Bayard Public Schools will soon be providing students and staff with the opportunity to develop skills sought after by Fortune 500 companies.
On Thursday, November 9, 2017, the Nebraska State Board of Education authorized the Commissioner of Education to approve a School Support and Academic Enrichment Grant to Bayard Public Schools for $78,302. Through these grants, schools can focus on improvement in at least one of the following areas:
1. Well-rounded Educational Opportunities
2. Safe and Healthy Schools
3. Effective Use of Technology
These funds will allow Bayard Public Schools to partner with FranklinCovey Education to engage staff and students in the “Leader in Me” whole school transformation process that teaches 21st-century leadership and life skills to students based on the idea that every child can be a leader. The process will include the development of improved practices in the areas of Leadership, Culture, and Academics. Anticipated school outcomes include understanding and meeting the needs of the whole child, bolstering engagement through effective student collaboration, and providing better opportunities for student-led learning.
Leader in Me is an international initiative developed by FranklinCovey based on the seminal work of Dr. Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Leader in Me focuses on four principles: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, an intentional focus on identifying and cultivating special gifts and talents, authentic learning and leadership opportunities, and the development of essential soft skills.
Through the process of becoming a Leader in Me school, Bayard students will have the opportunity to experience improved outcomes on the following measures: Personal Effectiveness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Industry and Perseverance, Whole-Person Wellness, Confidence, Social Etiquette, Group Leadership, and Public Speaking. Additionally, students are expected to experience heightened outcomes in Reading Proficiency, Math Proficiency, Growth Mindset, Student Motivation, Self-Efficacy for Self-Regulated Learning, Self-Efficacy for Enlisting Social Resources, and Academic Goal Achievement.
Additionally, students attending Bayard Jr./Sr. High School will have the opportunity to earn the same industry standard certification that Fortune 500 companies purchase for managers within their organizations.
Bayard Superintendent, Dr. Travis Miller, indicated that the initial idea for focusing on training that directly benefits students was Mrs. Tammy Tillman’s idea. “Mrs. Tillman was passionate about the idea that our grant application should focus specifically on benefits for students. We took that idea, talked to community partners and parents, looked at other initiatives, and decided, if this training is good enough for the executives at Fortune 500 companies, then we should provide it for our staff and students, too.”
Mr. Matthew McLaughlin, Bayard Elementary Principal, shared some history at Bayard Elementary with the Leader in Me process. McLaughlin explained, “Our staff recently engaged in a “Leader in Me” book study in partnership with Kelley Rice and 4-H/Nebraska Extension. We have already been implementing improvements in our school through this process. We are excited to take everything to the next level alongside our friends at FranklinCovey.”
Mr. Thomas Perlinski, Bayard Jr./Sr. High School Principal, indicated an expectation of improvement for students and staff, stating, “This grant allows our students and staff to build capacity as 21st-century leaders and learners, we look forward growing as a community of learners.”
Lynn Brown of the FranklinCovey organization describes this process as “College and Career Readiness at its best.”
Implementation of these programs will begin during the current school year.
Dr. Miller was optimistic about the potential for the school and community as a result of the grant funding. Miller shared, “To provide a world-class education, we need to focus on the culture of our schools and our community if we are going to achieve the levels of performance that we know our students are capable of attaining. This grant will provide the opportunity for us to make that transformation in partnership with of one of the most successful corporations in the business of promoting success. As a result of this process, we anticipate that we will promote an even higher quality and well-rounded education to every student. While we already have an excellent school, we are looking do develop enhanced conditions for safe and healthy students who achieve even higher levels of personal and academic excellence.”