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The ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference provides a forum and tools for school sites and districts that are working toward a whole child approach to education.
Additionally, the conference expands awareness of ASCD's Whole Child Initiative to educators outside North America.
Watch ASCD members from around the world talk about what educating the whole child means to them.
Please e-mail us your questions or comments.
From May 3–11, 2012, ASCD conducted its second annual Whole Child Virtual Conference. This free online event explores what outstanding schools, communities, and individuals have done as they move along the continuum of the whole child approach from implementation to sustainability to culture.
No matter where your school is along this continuum, there are steps that you have taken, lessons you have learned, and questions you are currently asking yourself to improve and grow.
Many schools may be in the process of implementing a program or a new process to support a whole child approach. Other schools may be looking at how to sustain what has already been achieved or developed. Others still may now be looking at how to integrate a whole child approach into their cultures so that it becomes an integral part of what they do and who they are as a school and a community.
Archived session recordings and presenter handouts are below.
View presentations from 2011.
Thursday, May 3*
Friday, May 4*
Monday, May 7
Tuesday, May 8
Wednesday, May 9
Thursday, May 10
Friday, May 11
* Because of interest from participants outside the United States, we organized two sections of the conference for Australasian and European audiences.
Charles C. Haynes
Theresa C. Lewallen
Michael F. Opitz
Presenter: Sean Slade, director of Whole Child Programs, ASCD
Sean Slade introduces the 2012 Whole Child Virtual Conference for Australasian participants and defines whole child education. The session will outline ASCD's Whole Child Initiative efforts to change the conversation about education and move from a vision for educating the whole child to action that results in successful, well-rounded young people, ensuring that each child, in each school, in each community—and in each country—is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Related resources: Malcolm Price Laboratory School video and Whole Child Examples Map
Download handout (PDF)
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Join moderator Sean Slade and Australasian panel members as they discuss the role of health, mental health, and whole school approaches to school improvement and youth development, ensuring that the foundational aspects of a whole child education are met. The panel members are
Download handouts (PDF)
Sean Slade introduces the 2012 Whole Child Virtual Conference for European participants and defines whole child education. The session will outline ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative efforts to change the conversation about education and move from a vision for educating the whole child to action that results in successful, well-rounded young people, ensuring that each child, in each school, in each community—and in each country—is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Related resources: Whole Child Examples Map and Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization by Yong Zhao
Join moderator Sean Slade and European panel members as they discuss the role of education in society, the purpose of schools in that society, and what we all can do to ensure that each child, in each school, and in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. The panel members are
Sean Slade introduces the 2012 Whole Child Virtual Conference for North American participants and defines whole child education. The session will outline ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative efforts to change the conversation about education and move from a vision for educating the whole child to action that results in successful, well-rounded young people, ensuring that each child, in each school, in each community—and in each country—is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Presenters: Kate Rehm, vice principal, Iroquois Ridge High School, and Nicholle Russell, public health nurse, Ontario, Canada
A holistic network to support the whole child requires the active engagement and integration of the parent community within the school. Learn from Severin about the vital role a Parent Engagement Program can play in your school from initial implementation to sustaining it as part of the school culture.
Iroquois Ridge High School is a mentor site for ASCD's Healthy School Communities program. Watch a video about the school.
Related resources: Videos (one | two | three) about the Iroquois Ridge High School Parent Engagement Program from the presentation and the school's session on Parents: A Vital Part of the School Community from last year's virtual conference
Please note: There is no archive of this presentation.
Presenter: Mike Anderson, professional development specialist and consulting teacher for Northeast Foundation for Children
Mike Anderson is a teacher, writer, and consultant who works with teachers and schools across the United States and Canada. His book, The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Out, helps highlight the challenges that today's teachers face as they struggle to maintain their love and passion for teaching in the midst of increasing stress and pressure in education. Anderson offers suggestions for how teachers can take good care of themselves personally and professionally. If schools are going to foster a whole child approach to education, their teachers need to be healthy, safe, supported, engaged, and challenged as well.
Related resource: Whole Child Podcast on the whole child needs a whole teacher
Please note: There is no handout for this session.
Quest Early College High School was selected as the 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award recipient because it has taken specific steps and produced exceptional results to ensure that high school students from all backgrounds are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. From Quest's inception in 1994, its founders envisioned a school that would address not only the academic needs of its students, but also their emotional, social, and civic needs. Watch a video about the school.
Join moderators Kim Klepcyk, principal, and Barbara Yeatman, curriculum coordinator, and a student panel as they share what makes them healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged at Quest Early College High School. The students will also present their ideas as to how the Whole Child Tenets might be replicated at other schools. The panel members are
Related resource: Whole Child Podcast on college, career, and citizenship-readiness in the 21st century
Presenter: Deborah Wortham, superintendent of the School District of the City of York, Pa., and former assistant superintendent for high schools and director of professional development for Baltimore City (Md.) Public Schools
Deborah Wortham is a veteran in transforming schools and is a member of the ASCD Faculty. Throughout her career, she has served as the Teacher of the Year; principal (elementary, K–8, and high school); and director of professional development, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. Learn from Wortham as she explores the Whole Child Framework and examines key components of effective principals leading a whole child school.
Related resource: Educating the Whole Child: An ASCD Action Tool
Presenter: Jim Roberts, superintendent of Batesville Community School Corporation, Ind., United States
Jim Roberts is the superintendent of the Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) in Batesville, Ind. BCSC began a coordinated approach to both student and staff wellness during the 2004–05 school year and is involved with ASCD's Healthy School Communities program. Learn from Roberts as he details efforts to implement, sustain, and institutionalize a whole child education approach.
Related resources: Creating a Healthy School Using the Healthy School Report Card: An ASCD Action Tool, 2nd Edition and BCSC's sessions on Coordinating School Health Program: A Sustained Approach and Team Batesville: A Community Engagement Activity from last year's virtual conference
Presenter: Peter DeWitt, principal of Poestenkill Elementary in New York and author of the Finding Common Ground blog for Education Week
Principal and author Peter DeWitt discusses the imperative to create inclusive and supportive school environments for all students. Through real-life vignettes in his recent book, Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students, DeWitt discusses the needs of LGBT students and provides specific examples of how school leaders and teachers can help create an inclusive environment that will be beneficial for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Presenters: David Rawnsley, principal of Byrne Creek Secondary School, and Lynn Archer, director of instruction for the Burnaby School District, British Columbia, Canada
Byrne Creek Secondary School, located in British Columbia, Canada, is the winner of the 2012 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. This annual award recognizes schools that have moved beyond a narrow focus on academic achievement to take action for the whole child, creating 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. Learn from Rawnsley and Archer as they outlines how, since it opened in 2005, the school has been committed to providing a safe, caring, and comprehensive learning environment for its 1,250 students—many of whom are refugees from war-torn countries.
Related resources: "Byrne Creek Secondary: A Collaborative Community Opportunity" and "The Story of H.E.A.R.T." on the Whole Child Blog
Presenter: Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center and director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum, Washington, D.C.
At a time when religious and cultural differences are at the heart of major challenges at home and abroad, it is imperative that schools equip students to live in a world of diverse religions and beliefs.
Related resources: Religious Freedom Education Project and Face to Faith
Presenter: Donna Snyder, manager of Whole Child Programs, ASCD
Donna Snyder introduces the Whole Child Network (WCN) of schools and its comprehensive school improvement approach using the Whole Child Tenets and indicators (PDF). Through the WCN, ASCD will focus on helping schools, community members, educators, families, and policymakers move from a vision about educating the whole child to action. The WCN will be a hands-on field effort to change the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the development of children who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged within a sustainable approach to education and community engagement.
Presenter: Michael F. Opitz, professor of reading at the University of Northern Colorado
Michael Opitz, a former elementary school teacher and reading specialist, and currently professor of reading at the University of Northern Colorado, is well known to teachers, instructional leaders, and researchers as the author of numerous professional and curricular resources. He also supports schools across the United States through extensive professional development work around his most recent publication, Literacy Lessons to Help Kids Get Fit and Healthy. Learn from Opitz as he outlines how and why literacy and fitness can and should be combined and how this takes place in the classroom, during physical education, and across the school.
Related resource: Whole Child Podcast on integrating movement across the school day
Presenter: Mike Rulon, education consultant and school turnaround specialist
Mike Rulon has 30 years' experience in teaching, coaching, and consulting. He works with schools to improve student achievement by focusing on the child as a whole and facilitates ASCD's Assessment for Learning Professional Interest Community. Learn from Rulon as he shares how teachers can make classrooms more responsive to each learner instead of focusing only on what is deemed "good teaching."
Related resources: Born to Learn from the 21st Century Learning Initiative and Rulon's session on Measuring Achievement Through a Whole Child Approach of Assessment from last year's virtual conference
Presenter: Maurice Elias, professor with the Rutgers University Center for Applied Psychology, director of the Social and Emotional Learning Lab, and academic director of the Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships program
This presentation will review the rationale for systematically assessing the climate in your school and provide practical suggestions for how to accomplish this task. Learn from Elias as he leads a discussion on how to improve classroom climate in ways that teachers find empowering and not threatening. A feedback process, called a Data Review and vital for success, guidelines, and school examples will be shared.
Related resources: Building Learning Communities with Character: How to Integrate Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators
Presenter: Matt McClure, superintendent of Cross County Schools in Cherry Valley, Ark., and winner of the 2012 ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award
Matt McClure is superintendent of the Cross County School District located in Cherry Valley, Ark., and is the recipient of the ASCD 2012 Outstanding Young Educator Award. He has led a district effort of focusing on the needs of the whole child through several programs and initiatives. Watch a video about McClure and the Cross County School District.
Learn from McClure as he explores the Whole Child Tenets and shares examples of how one district ensuring that all children are educated in an environment that is healthy, safe, supportive, engaging, and academically challenging.
Presenters: Theresa C. Lewallen, MA, CHES, managing director of Constituent Programs, ASCD, and member of the Healthy People 2020 Adolescent Health Work Group; Amy Walters, MS, director of Student Services and Healthy School Programs, South East Education Cooperative, Fargo, N.Dak.; and Laura Rooney, MPH, adolescent health program manager, Ohio Department of Health
This session will present examples of how public health can help schools address barriers to learning so all students can achieve at high levels. Learn from the presenters as they share how a regional Educational Service Center is facilitating on-the-ground connections between schools and health supports. Participants will explore the process for tying health outcomes with educational outcomes—these outcomes are inextricably linked—as part of the school improvement process.
Related Resource: HealthyPeople.gov
Presenter: Jason Flom, former teacher and teacher leader, current director of learning platforms for the Q.E.D. Foundation, and ASCD Emerging Leader
Gaining access to the VIP lounge of students' brains takes more than the muscle of a worksheet and a deadline. Engagement, authentic challenge, support, and no small amount of emotional and physical safety are required to gain and sustain access. Learn from Flom as he shares emerging trends in neuroscience research and how they can be leveraged to cultivate a schoolwide community of learners committed to the whole child.
The Q.E.D. Foundation is an organization that works to create and sustain communities where each individual is empowered to use his or her unique voice effectively and with integrity in co-creating our public world.
Related resource: Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd Edition by Eric Jensen
Presenters: David Griffith, director of Public Policy, ASCD; and Efrain Mercado, lead strategist for Common Core Standards, ASCD
Within a whole child approach (PDF), we must raise questions about school culture and curriculum, instructional strategies and family engagement, and critical thinking and social-emotional wellness. We have an inherent understanding that no single program or initiative provides the silver bullet for school improvement, but rather that the application of child-adolescent growth and development theory in the context of learning within a specific community creates the opportunity for each child to succeed. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a crucial step toward ensuring such an approach.
Related resources: ASCD and Common Core State Standards resources, webinars, and professional development institutes
Bob Sullo, author, education consultant, and instructor for the William Glasser Institute
A former classroom teacher, school psychologist, and administrator, Bob Sullo is the author of numerous books about student motivation, including Activating the Desire to Learn and The Motivated Student: Unlocking the Enthusiasm for Learning. Sullo defines genuine student engagement that honors the whole child (rather than trying to control) and identifies practices to engage and inspire our students. Meaningful school improvement will only be achieved when we genuinely engage students rather than continuing our efforts to control them—even when it's "for their own good."
Presenters: Diane Allensworth, professor emeritus, Kent State University; and Elaine Auld, chief executive officer for the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)
This session will inform health educators, teachers, school administrators, and community leaders of the five main recommendations of an expert panel to reduce health disparities in children and youth. Learn from Allensworth and Auld as they describe the health and education implications for children and youth living in poverty and demonstrate how the school system can support effective evidence-based programs and initiatives.
The Society for Public Health Education provides global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion, promotes the health of society, and is a whole child partner organization.
Related resources: Making the Case for Educating the Whole Child and the SOPHE-ASCD Reducing Health Disparities in Youth Webinar Series
Presenters: Liliana Aguas, 2nd grade Spanish immersion teacher at LeConte Elementary School, lecturer in the graduate school of education at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley, and winner of the 2012 ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award; Benjamin Goff, farm/garden specialist at LeConte Elementary School; and chef Kathy Russell, cooking and nutrition instructor at LeConte Elementary School
LeConte Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif., has the longest running school garden in the district. Learn from Aguas, Goff, and Russell as they share the school's farm/garden and cooking programs and spotlight two schoolwide annual events: the Juiceathon and the Long Bean 400. These activities promote a healthy lifestyle and can be easily replicated at other schools. Watch a video about Aguas and LeConte Elementary School.
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