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Audio: Building School Culture by Leading with HEART

Village Oaks Elementary School

Novi, Michigan

Alexander Ofili Principal

Building School Culture by Leading with HEART. One of the most challenging tasks for any new principal is creating school culture, particularly when a strong culture already exists. This podcast walks you through the process Principal Alexander Ofili used at Village Oaks Elementary School in Novi, MI, to do just that. Principal Ofili explains, “it dawned on me that I wanted to respect what had already been established, but at the same time, I wanted to clarify what we see as important values.”

With a mix of veteran and new teaching staff and a collaborative spirit, they harnessed the most important principles that represented the school’s culture using the acronym, HEART. He explains in the podcast, “we believe that leading with HEART…creates an environment where kids are going to do their absolute best.” To listen to the full podcast, scroll down. You can download the transcript here.

To see how students at Village Oaks lead with HEART, check out the school’s video on their website https://www.novi.k12.mi.us/vo/.

 

Contact Information
Village Oaks Elementary School
Dr. Alexander Ofili, Principal at time of Nomination
23333 Willowbrook Drive
Novi, MI, 48375-3654
(248) 449-1302
https://www.novi.k12.mi.us/vo/
Student Demographics 2018  
Number of students PreK-6 498
Students eligible for subsidized meals 15%
Students receiving special ed services 6%
ELL 21%
African American students 12%
White students 39%
Hispanic or Latino students 5%
Asian 40%
Two or more races 4%
Student mobility rate 11%

 


Hearts and Minds: Social-Emotional Learning Improves Content Learning

Hearts and Minds features Pinewood Elementary School in Jenison, MI, a suburb of Grand Rapids, where teachers and staff found themselves dealing with extreme student behaviors that disrupted learning. When Principal Rachael Postle-Brown and her staff adopted a “Whole School” approach to supporting positive student behaviors, a host of benefits followed. The approach has three elements: students learn Mindfulness strategies to self-soothe and invite self-reflection, while a Social Thinking curriculum helps them develop oral language skills for resolving conflict and evaluating problems, and Whole Brain Teaching engages them through physical movement and choral responses that aid students in remembering content and academic processes.

Read a transcript of Hearts and Minds: Social-Emotional Learning Improves Content Learning.

Read Pinewood Elementary School’s 2017 National Blue Ribbon School application.

Contact Information
Mrs. Rachael Postle-Brown, Principal at Time of Nomination
2405 Chippewa Street
Jenison, MI, 49428-9116
(616) 457-1407
http://www.jpsonline.org/schools/pinewood-elementary/


Student Demographics 2017

Number of students K-6 371
Students eligible for subsidized meals 28%
Limited English Proficient students 0%
Students receiving special ed services 13%
White students 96%
African American students 1%
Hispanic or Latino students 1%
Students of 2 or more races 1%
Asian 1%
Student mobility rate 3%

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