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Alexandria, VA (03/12/2013)—ASCD, the international education leadership association, announced today that Milwaukie High School, located in Milwaukie, Ore., is the 2013 winner of the association’s Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. Principal Mark Pinder is scheduled to accept the award on behalf of Milwaukie High School from ASCD Executive Director and CEO Dr. Gene R. Carter at ASCD's 68th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Chicago, Ill., on Sunday, March 17.
Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award recognizes schools that move beyond a vision for educating the whole child to actions that result in learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.
"We are pleased to name Milwaukie High School as our 2013 Vision in Action: The Whole Child Award winner," said Dr. Carter. "Milwaukie's staff works tirelessly to improve their students' academic, social, and emotional growth; expand their educational practices; and sharpen the administration's focus on staff professional development, all to meet the needs of the whole child. Their efforts and results are impressive, and we salute them for this tremendous accomplishment."
The Milwaukie High School staff's dedication to the needs of the whole child was demonstrated by their focus on professional development that supported the concept of equity in action during the 2011–12 school year. The staff's schoolwide commitment to safety began by addressing social justice and equity issues. School personnel have participated in an equity training program called “Taking it Up,” and the school administrative team will attend a five-day equity training event in the coming months.
To further support professional development goals, the school's administrative team formed an Instructional Leaders Team made up of teacher leaders and administrators that meets regularly to guide training that supports teaching and improving student engagement and individualized instruction. The team uses peer observation and feedback as a key component of professional development, and staff members are encouraged to visit their fellow teachers' classrooms to observe instructional mastery techniques.
At Milwaukie High School, incoming students' reading and math proficiency are assessed by trained staff and additional supplementary reading and math courses are provided as needed. Also, teams of staff meet once a week with a group of school counselors, mental and physical health providers, social workers, and administrators to discuss ways to support at-risk students. During these meetings, participants collaborate to build individual intervention plans for these students, which can include academic support, mental or physical health care, or other social services. After implementing these initiatives, the school has seen improvements in reading and math achievement in participating students, and its graduation rate has steadily improved beyond Oregon State's average.
In August 2012, a 2,800 square foot, state-of-the-art health center was opened on the Milwaukie High School campus to meet the health needs of students. To fund this initiative, Milwaukie High School staff helped raise more than $600,000. No district dollars were used to fund the center, whose medical sponsor, Outside In, provides physical, emotional, and dental health services free to all students.
"The staff at Milwaukie High believes that there is more to education than just to teach a student how to read, write, and think critically," said Mark Pinder, principal of Milwaukie High School. "The physical and emotional well-being of students must be nurtured as a part of teaching and learning. When the whole child is educated at Milwaukie High, we are guaranteeing that we will produce a graduate ready to participate as an active, contributing community member."
The strong sense of service Milwaukie High School teachers demonstrate is mirrored in their students' participation in the community. Students support the American Red Cross through two annual blood drives and The American Cancer Society through the Think Pink Week and Relay for Life programs. The school's Habitat for Humanity chapter builds homes year-round, enabling students to help eradicate homelessness in the area. Milwaukie students are also active in a number of environmentally focused efforts, including wetland restoration and salmon hatching projects, as well as internship and practicum programs conducted in coordination with the Sabin Schellenberg Professional Technical Center.
"North Clackamas Schools understands that to build equity and to close the achievement gap, we must level the playing field for each student by first providing for their most basic needs," said North Clackamas School District Superintendent Matt Utterback. "Medical, mental health, and dental health services are the foundation. A culturally competent staff builds on that foundation. Instructional mastery leverages students' academic potential. Students understand the relevancy of their learning through service-learning opportunities, career-technical programs, and the performing arts. It takes each of these pieces, working together, to provide whole child education at Milwaukie High."
Schools throughout North America applied for Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. As the winner, Milwaukie High School will send five team members to be guests at ASCD's Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Chicago, Ill., March 16–18, and the school will be featured on an upcoming Whole Child Podcast. ASCD will continue to share Milwaukie's expertise and exemplary practices with its 140,000 members and the larger education community.
ASCD also offers a variety of additional free resources to schools that globally support the whole child approach to education, including podcasts and blogs. To learn more about ASCD and its work to support the whole child, visit www.ascd.org.
Katie Test, communications specialist, 1-703-575-5608 or by e-mail.
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