Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award
Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award is designed to recognize schools that have gone 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. This award acknowledges those schools that have changed the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the development of the whole child: a child who is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
2013 Vision in Action: The Whole Child Award Recipient
Milwaukie High School
Milwaukie High School (MHS) was selected as ASCD's 2013 Vision in Action award winner because it has taken specific steps to ensure that high school students from all backgrounds are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Located just south of Portland, MHS educates 1,330 students in grades 9–12 and has partnered with over 11 community organizations and agencies to support its students. It is an example of what can happen when schools and the communities partner and commit to a whole child approach to education.
Academically, MHS challenges each student through all levels of rigorous instruction and participation in curriculum. Education is personalized for students in the path they may choose to follow after high school. At the core of the Milwaukie High program is to make students college-ready when they graduate. Not all students will go to the university, but all students need to be able to read, write, and think critically; problem solve; and work with others in team situations.
In August 2012, a 2,800 square foot, state-of-the-art school-based health center (SBHC) was opened on the MHS campus to meet the health needs of students. To fund this initiative, the MHS 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. This year, SBHC is open to middle school students in its feeder system.
To help meet student and families' needs, the high school has partnered with community organizations to provide food items and clothing. The Oregon State University Extension service and the Oregon Food Bank offer a once-a-month harvest share, where surplus fruits and vegetables from the community are shared with families that would like to receive them. The distribution occurs on the school campus near the end of the school day. There is also food pantry in school where students may get healthy snacks if they are hungry during the school day. MHS has also opened a clothes closet for its students called the Mustang Heart, which is run by the leadership classes to provide warm clothing for students during the cold part of the year.
To learn more about Milwaukie High School and its approach to a whole child education, read the press release.