Leadership and Excellence

Washington Elementary

Developing Leaders through The Leader in Me

We are excited to kick off the new school year. Each year is an amazing opportunity to start fresh with new goals and expectations for success. At Washington Elementary, we are committed to developing the whole child through rigorous academic experiences, exploration of the arts, physical activity, technology and music. It is our vision that students will develop the skills and mindsets to lead their own lives, to be able to work effectively with others and make a meaning contribution wherever they go in life. To help us achieve this vision, we utilize the Leader in Me framework and the language of leadership outlined in Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

We recognize the importance that our students are knowledgeable when they leave our system; they must also be healthy, engaged, responsible, and caring people. The Leader in Me provides our school with the vision and language to lead us in a way that addresses all areas of development. As each child discovers and develops his or her unique gifts and talents, they are given opportunities to lead. As leaders, they become active, engaged partners in their own education and their self-confidence, responsibility, and initiative grows. The students quickly understand the benefits of different gifts and talents; they learn to listen to new ideas, work together to achieve results, and motivate one another to be the best. We are excited to partner with parents and community to watch each and every child grow throughout the year.

Why are we focused on creating a culture of leadership and excellence?

Research shows a positive culture within a school can connect students to learning. Such things as a safe and respectful environment, supportive and personalized learning experiences, and personal relationships allow students to develop a deeper connection with the school community and attain educational success. We believe that providing authentic opportunities for student leadership will increase engagement and support our mission to ensure all students acquire the skills to be life ready.

What are our desired outcomes?

  1. A safe and supportive environment focused on developing leadership capacity in all students.

  2. A student centered culture with a laser like focus on our primary purpose of student learning.

  3. An environment where differences are embraced and celebrated.

  4. Healthy relationships where every student has at least one adult advocate and peer friendship.

  5. Develop the skills and mindsets that allow students to lead their own lives, to be able to work effectively with others and make a meaningful contribution wherever they go in life (Stephen and Sean Covey, Leader in Me).

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Throughout the school year students and teachers will learn the language of leadership through the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Monthly lessons in cross-grade level groups, mentoring opportunities, leadership jobs and other activities are planned to support the growth of all students.


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What are the characteristics of a leadership and excellence culture?

To provide students with the structure and support for success in elementary school, we believe developing a culture of leadership and excellence must include the following characteristics:

* High expectations for participation & engagement
* Explicit instruction, authentic learning experiences and leadership development

* Student voice, goal setting and reflection
* Positive relationships & personalization

* Commitment to community

Key Features

Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS)

Washington Elementary has developed four positively stated expectations that serve as our community behavior norms.

  1. Provide Respect
  2. Act Safely
  3. Work Hard
  4. Show Responsibility

Our PBIS system is based on the following beliefs:

  1. Behavior is learned and serves a specific purpose. It tells a story.
  2. Behavior is related to the context within which it occurs.
  3. Misbehavior is an opportunity to teach underdeveloped or missing skills.
  4. Children will learn new skills when they feel safe and connected to the adults, and supported by their peers.
  5. What we focus on - We get more of.

Mentoring; Wildcat 2 Wildcat

Students will have multiple opportunities to engage in authentic leadership and mentorship experiences in an effort to strengthen our school community and support the growth and development of our students.
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Wildcat Spotlight: Leadership & Excellence Wall

Washington Elementary has designed a space in the foyer area to recognize leadership and excellence in our school. Teachers and staff will post and display student and staff examples of excellence in achievement and leadership.