ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Join the Whole Child Network of Schools

Whole Child Network of Schools

Current education practice and policy focus overwhelmingly on academic achievement measured by standardized, mandated tests. This achievement is but one element of student learning and development and only a part of any complete system of education accountability. ASCD's Whole Child Initiative is an associationwide effort to change the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the development of children who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged within a sustainable approach to education and community engagement.

In May, ASCD will select a small group of schools to become part of our Whole Child Network. The schools chosen for the network will commit to a comprehensive school improvement process that will use the Whole Child Tenets and indicators (PDF) as their sustainable approach.

To apply to become a Whole Child Network school, go to ASCD's Whole Child Network is open to all schools (e.g., public, charter, private) of any grade level within the United States and Canada. Deadline for submission is April 30, 2012.

Chosen schools will be notified by May 15, 2012, and will be asked for documentation that states the school team's commitment to participate in the network by May 28, 2012.

Each member school will receive a $10,000 grant for the 2012–13 school year, with the opportunity for renewal in the subsequent two school years, as well as customized support in implementing a whole child approach to education. Participating schools will also receive an ASCD Institutional membership, and up to five team members from each site will receive a trip to ASCD's 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago, Ill.

Whole Child Network schools will kick off their participation in the network with a two and a half day networkwide training event during summer 2012, followed by one full-day, on-site training for each school, facilitated in partnership with ASCD's Whole Child Programs staff, to introduce the whole child approach within the school community. Following that, ASCD staff will work in close consultation with school officials to design an implementation plan. Elements that may be a part of that plan include a needs assessment as well as customized face-to-face trainings, tools, and products that address the various needs identified by the assessment. This may include instructional program improvements, job-embedded professional development, student support, health and safety, and teacher/leader effectiveness.

For questions about the Whole Child Network or completing the application, please contact us by e-mail at

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