Leadership Academy: Texas
By: Shannon Lowry, Program Service Specialist
Leadership Academy Texas (LAT) is a school-based pilot program for 7th and 8th grade students, being launched Spring Semester 2018. LAT is intended to encourage and inspire today’s student leaders. In the academy students meet weekly with their campus counselor and a community based police officer. Using restorative circles, the counselor acts as a facilitator while the officer participates with the students in discussing ethical behaviors and habits of successful individuals. This allows for officers and students to openly discuss the lesson values in a safe and respectful space. This approach has shown to have significant effect on behavior and academic success.
Each weekly lesson begins with an icebreaker to engage the students, and is followed by the facilitator reading a quote that embodies the week’s value. The students then each have the chance to share what they feel like the value means to them as the “talking piece” goes around the circle. Weekly lessons include values such as; be respectful, value what is important, be generous and pay it forward, and be tolerant. There are also built in “off weeks” where the academy students can do a community engagement project such as cleaning up their campus.
The program’s goal is to build strong communities by establishing relationships between the students, officers, and school counselors. At the end of the school year participating campuses can choose to recognize their LAT students, and their growth as leaders in a verity of ways.
LAT is the result of a partnership with Bill Hyche, Klein ISD, and TMPA. LAT is based on the successful model of Klein ISD’s Leadership Academy program.
The participants at a recent Facilitator Training had this to say about LAT;
“The information presented by Klein ISD was invaluable. Being in education on a campus for 27 years, I feel like this program has the potential to be something really special.”
“Excellent program. Very excited to start implementing it in our schools. Instructors are all superb!”
- There is no cost associated with participating in LAT. The program will provide facilitator training free of charge as well as; instructor manuals, student handbooks, talking pieces, and other instructional materials.
- An officer and school counselor BOTH need to attend the facilitator training (if you need help identifying your counterpart please contact the Program Specialist, Shannon Lowry).
- The officer doesn’t have to be a SRO, but simply a community based officer.
- This program is only for 7th and 8th grade students at this time.
Interested in your campus participating in LAT? Contact us today for more information:
You can also find us on Facebook @LeadershipAcademyTexas