools.

Sean Covey, president of FranklinCovey Education, said, “We are thrilled to recognize West Side Elementary as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. Schools who achieve this Lighthouse certification are great examples of a strong leadership model and process, and of what it means to be a Leader in Me school. This school has experienced transformational results by implementing the principles and practices related to Leader in Me. And, we are so pleased and honored to be their partner and to celebrate the success they are experiencing.”

Since its official launch nearly a decade ago, nearly 5,000 public, private, and charter schools across 50 countries have adopted the Leader in Me process, while nearly 600 schools have achieved the prestigious Lighthouse certification. It is earned by schools that demonstrate the following:

♦ The principal, school administration and staff engage in ongoing learning and develop as leaders, while championing leadership for the school.

♦ Leadership principles are effectively taught to all students through direct lessons, integrated approaches, and staff modeling. Students are able to think critically about and apply leadership principles.

♦ Families and the school partner together in learning about the 7 Habits and leadership principles through effective communication and mutual respect.

♦ The school community is able to see leadership in the physical environment, hear leadership through a common language, and feel leadership through a culture of caring, relationships, and affirmation.

♦ Leadership is shared with students through a variety of leadership roles and student voice leads to innovations within the school.

♦ Schoolwide, classroom, family and community leadership events provide authentic environments to celebrate leadership, build culture, and allow students to practice leadership skills.

♦ The school utilizes the 4DX® process to identify and track progress toward Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) for the school, classroom, and staff.

♦ Students lead their own learning with the skills to assess their needs, set appropriate goals, and carry out action plans. They track progress toward goals in Leadership Notebooks and share these notebooks with adults in student-led conferences.

♦ Teacher planning and reflection, trusting relationships, and student-led learning combine to create environments for highly engaged learning.

West Side Elementary will maintain its Lighthouse certification for two years and will continue to foster its growth and proficiency in exemplifying a leadership culture and principles. At the end of the two years the school will recertify its Lighthouse certification through a virtual self-assessment, describing and celebrating its growth and accomplishments since its original Lighthouse designation.

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