“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” (Ralph Marston) Every parent dreams of having all-around excellent kids! Excellent at listening (am I right?!), excellent at learning, excellent at working hard, excellent towards others, and as Mary Poppins might say “practically excellent in every way!” Well, at American Leadership Academy while we are proud of our excellent “A” Ratings at our elementary schools, we also take pride in teaching our students to demonstrate "excellence" in and out of the classroom through our RAISE values. Instilling these values in our students helps them develop an attitude of excellence that will help them achieve their potential. Read a little about what we do to promote an attitude of excellence at all 12 of our great schools!
RAISE (Respect, Accountability, Integrity, Service, and Excellence) are values that are incorporated in everything we do at ALA. Each month focuses on a different value and December is all about excellence. From weekly lessons where these values are taught to little everyday actions by students and staff, it is evident that the RAISE values help shape our students into excellent leaders that will make a difference.
In December, our schools talked about showing excellence in all that we do. This means that we worked on being excellent listeners, line walkers, and excellent learners, ie. trying our best, working hard, staying on task, helping those around us. Some classes have related excellence to “achieve.” Our teachers focus on how putting in the effort, staying on tasks, and doing our best yields good results. Classrooms have also focused on how to prevent bullying and create a safe learning environment for all students.
You can never be too young to strive for excellence. At ALA, we start teaching excellence in Kindergarten! Kindergarteners are learning how to become really good at something, (even if it is learning how to stay in your seat!) or beating your personal best, and achieving a goal.
One Kindergarten teacher at Gilbert South said that students show constant excellence every day. They sit in the leadership position even when they don’t have to, walk in line in the hall while following all the rules, and overall have awesome behavior for kindergarten students. So incredible!!
Students at our elementary campuses who demonstrate excellence or any RAISE value in action receive an ALA RAISE card, which recognizes a student for going above and beyond the normal expectations. Anyone on staff can pass them out: teachers, front office staff, or lunch monitors.
At the end of each day at Gilbert South, they announce their Leaders of the Day on the intercom for cards earned that day and those cards get placed on a board. Staff pulls one card from each grade level to have a special leadership lunch with administration once a month!
Excellence in Action
At ALA, the campus atmosphere is different. There is a contagious spirit to help one another, provide, service and be excellent students and citizens. At ALA campuses, you can see students cheering on one another during recess or PE, praising each other for achieving a goal or getting a good grade on an assignment, or even as simple as asking how they can help, without being prompted. All of these examples promote a culture of excellence.
Students are showing respect by following routines, are accountable for their actions in class and show integrity by being honest about how things are done. They love to help others and provide service in the classroom by cleaning up even if the mess isn't theirs. The excellence shows in all other values ALL year long!
“I personally have talked to many students about being excellent in all that you do and that it starts TODAY,” Sheila Frame, ALA Gilbert South Elementary Director, said.
Three students at ALA Gilbert South Elementary asked their music teacher if they can be part of the stage crew at their winter concert. Mrs. Frame said they were amazing, putting in countless hours setting up/cleaning up, encouraging nervous performers, gathering students to go on stage, etc. It was a true example of leadership and excellence!
There was a student at the ALA Signal Butte Elementary campus who had not done well in math in the past. One of the Signal Butte teachers had worked with him all semester and his last test he got an A and did a great job. The teacher took the student during his recess to the front office to talk to administration about his accomplishment.
“It was wonderful to see the teacher recognize excellence in action and I loved congratulating the student on such a job well done,” Devin Miller, ALA Signal Butte Director, said.
Excellence in REAL LIFE
The RAISE values are evident in the students' actions inside and outside the classroom and sometimes it is the small things that make the biggest difference in a child’s life.
A parent at Gilbert South Elementary said that having her child at ALA has made a huge impact on her child's behavior at home. He is finishing his homework without complaining, cares about his academics and wants to succeed. Most importantly the teachers make class engaging, which in this mom's mind meant excellence for her son!
The RAISE values have helped so many of our students become excellent leaders inside the classroom. Has your student demonstrated RAISE values at home? If so, let us know in the comments!
If you aren’t currently an ALA family and would like to see the RAISE values in action, you can request a tour of any of our 12 East Valley schools on our website!