The Polite Times™
|A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.|
|Vol IV, No 03||
President’s Corner – Social Skills and School Violence
Dear PoliteChild family, supporters, and friends:
I generally try to make this part of our newsletter uplifting and inspiring every month, but in the last week something has occurred that is laying heavy on my heart. Try as I might, it won’t go away, and so, it’s to this event – and in memory of those involved who have lost their lives, or have been injured – that this Corner is dedicated.
Last week, our nation was rocked again by another incidence of school violence; this time in Minnesota. We have three of these major milestones to remember now: Columbine, Colorado; Springfield, Oregon, and now – our nation’s heartland. To say I’m profoundly disturbed about these events is an understatement. Lives are lost and even more are irreparably changed, and not usually for the better.
In response, I wrote a letter
to the Editor at USA Today. I don’t
know if it’ll be published, but I’d like to share it with
you in this newsletter. We have a real crisis on our hands, and I don’t
know how many more lives will need to be sacrificed before we start
seriously looking at how to prevent violence in our schools and neighborhoods,
and stop merely trying to put a bandaid on an existing problem. So,
without further words, here’s my letter submission.
I don’t know if you agree with me or not, but I couldn’t just sit by and not say anything. I’d like to hear your views on the subject, and even your suggestions on how we can raise the visibility of this important issue.
If you have any comments about this month’s Corner, a topic in the PolitePress or something else you’ve read or seen, please email me at email@example.com. Until next month, stay safe, and stay kind.
Corinne Gregory, President & Founder
The goal of this trip was to begin a dialog with leaders at a national level for how improvement can be (and are being!) made in our educational system that will result in better learning environments, happier and safer students and staff, fewer disciplinary issues, and increased test scores. Ms. Gregory was able to take with her information about the improvements in academic achievement at schools that have implemented PoliteChild, and shared those with the individuals she met with.
This is only the first of several meetings she expects to have in the near future. Subsequent meetings are being planned with other members at the congressional and senatorial levels, as well as leaders inside the Department of Education.
There are other national-level organizations that are requesting information about PoliteChild, its courses, and its accomplishments. And, in May, the first of a number of district-level presentations is scheduled for a local California school district.
We expect that it’s not going to be long before PoliteChild gains national attention, at the levels of our country’s leadership. We need to address the issue of improving our kids’ social skills as part of education reform. After all, what good are all the dollars, time, and energy we’re presently throwing at academic improvement if we don’t have students’ attention, and if they don’t take their jobs as students seriously?
And, wouldn’t it be nice if we not only developed good students, but good people too!
This is a repeat from last month’s newsletter, but this news is so important, we think it ’s worth repeating!
Along with the improved student behavior, decreases in disciplinary issues and actions, improved teacher and staff morale, increased student time-on-task, better family dynamics…and more, now we know this:
PoliteChild programs have a positive effect on academic test scores!
Late February, we received a report from the Desert Sands Unified School District that showed a 10-13% improvement in students’ 2004 academic test scores at Dr. Carreon Academy (public K-5 in Indio, CA) compared to how those students did the prior year at their previous non-PoliteChild schools from where they came to Dr. Carreon. While the detail of the information is really too much to put into this newsletter, the report is based on a study of 237 students at Dr. Carreon who came from other schools in the District, and shows double-digit growth in academic achievement over how they did in 2003. And, interestingly enough, the students that remained at the “feeder” schools only saw 0-4% increases in academic growth in 2004.
We are repeatedly asked what quantitative proof we have of the benefits of The PoliteChild programs in schools. While we have tons of anecdotal evidence, and reports of improvements from principals, counselors, teachers, parents, and students, up until now we haven’t had “hard data” to show how improvements in social skills can lead directly to improvements in academic success. It’s certainly intuitive that a student who is respectful, disciplined, and paying attention is better prepared to learn than one who is unruly, disorganized and doesn’t take his or her job as a student seriously, but having concrete numbers that show a comparison are worth their weight in gold.
These test scores are certainly interesting and make yet another compelling case for why PoliteChild is working. But, even more interesting will be this year’s (2005) test scores because one of the “feeder” schools in last year’s study has since brought PoliteChild in as well. It’ll be intriguing to see how this school rates when the scores are released because so many schools are haunted by the “Improve or else” directive under No Child Left Behind.
Now that we’ve alerted other PoliteChild schools to what they have seen at Dr. Carreon, we expect that they will start looking at their current test scores to see what differences PoliteChild has made at their sites, and in their students’ academic performance. As we get that information, we’ll be sure to continue to share it with you.
As more schools look to us to help with their behavior management, character education, anti-bullying, and social skills improvement efforts, now they can add the question of “what is it worth to see double-digit improvement in next year’s test scores?” to their mix of considerations.
If that doesn’t make it worthwhile, we don’t know what will!
For more information how PoliteChild can improve your school’s academic performance, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 866.485.4089.
Since we announced our first release of our training DVD, we’ve received a lot of inquiries about it. And, we’re starting to ship set to schools and organizations across the country.
Before the creation of this first product, teacher training was offered only as traditional on-site instructor-led training to schools who had licensed the PoliteChild programs and materials for its students. Now The PoliteChild will be able to better serve the increasing demand we are seeing for our training and licensed curriculum.
This 4-DVD set is based on the The PoliteChild’s introductory SocialSmarts™ for GradeSchoolers course and contains the entire 6-hour session, but organized in such a way that training can easily be divided up to allow for flexibility with how often and/or how long each training session lasts.
While expect this will ever totally replace instructor-led, it certainly offers an attractive and affordable alternative for schools and organizations who may not always be able to accommodate the scheduling challenges substitutes or in-service days present. And, by having the training on DVD, it allows for larger audiences than might be able to attend at a typical school or district if only instructor-led training were available to them.
And, this is only the first of an on-going set of distance-learning offerings we will be developing in the coming months, so stay tuned for more announcements on this exciting topic.
For more information on the DVD or to order your copy, please contact
us at 866.485.4089 or email@example.com.
|Next Licensee Training|
Good news for all of your prospective licensing candidates and others
interested in starting a PoliteChild business of your own! Our next
scheduled PoliteChild Licensee training will be held in the Southwest
Region in Palm Desert in Mid-May. Get ready for the busy summer and
upcoming academic year, and join us at this valuable training.
If you’re interested in joining our growing list of authorized PoliteChild affiliates across the nation – and now, shortly, internationally, – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 866.485.4089. We’re especially interested in finding providers in the Portland, OR area, as well as in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and Texas, where we’ve had a lot of inquiries from parents and schools.
Come be a part of our life-changing mission and build a satisfying, rewarding business at the same time!
More and more, we are getting contacted by parents and grandparents asking us how they can bring our life-changing courses to their private or public school. Now that we’re able to show schools that not only does PoliteChild improve the behavior of students and the overall culture of the school, but now also results in better academic achievement, the demand for our program has shot up. We’re getting contacted by schools – both public and private – about how they can implement our courses and start taking advantage of the benefits PoliteChild offers.
The PoliteChild has long provided private classes using our instructors and schools’ facilities. The more popular option now is for schools to license our curriculum and our materials and to bring our classes in as a part of the school’s core curriculum. This means that PoliteChild is more than just a separate lesson plan or class, it becomes a way of doing business in school. It’s just “the way we do things” in the classroom, on the playground, and in the community.
Schools that bring PoliteChild to their site in this way see the following
With our train-the-trainer program, your child’s teacher can become the PoliteChild facilitator, so there’s no loss of continuity in the classroom, and it adds to the perception that PoliteChild is a way of being, and not just another new thing to study. Teachers will gain back valuable time in the classroom and after-hours as they will need to spend less time on discipline issues and behavior management, which means more productive time for learning.
And, you parents will notice a difference, too, in your children’s attitudes and behaviors, which you can reinforce using our companion “Parent’s Guide” that comes with each and every PoliteChild class.
For more information on what classes we offer, or how to get started drop us an email at email@example.com or call us at 866.485.4089!
|What do you want to know?|
Do you have something you’d like to see us cover or have a question you’d like us to answer (privately or through our newsletter)? If so, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 866.485.4089!
We read each and every one of your letters and take your input seriously!