Renfro special education teacher Mary Anne Hempsted observes, “This school is the most welcoming place that I have ever worked. People respond to any need.” Renfro’s teachers and students connect through class meetings and the cross-grade level Renfro “families.” Each family creates their own silent family greeting that they use whenever they encounter a “family member” in the halls. Renfro defines character to include thinking, feeling, and doing and takes a very comprehensive, intentional, proactive approach to character education. Carrie White, parent of a second grader and a kindergartner, praises the common language used at the school, which carries into the home, and observes that the words mean the same at school and at home. Entire classrooms of students are recognized for showing good character, not individuals. Third-grade teacher Carolyn Demaree says, “Every adult cares for the students in this school and holds them accountable.”
Lesson Plan: Caring for Our School's Family
Students will identify ways to show caring for others. Students will learn about the jobs performed around their school. Students will express their gratitude to people who work in the school.
Promising Practice: Build-A-Bear Service-Learning Project
Students create teddy bears and donate them to a local children's hospital.