JHS named Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School

JHS Capturing Kids HeartsJOHNSTON, Ia. (May 6, 2024) — In a surprise staff meeting after school, JHS Principal Ryan Woods excitedly announced Monday that Johnston High School has been named a “Capturing Kids’ Hearts® National Showcase School” for the first time.

“It’s been a journey in the three years since the pandemic,” Woods told JHS staff members. “I really do think that the culture has shifted. I think culture leverages all the good things that are happening. We really are strong in all we do. This is a celebration. We’ve come a long way.”

The national award recognizes and celebrates schools that go the extra mile each day to create the socio-emotional safety conducive to learning — building an environment where students and staff feel safe, connected and eager to learn. The award also recognizes outstanding educators who make a difference in children’s lives. This year, Johnston was among 612 schools nationwide selected for the recognition.

Earning the national designation

National Showcase Schools are chosen annually through a rigorous selection process that includes measuring key performance indicators, gathering campus data, and surveying staff and students. The results represent the implementation of Capturing Kids’ Hearts® processes, as well as the culture and climate on each campus.

Johnston’s efforts began when administrators began an initiative to transform the campus into an emotionally safe and relationally-connected place for students, staff, and parents to come together with a love for learning. After researching programs used by many of the nation’s most successful schools, JHS chose to join with the Flippen Group to bring Capturing Kids’ Hearts® to its campus.

Capturing Kids’ Hearts® provides professional development to educators nationwide since 1990. Today, the organization works with more than 50,000 educators to implement transformational processes focused on social-emotional well-being, relationship-driven culture, and student connectedness.

Building relationships between students and staff

As part of the program, JHS teachers and staff learn about the processes needed to connect students with their peers and adults on campus and to create classrooms where students are excited to learn every day. The program equips educators with the skills they need to change the trajectory of students’ lives. Schools implementing the Capturing Kids’ Hearts® Process consistently report improvements in academic, behavioral, and cultural outcomes.

Woods said students consistently say their favorite teachers are always the ones that care about them, trust them, believe in them and treat them with respect. It’s about being seen and heard, even if they’re struggling. JHS’ being named a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School shows how much progress the school has made progress in this area. JHS staff members celebrated with an ice cream party following the announcement.

The official nationwide announcement of 2023-2024 Capturing Kids’ Hearts® National Showcase Schools is expected this Friday, May 10, according to the organization’s Facebook page. Johnston Middle School was also a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School for four years, from 2018 to 2022.

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