Creating a Culture of Achievement for 2014-15

This school year my campus will begin teaching students about going to college.  I had the opportunity to see Damen Lopez from No Excuses University speak at our community college about a year or more ago.  I was so inspired and so were my principal friends.  I came back to campus fired up but with the day-to-day tasks of a typical school year I put it on the back burner.  Even though we are not an official "No Excuses Campus", I am implementing Lopez's ideas this school year.  Small steps, right?

No Excuses University is based on the idea that "Every student deserves the opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares them for college if they so choose to attend." Systems are in place to help teachers and students prepare and believe they can attend college.  When teachers believe in their students, students start believing in themselves too.  
Wild About College- is our theme this year.  I created this bulletin board today.  Each teacher will post where they attended college, their major and words of advice to the students.  Each month we will designate a day to wear a college jersey.

I totally understand that not every student will go to college.  That's not the point.  The point is that we prepare them and then they decide.  This idea of going to college needs to begin early in their school years.  Since my campus is 2nd-4th grade, we are instilling a love of learning early.  Hopefully, I will be able to attend the full trainings so we can be an official No Excuses campus.

Here is a short video of Damen Lopez, founder of No Excuses University

To be an official No Excuses University school you must apply your campus.  It is not an easy process and requires the principal to attend several days of training.  It also requires 100% commitment of your staff, parents and students.  

Book:  No Excuses University: Hundreds of Schools - Thousands of Students One Big Dream

These are just a few ideas behind his movement.  However, to learn more about the 6 systems from No Excuses University, you can go to his website here.

The Six Exceptional Systems are: culture of universal achievement, collaboration, standards alignment, assessment, data management, and interventions.  While your school may have good practices framed around these ideals, it is known that great schools create and implement exceptional systems in which one system is built upon another.

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