Every student will have the opportunity to experience success in a positive, inclusive and forgiving environment where all students, parents and staff will treat one another with respect and empathy. - Youtz Leadership School Vision
The Canton City School District prize for "Transformational Vision" was awarded to Youtz Leadership Elementary School last year. As a result of multiple years of book study, research, strong leadership and faculty and staff buy-in, the school places equal emphasis on the goals of academic achievement and social emotional growth.
All means ALL. If anyone is going to have recess, everyone has recess. There is no "if/then - carrots and sticks." Principal Mike Black and his team reward achievement and coach through opportunities. They are committed to the success of all students. "We started with a commitment to end suspensions and that lead to creating an environment that is about the students so that they feel that they belong and they will succeed," said Principal Black.
Incidents requiring intervention were down over 90% last year, demonstrating that students respond to the Youtz culture. The entire team created processes to replace suspension and to help adults make the school belong to the kids. When events occur students go to the "care room" to cool down and then work with an adult to talk about the incident. The next step is to "circle up" and share feelings and motivations between those involved. Lastly, there is an activity with all parties ending in an "apology walk."
"The Youtz staff, led by Mr. Black and Assistant Principal, Ms. Nikki Cebula, are helping to change the paradigm of creating a positive, school environment," Superintendent Adrian Allison declared. "Their investment in the social and emotional well-being of their students has created a renewed partnership with the families and community they serve. While there are technical components to the work they are doing, the biggest and most effective component is a heart and passion for kids."