Central Academy of Technology and Arts (Monroe, NC). Central Academy of Technology and Arts strives to develop students emotionally and socially. As a school we develop our students through intensive involvement in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, advisory periods, and Culture of Respect, our character development program. Our Advisory program, a school-based initiative, engages teachers in mentoring a group of students from across the academies and staying involved with those students throughout their high school careers. An Advisory committee of experienced teachers and counselors designs activities that promote ideals consistent with our school mission: decision-making, personal achievement (academic and community involvement), problem solving, study skills, communicating with peers and adults, resume writing, and effective citizenship through character development. Activities are differentiated based on grade level and all teachers participate in brainstorming ideas for the year at staff meetings. The Advisory committee focuses these ideas to create monthly advisory activities that coincide with progress reports and report cards. Two to three times per year students meet in Academy-based advisories where they work with students at different grade levels, learn how their academy impacts other areas of study, and explore how their everyday learning leads to their academy’s overall learning goals.
Challenger Intermediate School (Goddard, KS). Each month we concentrate on a different core character trait. Our teachers work with students on the identified trait throughout the month. Our counselor generates content and lessons, and staff regularly teach the content. At the end of the year, we celebrate our students’ success with character trait awards. All awards are peer nominated and presented at our year-end assemblies. Challenger students are engaged in managing their classrooms, actively working with teachers to create a social contract and a decision-making framework. The social contract is reviewed daily. There is a focus on a social contract word of the week, which is highlighted in our morning announcements, video announcements, and in each classroom. The consistency and visibility of the words and contracts are important in holding one another accountable. To reinforce this, each person who is a part of the classroom signs the social contract.
The staff set high expectations of themselves and all students. On almost a daily basis, we use the CHAMPs (Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, and Success) model to review these expectations. This model is used throughout the building, which helps everyone know what is expected in classrooms, the school, and beyond. During PLC time, our counselor and administrator facilitate personal development discussions or host social time in the gym.