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Lacey Elementary School receives Award

2020 Whole Child Award Certificate for Lacey Elementary School Lacey Elementary School receives 2020 Washington State ASCD Whole Child Award

Lacey Elementary School in North Thurston Public Schools has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) State Whole Child Award.

The Whole Child Award is intended to acknowledge and honor a school that has made significant contributions to student learning by creating a school culture with programs that exemplify two or more of the five tenets of The Whole Child Initiative: Healthy, Safe, Engaged, Supported, and Challenged; as well as serve as models for all educators across the state. In addition to the Whole Child Award, Lacey Elementary School will also receive $500, sponsored by SHAPE Washington.

“Receiving this 2020 Whole Child Award celebrates the time and effort our staff, volunteers, and community members have dedicated to helping all students to feel healthy, engaged, safe, supported and challenged,” said Lacey Elementary Principal, Sharon McGourty.  “We strive to create a safe, supportive, and engaging learning environment that promotes the intellectual, physical, and social-emotional well-being of all of our students and staff. We are a Lacey Family.”

A Lacey Elementary Staff meeting in Zoom (screenshot) All Lacey Elementary staff members are trained in trauma-informed practices and social-emotional learning. Additionally, the school initiated a wellness plan to create awareness and positive change around physical and mental health. “We believe that by partnering with families, and local organizations to meet each student’s individual needs and teach healthy habits and skills, we can contribute to the future of our communities,” said McGourty. “By focusing on the development and support of the whole child, we prepare our students for success not only in school, but in life.

The mission at Lacey Elementary School is to partner with students, families, and the community to develop capable, compassionate, and culturally-responsible lifelong learners.

For the past 2-3 years Lacey Elementary has worked intentionally to support the Whole Child. Lacey Elementary serves a population of high poverty as well as students who have been impacted by trauma. Staff members have engaged in many trainings and book studies to really understand their students.

While Lacey Elementary reaches high academic achievement in comparison to schools with similar demographics, teachers and administrators continue to seek more tools, including an additional focus on the Whole Child, to continue their journey to 100% student success. Their work has included numerous initiatives that supports the Whole Child and Social Emotional Learning to provide students the additional skills necessary to be successful emotionally and academically. Those initiatives include:

  • School Wide PBIS implementation to reinforce and reward positive student behavior, to include the Golden Tray award in the lunchroom.
  • “Husky Huddle”- a Morning Gathering where students meet in the Gym to start the school day off in a positive, peaceful manner.
  • School Wide Morning Meeting structure to promote classroom peer interactions (where students can choose how they are greeted) and SEL instruction.
  • Partner with Thurston County Food bank during the school year and summer with an emphasis on fresh and healthy food choices.
  • Trauma Sensitive School Action Plan to provide professional development to staff to best support students and families where they are at academically and emotionally.
  • MTSS structure to review student outcomes in a data-driven fashion to guide decisions and monitor progress.
  • Community partnerships with WISE, Dirty Dave’s, and WSECU to support the health and well-being of their students.
  • Social Skills Recess to reinforce social skills and collaborative problem solving.
  • Sensory paths in and outside the building, sensory room, and Peace Paths.

Students have been taught how to express their emotions positively, as well as, skills for calming down. Each classroom has a break spot that allows students a safe place to feel secure and process their emotions.

The staff at Lacey Elementary meets regularly as a whole and in small groups to differentiate supports for students that need more than just the connection from the morning meeting. Plans are created from these meetings that might allow a student to go to a social group, lunch support, lunch buddies, or many other resources that they have in place at Lacey to meet the child’s needs.

Founded in 1956, as Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, now known as Washington State ASCD, is a community of all educators committed to promoting promising practices to ensure ALL students are safe, healthy, engaged, supported and challenged. For additional information, please contact Executive Coordinator, Carrie Lam.