Charter schools, or independently run public schools, have increased flexibility over operations. While this additional freedom is exciting, it often comes with its own unique challenges.
In this episode, Certified Instructor and charter school administrator Lindsey Merrick talks to Master Instructor Jill Molli about her Conscious Discipline journey. Currently in its fifth year as a school (and fifth year of implementation), Lindsey’s school has experienced great success with Conscious Discipline. She shares how Conscious Discipline helped her staff get through a difficult first year, explains why the program has been such a success at her school, and offers helpful tips for other administrators.
• Creating a Staff Family and sending as many staff members to the Summer Institute as possible have been keys to the school’s success with Conscious Discipline.
• Conscious Discipline is modeled by and for parents at orientation, Open House, and PTA meetings.
• Other schools in the district and from as far away as Pasco County come to visit classrooms and observe what teachers are doing.
• Parents of children who have come from other schools frequently comment that their child’s anxiety levels have dropped (including anxiety about testing, bullying, and going to school in general).
• Third grade students at Lindsey’s charter school scored the highest in the district in reading proficiency. 91% of students tested at or above grade level.
• Funding was an initial hurdle to Conscious Discipline implementation. The PTA holds fundraisers each year to send staff members to the Summer Institute.
Steps for Tomorrow
• Start by building a Staff Family. Focus on keeping your staff connected, and that will carry you through early challenges and reduce staff turnover. It’s also important to build relationships with PTA leadership.
• Send staff members to Summer Institute as often as possible. Lindsey’s school has sent 19 staff members, and at least one of the two teachers in each classroom has been to Summer Institute.
• When deciding which teachers to send to Summer Institute first, focus on your transformers. Identify teachers who are already implementing, are excited about Conscious Discipline, and want to learn more.
• ConsciousDiscipline.com (https://consciousdiscipline.com/)
• Professional Development (https://consciousdiscipline.com/professional-development/)
• Free Resources (https://consciousdiscipline.com/free-resources/)
• Shubert’s School (https://consciousdiscipline.com/freeresources/shubert/)
• Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor Lindsey Merrick
• The NEW Conscious Discipline Book- Expanded & Updated
Conscious Discipline E-Course: Building Resilient Schools and Homes
Greeting Apron (https://consciousdiscipline.com/product/greeting-apron/)
0:20 What is Conscious Discipline?
1:35 Introduction of guest Lindsey Merrick and the history of her charter school
3:00 Deciding on Conscious Discipline as the SEL curriculum
5:53 Background information on the charter school system
6:50 Academic successes
9:32 Why Conscious Discipline has been so successful at Lindsey’s school
13:40 Conscious Discipline with parents
14:45 Collaborations with other schools in the district
17:41 Feedback from parents and students
19:45 Biggest hurdles to implementation and how Lindsey’s school overcame them
24:15 What’s Becky up to?
24:35 What’s Becky celebrating?
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