The elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, confident learners. Our character education evolution reflects our diversity (20+ languages) and our socioeconomic status (50% of students receiving free or reduced lunch). Our mission is to draw on our diversity, teaching tolerance and developing caring natural instincts. Aligned with cultural traditions, Madison Park families strive to instill core values in their children; we help them connect to and expand them. CEP’s 11 principles, a base for our behavioral and academic expectations stressing common vocabulary, modeling and student responsibility, bring positive self-esteem to students and staff. Dr. Hoeker, former principal of our district’s first NSOC, was appointed to lead our school in 2011, bringing new ideas and renewed staff interest in CE. Facing challenges of 65% of students achieving proficiency on standardized tests, 13% mobility rate and poor student attendance, we formed a core CE team representing staff, students and parents. Using CEP resources, including Alfie Kohn’s vision to intrinsically motivate students, the team met and mutually agreed upon values, initiatives and a plan for moving forward.
Lesson Plan: Exploring Our Cultural Customs
Students interview family members and research their cultural heritage and traditions. The purpose is to share their findings, knowledge, and experiences with classmates.