We are Capturing Kids’ Hearts at Freedom Crossing Academy!
Freedom Crossing Academy is dedicated towards increasing positive student behavioral outcomes and fostering positive relationships. Our goal is for all students to feel connected, supported, and valued every day. We are proud to be recognized as a National Showcase Capturing Kids Hearts Model School for the second year in a row.
Capturing Kids Hearts is a process that is focused on building positive relationships and empowering students to become leaders in the school and community. Freedom Crossing Academy creates a positive culture by utilizing Capturing Kids Hearts best practices throughout the entire school campus. On a typical morning, music and dancing fills the hallways. Students are greeted with a friendly smile and a high five from students and staff. Teachers greet students when enter the classroom. Our students share “good news” during their morning meetings and begin each day with a launch of the school’s vision and mission statement.
In every classroom, social contracts are created to promote a family friendly atmosphere and positive learning environment. The social contract, a signed agreement between teachers and students, promotes a self-managing, highly effective learning environment of productive relationships, teamwork, and leadership. Daily group roles help students develop leadership skills and responsibility. During each lesson, the social contract becomes a tool for community building and positive behavior within the classroom. Students are recognized for demonstrating these expectations from both their teachers and peers. We believe these strategies foster positive relationships and promote a positive school culture.
Learn More About Capturing Kids Hearts best practices at Freedom Crossing Academy
Throughout the school year, our students and staff write positive and uplifting affirmations to their classmates, staff members, and community members. Our students are actively engaged in spreading positivity and kindness throughout the community.
Freedom Crossing Academy is intentional about making connecting with our students and creating a safe, nurturing, and positive learning environment. Our staff greets our students every morning at their classroom door with a friendly smile and a “high five” or “fist pump.” Mr. Price, Elementary Resource Teacher, loves to play his guitar during morning arrival. Also, our safety patrols greet students every morning with a friendly smile and a “high five” by wearing a fun character glove.
At the beginning of every class period, from morning meetings in grades K-5 to the first 5 minutes of every middle school class period, all students and staff start their class by celebrating good news. Teachers assign “Good News Ambassadors” (a classroom group role in all grade levels). The “Good News Ambassador” facilitates the good news discussions with the class. This group role may change daily or weekly depending on the teacher. In K-5 classrooms, our teachers assign “Teacher Helpers” to ask follow-up questions. Some classes have classroom stages where students stand tall and proud to share their good news while other classes create hand signals from snapping or clapping after students share their good news.
Our goal is for every teacher, including all elementary resource and middle school electives, to create self-managing classrooms where everyone has a shared agreement and commitment to the behavior expectations in the class. During the first two weeks of school, our teachers focus on building relationships, developing the classroom social contract, and empowering our students by assigning group roles. Every K-8 classroom assigns a student “Greeter” who is responsible for welcoming visitors into their classroom and reviewing the social contract. In some classrooms, teachers assign “Social Contract Raters” to rate the class on their behavior. For example, teachers may choose “one word” to focus on for the entire day or for a specific lesson and the rater will determine if the class achieved their goal.
Freedom Crossing Academy teachers use the EXCEL model to effectively communicate with students, “ What are we learning today.” The EXCEL model, which is posted on the whiteboard as the daily agenda, help our students know where to look to see the learning target of the day. In addition,students see real world examples of the learning target so they can see the end result of their daily learning.
Each morning, our students eagerly tune in to our engaging morning news show. As the program concludes, our student news anchors set the tone for a day of learning by reciting our school vision and mission, “Take Flight and Break Barriers.” The launch of our school vision and mission is a huge part of school culture.
FCA Morning News Show Students “flap their wings” when they recite the school-wide launch, “Take Flight and Break Barriers.”
Additional information about Capturing Kids Hearts: https://www.capturingkidshearts.org/about