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Palo Alto Elementary Recertified as Leader in Me Lighthouse School

Palo Alto Elementary School recently achieved recertification as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School, demonstrating its commitment to a comprehensive framework fostering students' social, emotional, leadership, and life skills essential for global success. Leader in Me centers its approach on three pillars: culture, leadership, and academics. The announcement, received by the staff and administration on July 27, designates Palo Alto as a lighthouse school for the next two years, signifying its exemplary implementation of the program. Let’s take a deep dive into how this leadership program empowers Palo Alto Elementary School.

According to Palo Alto Elementary Reading Instructional Coach/Interventionist Erica Calderon, the school began its journey in 2017 through a grant from that helped cover the costs of staff training and materials.“The entire Palo Alto faculty, including support staff such as custodians and cafeteria workers, were trained in The Seven Habits of Effective People which is the foundation for The Leader In Me program,” Calderon said. The seven habits that schools are educated to follow include: be proactive, begin with the end of mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand, then be understood, synergize, and sharpen the saw. 

How do these seven habits translate to an education setting? Habits number one, two and three are considered private victories and strengthens our independence as a school. Remaining in charge of educational goals, creating a plan to reach desired results, and implementing strong time management skills are the first layer of habits that Leader in Me emphasizes. Secondly, habits four, five and six pivots to public victories and working alongside other districts successfully. Developing a win-win mentality, formulating reflective thinking, and valuing the diverse opinions of other districts are the habits that complete the interdependence layer of the leadership formula. Lastly, habit number seven hones in on continuous self-improvement and revisiting earlier objectives to refresh the school’s educational plan.These seven principles unites students, staff, and families around the common goal of preparing students for the future they create.

The principal, school administration, and leadership team participated in ongoing training, developed as leaders, and advocated leadership for the entire campus community. Every year leadership principles are effectively taught to all students through direct lessons, integrated language, and staff modeling. Teachers and coaches also sponsored student clubs, trained campus student-leadership teams, and helped students plan and implement community events. Students lead their own learning by using skills to assess their needs, set goals, and carry out action plans. Students from grades K-5 use Leadership Notebooks to track progress toward their goals, monitor daily attendance, and log personal celebrations throughout the year. 

By implementing the training and education from the Leader in Me program, Palo Alto Elementary has transformed their campus with skills that will lead students to academic success. SSAISD is proud to see our campuses grow as an educational establishment and we’re excited for the future of Palo Alto Elementary as they continue to be a lighthouse school.