Capturing Kids' Hearts

Lake Road, Junior High nationally recognized
Posted on 04/26/2018
Lake Road, Junior High nationally recognized

Lake Road and Junior High have been selected among only four schools in Missouri and 123 in the United States as national showcase award winners under the Capturing Kids’ Hearts, program officials have announced. 

“You and your team have created an outstanding environment for students and staff to learn and grow together,” Kelsie Acres of the Flippen Group stated. “During our team’s visit to your school, the positive energy and welcoming tone was evident from the moment they arrived.”

The Texas-based Flippen Group, which administers the professional development, recently scheduled site visits to the nominated schools, interviewing the campus community and gathering quantitative and qualitative data on improvements. 

Capturing Kids’ Hearts teaches processes in order to increase students’ connectedness with both peers and adults on campus, according to a press release from the company. Junior High first piloted the program during the 2013/14 school year. Now a district-wide practice, Lake Road began implementation in 2016. 

A repeat national showcase award winner, Junior High shifted its focus this year to building relationship capacity with students, instating kindness week by initiating an Instagram challenge, and creating a shoutout or affirmation wall. The school continues to offer Teen Leadership I and II as an elective. 

“I felt like our teachers have a firm foundation so we thought we’d work with the student body, building on the additional training we have received from the Flippen Group” as a result of this honor, PBJHS Principal Candace Warren commented. 

Having achieved gold-level recognition under the school-wide positive behavior support program, Lake Road teaches and reinforces expectations in order to improve student behavior. Office discipline referrals are currently on track to be lower than last year, which was already a hallmark year since starting PBIS. While Lake Road has always had classroom expectations, Principal Erica Weadon said having students actually create their own social contract—one of the tools taught under Capturing Kids’ Hearts—leads to more buy-in. 

“I believe it’s helped with our classroom climate, bringing us closer as a community. After you do it so long, it becomes your culture,” Weadon explained. “Now we hold each other accountable for all those [directives] and at some point, you no longer have to hold people accountable—it’s just what they do.” 

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Cutline: Sean Dunphy, Flippen Group leadership development strategist, observes classrooms and interviews students during a site visit last month at Lake Road.

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