We are thankful for the opportunity to work with 25 schools in the Cedar Valley region. This month’s school feature is Lincoln Elementary which is a part of the Cedar Falls Community School District. Each month, we have the opportunity to ask questions to schools in our region about the impact of Leader Valley and Leader in Me. Thank you so much to Principal Ralph Bryant for taking the time to share this information.

What paradigms are integral to creating a leadership culture at your school?

We believe that everyone can lead, from our staff to our students. We also believe that when we connect our students and staff to important work, they will best connect to our school community. We structure our student opportunities and Lighthouse work around this paradigm.

At our Lighthouse meetings, we quickly break into our WIG groups and these smaller teams facilitate the work of the goals we are pursuing, This allows our staff to find an area of passion and work intensely in that area. It also ensures that we all have leadership roles on the team. For our students, we have worked to expand the leadership roles we offer by asking them what our school needs and working to support them in setting goals using the 4DX process. 

What are your school’s “big rocks” as it relates to creating a leadership culture?

We are focusing on learning, leading and building school pride. Our learning work is focused on asking our staff to set small, attainable goals to model the process for our students. We will work this school year to have our students set academic goals that can be tracked and shared with their families at conferences.

Our leading work involved our Student Lighthouse Team as well as connecting our students to leadership roles in the building. We have held a monthly leadership rally to discuss their roles and connect them to an adult champion. Last, our school pride work helped create monthly leadership assemblies where we celebrated our students and school with student provided music, teaching, and student recognitions.

Lincoln Elementary Cedar Falls Community School District

What are the results you have seen as it relates to leadership, culture, and academics?

Our school climate has been positively impacted by our work to directly teach the 7 habits, provide leadership opportunities, and use leadership assemblies among other activities to build student connection and pride in our school.

Our students truly enjoy the opportunity to be involved and work with our staff. Our school pride assemblies were very important to the culture of our school. We believe that when students are connected to our school, we will help them perform their best in the classroom and contribute to a positive environment both in school and in our community.

What are a few key stories that illustrate the impact of Leader in Me for students?

We have many! Our assemblies, our Kindergarten students and team teaching our school about goal setting, goal setting at all grade levels, leadership jobs, our monthly news program created by students called Lincoln (Not So) Live, our work to live our beliefs about leadership and TEAM LINCOLN

One of our favorites is a story of a 1st grader who struggled with attendance. We “hired” him as an office assistant and he stayed on for many, many months past our original plan. His attitude about school and attendance improved while he made connections and improvements in school.

Lincoln Elementary Cedar Falls Community School District

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