Schools focus on positive change with new program

Jul 23, 2015 by

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Students find many ways to lead their classmates, whether it’s a class officer or a misbehaving student whom others follow.

Now, Pittsburgh Public Schools is preparing to harness the power of students to lead their classmates toward a better school climate with a new program in conjunction with the Massachusetts-based Efficacy Institute.

The board of Pittsburgh Public Schools Wednesday unanimously approved an agreement to use Carlow University as a location for a four-day summer day camp next month to train about 60 student leaders from Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12, also known as University Prep, in the Hill District to become “student envoys.”

A similar effort will be made for ninth- and 10th-graders at Perry High School on the North Side and Westinghouse 6-12 in Homewood. Both of these schools will add a Promise Readiness Corps, a program that has been successful in some other district schools in which teachers pay particular attention to ninth- and 10th-graders.

“Ultimately, we hope it will accomplish having a positive impact on both classroom and school culture. There will be more positive interaction among peers, and the teaching and learning environment will be more focused on achieving the academic standards,” said Sharae Curd, coordinator of environments that support teaching and learning.

The work with The Efficacy Institute — which promotes the idea that all students can achieve high standards if they have the right tools and support — also includes teacher training, which began at the end of the school year and includes Milliones and PRC teachers at Perry and Westinghouse.

“We want teachers to be able to allow students to dream big and work hard,” said Errika Fearbry Jones, executive director of internal/​external affairs. “Effort equals ability … If there’s no professional development around actually equipping teachers to do that, it’s a great idea that can sort of fall flat.”

Source: Schools focus on positive change with new program | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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