John F. Kennedy High School makes DPS News as “A School to Learn From”.
Enthusiasm is growing at John F. Kennedy High School (JFK), where new school-wide “PRIDE Values” have led to increased attendance rates and student engagement. “I think our students are more invested,” said first-year principal Tiffany Almon. “I’m pumped, and I can’t wait for what’s next.”
JFK’s monthly PRIDE Celebration seems like a routine assembly but it is actually an intentional way of reconnecting their fiercely independent students back to their high school.
“We needed to have something to root into as a community.” said Tiffany. Her dedication to this effort began last spring when she held empathy interviews with staff and student leadership groups to get a sense of what was missing.
And what it came down to… PRIDE.
Tiffany said “There’s only one way to stay on top and to promote excellence for our students and that’s working together, communicating with each, and having a common language.”
That common language became their PRIDE Values (Professionalism, Respect, Inclusion, Dedication, and Excellence) made up of five tangible actions.
Some quotes from teachers who have noticed the impact include:
“In the classroom, for me, its been a really big leverage to see how my students are coming in prepared.” – Crystal Sarlo, Social Studies Teacher
“The kids are respectful, they’re in class, and they’re doing things that they need to do.” – Mike LaGuardia, Restorative Jutice Coordinator
“We’ve seen higher levels of engagement, we’ve seen higher attendance rates…” – Kade Orlandini, Social Studies Teacher.
“Anytime that you give a student that positive reinforcement, you instantly see a change in their behavior.” – Desiree Seidel, English Teacher
Students are not the only ones impacted by these values but even staff have taken them to heart too. JFK has earned this pride and they are just getting started. Click here to watch more.