College Park Elementary School (Greendale, WI). College Park Elementary values and encourages student leadership by inviting 4th and 5th grade students to serve on leadership teams. For example, the leadership teams of students review general behavior data, determine an area in need of improvement, and create a plan for improvement. In 2018, students focused on reducing conflicts on the playground. They determined that the playground did not support engaging recess play for all students. In groups, students created a map of the playground to meet the needs of all students. They reached consensus on a plan after measuring the area, considering a budget for new equipment, and sharing their ideas and final plan with the building, the grounds director, and the PTO Board. Based on the student recommendations, the school painted new games on the blacktop area and purchased additional equipment. Their work led to a decrease in recess conflicts in 2018-19. In addition, the 4th and 5th grade students continue to review data, set goals during the year, determine community organizations to support, strategies to engage students in their learning, and help create the adjustments necessary for school improvement.
Nolley Elementary School (Akron, OH). “I can see the leader in you!” is one of Nolley Elementary’s slogans to promote student leadership. Nolley’s school culture revolves around the Leader in Me program and the concepts and terminology of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Nolley displays student work exhibiting these habits, with inspiring quotes, and visual academic goal boards. Students are taught to assume leadership in their own learning by creating Wildly Important Goals in their Leadership/Data notebooks. Nolley recognizes students when they achieve their goals. Nolley also recognizes students who exhibit the seven habits through the Leaders of the Month, the Principal’s Award, and/or the Caught Being Good Leaders. The students’ pictures are on display at the school and on the school’s website. The school holds an annual Leadership Day for parents, fellow educators, and community leaders. Students showcase their growth and ownership in academics and their leadership potential. Students serve as greeters, tour guides, speakers, and photographers. This day is a source of pride for students and staff.
Chesterfield Elementary School (Chesterfield, MO). Chesterfield Elementary School uses the Leader in Me process to develop each student into a leader of his/her own learning. They encourage each student to identify their strengths and interests and become a leader. Students develop academic and behavior goals and then monitor their progress using a goal binder. Chesterfield’s Leader in Me program focuses on nine-character traits of responsibility, respect, perseverance/effort, caring, cooperation, honesty, courage, patience, and self-control. The school encourages students to take an active leadership role in the school and spearhead community service projects. The Student Leadership Team includes representatives from grades 3-5. The team brainstorms ideas on how to improve the school as well as lead community outreach projects. Some of their ideas have addressed School Spirit Day, indoor recess cart, and helping the Humane Society. For the last four years, students have hosted a Leadership Day where every student is highlighted as a leader in some capacity.
St. Petersburg Collegiate High School (SPCHS) (St. Petersburg, FL). SPCHS Leadership Program helps students develop leadership skills and gain important career and life skills (e.g., interviewing skills, ethical leadership). The leadership philosophy focuses on service, collaboration, and continual improvement. The program starts in the sophomore year and builds students’ foundational leadership skills. Juniors and seniors may choose high school and/or college courses so that they earn a high school diploma and an associate in arts degree. In the junior year, students learn skills that will help them in a business environment (e.g., business etiquette, dressing for success, and communication skills). College professors assess juniors on these skills during their Leadership Luncheon performance demonstration. Juniors also start developing an online portfolio (an archive of high school and college work). Seniors take a college leadership course, assume leadership roles, and complete their e-portfolios. By graduation, students’ portfolios highlight various aspects of leadership, academic accomplishments, and business etiquette skills. Students showcase their e-portfolios with parents and community representatives at the Senior Capstone networking event.
Toll Gate Elementary School (Pickerington, OH). Toll Gate Elementary promotes and recognizes each student as a leader. The school’s Eight Great Traits includes the Seven Habits of Happy Kids and an eighth habit – find your voice and inspire others to find theirs. Students who demonstrate one or more of these traits daily receive leadership badges. Students wear the badges for the entire school day and have opportunities to share with other students during Morning Meeting. The school uses leadership passports to track data related to continuous demonstration of the habits.
Student Leadership Teams meet twice a month and include all students in first through fourth grade. Students complete an annual survey to select their team of choice. The school offers a wide range of teams that allow students to engage in planning and implementing school-wide projects, community service, or exploring potential interests. Examples of teams include: Marvelous Math Minds, Robotics and Coding, and Girl Power. Each team is facilitated by staff members and parents who share a passion for a team’s focus.