(NOVEMBER 2017) Green Valley Elementary is using Conscious Discipline to steadily increase its state scores, decrease problem behavior, increase social-emotional skills and pay it forward within their community.
Three years ago, Green Valley Elementary School received an “F” school grade from the state of Indiana and was designated a priority school in need of improvement.
Green Valley sought a better model for running their school and found it in Conscious Discipline. In the first year of its Conscious Discipline journey, Green Valley’s state score rose from an “F” to a “D.” This year, the school continued its steady improvement by earning a “C” grade from the state. Green Valley has also seen a significant decline in physical altercations and suspensions since implementation began.
“We have been dedicated to finding the best academic approaches, as well as implementing Conscious Discipline in our school,” says Dr. Heather Finn, Assistant Principal. “We truly believe that the focused attention on teaching students self-regulation skills and modeling composure as adults has greatly impacted our school.”
School counselor Christy Heiligenberg says she has seen more consistency with self-regulation skills among students in the upper grades over the past few years. “Third and fourth graders at Green Valley have stronger skills for calming themselves when they are upset and handling upset overall. They also have learned assertiveness and how to communicate appropriately when feeling angry or upset with other students,” said Heiligenberg.
Heiligenberg believes the positive results among the older students are the direct result of the skills they begin learning in the younger grades, including using a Big Voice, seeing conflict as an opportunity to learn and grow, and connecting with each other as part of a School Family.
As for the younger grades, Kindergarten teacher Brad Green says he sees stronger connections and more empathy among students since implementing Conscious Discipline in his classroom. “They quickly learn to use their words with each other using Conscious Discipline. They help each other solve problems, they notice when friends are upset or sad, and they offer support,” Green said.
This school year, Green Valley Elementary is paying it forward by sharing Conscious Discipline in the community through a partnership with the Prevent Child Abuse Council. Green Valley will be hosting monthly meetings for Floyd/Clark County Council members at their school. In these meetings, Finn, Heiligenberg and Council President Ann Carruthers will introduce Conscious Discipline concepts and strategies to the community.
Green Valley is also extending their community impact by hosting Parent Café events, inviting parents to the school for breakfast and an introduction to the Conscious Discipline skills their children are learning during the school day.
“We are thrilled to continue growing as a staff and as a School Family,” Finn said.