As part of its effort to highlight its 2012-13 class, the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana has selected the Critical Values Team of Portage Township Schools as its December Innovator of the Month.
The team created a unique model that encourages students to pursue character, courage and knowledge, said Portage Township School Corp. Superintendent Ric Frataccia. These qualities were selected from a global search and influenced by principles that founded the nation, all part of a philosophy of continuous improvement.
“We are proud of our heritage as a blue collar school corporation in reaching for the best ideas to push the minds of our students forward," Frataccia said.
This project calls for the values of compassion, honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage.
Since launched in 2008, this multi-phased project that started at the high school is being implemented district-wide involving 8,000 students. The district team now links these values to a set of 40 research-based qualities called “developmental assets.” These assets include family support, setting boundaries and expectations, commitment to learning, peaceful conflict resolutions, and positive identity.
“Our goal is for every student to possess at least 12 of these assets,” Frataccia said.
Typically, under-performing students possess less than half of these assets.
Using Critical Values linked to the assets, teachers have a tool to identify areas for individualized improvement using differentiated instruction.
“Knowledge, skills of thought, strength of character, and physical health are necessary for all students to achieve happiness and fulfillment,” Frataccia added. said.
The society is part of the Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center of Ivy Tech Community College Northwest.
For more information, call O'Merrial Butchee, director of the Lamkin Center at (219) 981-4942, or John Davies, assistant director, at (219) 981-1111, ext. 2292.