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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Trusting Students...Now That's a Concept

Often, school rules are developed to curb the bad behaviors of a few kids. That model has been turned on its head at Cross County High School.
David M. Clark
It's an integral aspect of the New Tech High design, which is built around project-based learning and that the school has incorporated this year.
"Trying to create a culture of trust, respect and responsibility -- that's probably one of the most challenging pieces there is," according to Cross County High principal David M. Clark.
"We're trying to restructure how we do things based on the assumption that we can trust our kids rather than based on the assumption that we can't," he said.
So when students are wearing "trust cards," hung around their necks like ID cards, they are able enjoy such freedoms as listening  to their iPods while completing class assignments or going to the school parking lot to retrieve items from their cars without adult escorts.
So far, behavior issues have decreased at the school, Clark says, a good sign that trust works.
More Arkansas students will experience the benefits of this culture of trust next year when a total of 11 Arkansas school districts will be operating under the New Tech High model.

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