Douglas County School District Program provides opportunities to learn 21st century leadership and life skills -
January 20, 2015, Paula Hans - Legacy Point Elementary School has been named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by Franklin Covey Co. This is a national honor that recognizes outstanding achievements in school and student outcomes, through the implementation of the The Leader in Me framework. It also celebrates the extraordinary impact the framework has on staff, students, parents and the greater community.
“Leader in Me has changed the entire culture and climate of the school,” said Legacy Point Elementary Principal Joanna Polzin. “Students own everything they do, because they utilize in the Seven Habits. They are proactive with the choices they make. They ‘speak first to understand’ other students and where they are coming from, before they speak. They believe in ‘sharpening the saw.’ When we say ‘sharpen the saw’ that means I need to go out and play. I need to take a break from my learning.”
The Leader in Me journey has been supported by everyone in the school community. In fact,
Legacy Point created Lighthouse Teams to keep students, staff and parents updated and part of the collaborative process.
“We are thrilled to recognize Legacy Point Elementary as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” said Sean Covey, the Education Practice Leader at Franklin Covey. “Schools who achieve the Lighthouse Milestone are great examples of a strong leadership model and of what it means to be a Leader in Me school. This school has experienced transformational results by implementing the paradigms and practices related to The Leader in Me. We are so pleased to celebrate the success they are experiencing.”
Polzin says the principles of the Leader in Me framework perfectly align with the Douglas County School District’s Strategic Plan, including measuring what matters most as outlined in the System Performance priority.
“Our students have become skilled in setting meaningful goals backed by purposeful plans. Furthermore, our students create and maintain systems to track academic progress, so that they are in control of their learning. Through the Leader in Me, our students connect to timeless principles that promote lifelong growth and success,” Polzin said.
Additionally, Polzin says the framework is also an example of Choice. She says a number of families have chosen Legacy Point because of its Leader in Me program.
Want to learn more about the framework and see it firsthand? On January 30, the school will be hosting a Leadership Day, which will include student tours, as well as student and staff panels, so that educators and parents can learn about the Leader in Me framework and its impact. Please call Legacy Point's front office at 303-387-8725 if you are interested in attending.
“They will be able to visit classrooms and see, first-hand, how Leader in Me works,” Polzin said.
About Leader in Me
The Leader in Me is Franklin Covey’s whole school transformation process. It teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to K12 students and creates a culture of student empowerment, based on the idea that every child can be a leader.
The Leader in Me framework helps students learn how to become self-reliant; Control their emotions; Set and track goals; Do their homework; Prioritize their time increase interpersonal skills, such as resolve conflicts and interact well with others; As well as assisting those through the development of the skills and self-confidence needed to lead their lives and succeed.
While The Leader in Me is not designed specifically as an academic program, many schools have reported that its goal setting and data tracking processes have helped to clarify academic priorities and encourage students to take greater ownership over their education, all of which can impact academic progress.
Leader in Me utilizes a number of leadership and educational models and processes, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; The Four Imperatives of Great Leaders; The 4 Disciplines of Execution; and social emotional learning and organizational quality models from past and current thought leaders. Content from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a key component of the overall Leader in Me process. The 7 Habits is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal and interpersonal effectiveness, such as: responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration and renewal, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures. Additionally, training on establishing a vision for the school, goal setting, data tracking and personal accountability systems are also included.
The Leader in Me differs from other whole school transformation processes in that it offers a holistic, school wide experience for staff, students and parents and creates a common language and culture within the school. The leadership principles and lessons are not taught as a curriculum, but instead, are incorporated into the coursework, traditions, systems and culture.
The Leader in Me process is implemented as follows:
• School staff identify a new vision for the outcomes they want for their school (e.g. decreasing discipline referrals).
• School staff learn The Leader in Me principles and tools (The 7 Habits and other leadership principles) and begin incorporating the leadership principles in their work and relationships (e.g. learning how to work more cooperatively with each other).
• School staff model the behaviors to their students.
• Teachers are taught how to incorporate the leadership principles and tools into school culture and curricula.
• Key elements of the leadership model are implemented into the school, including:
o Teaching students how to set, track and achieve goals;
o Reinventing the physical environment to reinforce the vision and outcomes for the school (banners, signs, murals);
o Holding studentled conferences (parent/teacher), giving each student a leadership role within the school and studentled leadership events;
o Using a common language of leadership;
• Parents play an important role in supporting their children in the process.
• School staff, students and parents utilize a number of resources (lesson plans, videos, student materials, teacher editions, posters, books and TheLeaderinMeOnline.org) to help them implement and reinforce the process.
The Lighthouse Milestone is a highly regarded standard set by Franklin Covey that is attainable by every Leader in Me School. The attainment of the Lighthouse Milestone represents a significant benchmark and it is evidence that a high standard has been met by a school. Applying for the Lighthouse Milestone typically occurs three to five years after a school begins
The Leader in Me process.
Becoming a Leader in Me Lighthouse School is a recognition that schools earn because they have produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes and have demonstrated the following:
• The school campus environment reinforces the leadership model by displaying leadership language that emphasizes individual worth and potential in hallways and classrooms.
• Teachers integrate leadership language into school curriculum and instruction.
• Staff collaborates and works together to effectively build a culture of leadership.
• Students are provided with meaningful, student leadership roles and responsibilities, such as mentor, public speaker, school tour guide and greeter.
• Parents are given opportunities to learn The Leader in Me model and the 7 Habits and are involved in activities that support the leadership model.
• A system is in place for setting and tracking schoolwide and classroom academic and personal goals.
• Leadership events are held to allow students to practice their leadership skills (e.g. public speaking, sharing data, confident greetings, etc.) with community business partners, parents and other educators.
• The school leadership team meets regularly and oversees school wide implementation of the leadership model, with the help of students, staff, parents and community members.
• Measureable improvements in teacher engagement, parent satisfaction, student behavior and academic alignment are shown by comparing baseline data with the tracking of ongoing data.
Leader in Me schools, which have proven adherence to the process, report increases in the following: student selfconfidence, teamwork, initiative, responsibility, creativity, selfdirection, leadership, problemsolving and communication for children of all ages, socioeconomic levels, learning capacities and cultural backgrounds.
Schools also report achievement in the following key outcomes: fewer discipline referrals and suspensions; improved teacher, student, parent satisfaction and engagement; general student behavioral improvement; improved student leadership skills; enhanced school culture; and selfdirected learning.
Based on the results of a recent random survey of 260 Leader in Me principals conducted by Westgate Research, 99 percent of principals reported that The Leader in Me had a “very positive” or “positive” impact in their school and 87 percent said they were “extremely likely” to recommend The Leader in Me to another school principal. Additionally, several third party, multiyear studies are now underway and Franklin Covey is also collaborating with independent institutions to measure outcomes of The Leader in Me process.
Since its official launch six years ago, nearly 2,000 public, private, charter and magnet schools across 35 countries have adopted The Leader in Me. Educators continue to offer feedback on best practices, which provides continuous improvement and refinement of the process.
Douglas County School District is Colorado's third largest school district, serving 67,000 students. Visit the District website at www.dcsdk12.org
Douglas County Media Relations contact, Paula Hans, Public Information Officer, at [email protected] or 303.387.0031