We are excited about the great things we are doing at Stratton Elementary! Last year Stratton Staff members were trained in the Capturing Kids Hearts (CKH) program. We left this training inspired to make some changes to our school community through intentional positive school culture and climate.
This amazing program outlines a process staff can use to help build meaningful connections between staff and students, students and their peers, and between staff and families. The goal is to Capture Kids' Hearts in order to capture their minds. Research shows that when students feel more connected to their school and staff, they achieve higher academic success and are less likely to have behavior or attendance issues. Students thrive when they feel cared for and engaged!
A central piece of CKH is the SOCIAL CONTRACT. A Social Contract is written by the community of each classroom to establish guidelines and expectations for how students and teachers will treat each other. Students work together to develop this contract and the teacher acts as a facilitator to encourage discussion. The Social contract is designed to help students internalize and practice character traits and skills that they will use in their future lives. The goal is to help students develop "Self-managing" skills. The Stratton staff also creates a Social Contract each year that governs how we treat one another and hold each other accountable throughout the school year.
The EXCEL Model* helps show Stratton students that teachers here care about their experience in our school.
ENGAGE: Administration greets every student walking in the front doors in the morning with a smile and a handshake, high-five, fist bump, etc. Teachers personally greet each student at the classroom door with a smile and welcome.
X-PLORE: Teachers and staff look for opportunities to listen and interact with students, not just here at school but also about their lives outside of school. Studetns enjoy sharing "Good Things" each morning with their peers and teachers. Teachers affirm students' personal experiences while showing a genuine interest in the students' thoughts and feelings.
COMMUNICATE: We believe the interactions in classrooms should be a dialogue between teachers and students, as well as between students and their peers, with the teacher serving as a resource and facilitator of learning. This facilitation is focused around the classroom Social Contract, embedding those ideals into the daily schedule and lessons.
EMPOWER: Teachers and staff empower students to self-manage and peer manage behaviors in school when appropriate, and to problem solve on their own when appropriate.
LAUNCH: A conscious effort is made each day to close the day with a positive thought, and inspirational quote/video/activity, or with affirmtations. Through this process we hope to inspire students to enjoy their evening at home and look forward to coming to school the following day.
Capturing Kids' Hearts is a process that involves many components. We have only shared a portion with you here but we hope it provides some understanding of its usefulness as well as some of the strategies. We at Stratton Elementary strive to focus on what matters most-our students! We stay focused by asking ourselves daily "Are we capturing their hearts today?"
For additional information please call Stratton Elementary's office to meet with the Principal or a staff member. (719)328-3400
*The EXCEL Model is a Capturing Kids' Hearts registered Trademark