Potterville Elementary School named a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 12:21 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Potterville Elementary School has recently been named one of the Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH) National Showcase Schools for the 2020-2021 school year. This reward helps celebrate districts where educators go above and beyond to create safe and connected learning environments for the students.

Potterville Elementary School was one of the 325 schools selected across the country to receive this award.

“Our National Showcase School awardees have found unique ways to continue to build positive learning environments where students are excited to attend, whether virtually or in person,” said Ashley Giles, spokesperson for Capturing Kids’ Hearts.

Potterville Public Schools (PPS) began to implement a district-wide social emotional learning (SEL) tool to encourage a culture shift in the district.

CKH was introduced in the fall of 2019, and since then every employee of the district has been trained.

As a result, many parents and guardians felt that their child has made a stronger connection with their teachers. PPS’ SEL approach has empowered teachers at all grade levels to build stronger relationships with students.

“One aspect of this approach includes utilizing social contracts. Each classroom implements a social contract for the class to design themselves and “sign.” This allows students to hold each other accountable for being a responsible and respectful citizen,” said Patrick O’Rourke, principal of Potterville Elementary School.

Phase two of the program will start before the 2021-22 school year. It will be called Capturing Kids’ Hearts 2, which focuses on self-reflection and improvement of the staff.

“Since implementing Capturing Kids’ Hearts at Potterville, the small town ‘everyone is family’ feel has only amplified. The children feel welcomed as soon as they are greeted at the entrance to the building each day. All staff, from office support to teachers and administrators and everything in between, make sure the children know each and every day that they are in a safe and caring environment,” Parent, Ashley Harris, shared.

PPS will receive a banner to display to the community for the accomplishment of being a National Showcase School.

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