BISBEE — Bisbee’s Greenway Elementary School and Lowell Junior High School have been nominated in the “Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools” awards program for the 2018-19 school year by the Flippen Group.

Ten schools in Arizona out of 226 schools nationwide were nominated for the awards.

Schools across the country are considered for this award based on the following criteria: level of implementation of Capturing Kids’ Hearts processes by all staff as measured by online surveys and providing data “demonstrating that Capturing Kids’ Hearts has made a significant improvement in attendance, discipline, climate or culture, or academics,” according to the Flippen Group website.

Chris Granger, director of instruction for the Bisbee Unified School District, was very pleased to see the improvements made at the two schools since beginning the program last year.

Disciplinary referrals at Greenway went from 185 in the 2016-17 school year to 85 in the 2017-18 school year, he said. In the state rating system, the school went from a D grade to a C.

As for Lowell, attendance went from an average of 91 percent a day in the 2016-17 school year to 94 percent last year, he added.

“Three percent may not sound like much, but it is,” Granger noted. “You can’t teach students if they’re not in school.”

He credits the improvement to the program, which establishes a sound relationship between teachers and students. Student at Greenway and Lowell are greeted every day by their teachers with a hello and a handshake.

“The daily personal contact may be the only contact a student has with an adult. Parents could be working three jobs and they don’t get to see their children,” he continued. “We build a good relationship with the children so they want to come to school.”

Faculty and staff also greet each other. “It’s great for the adults, too.”

Granger and school Superintendent Tom Woody knew about the Capturing Kids’ Hearts program from their experiences in Texas schools. They saw what a difference it can make in the student populations and decided to bring the program to Bisbee schools.

The program establishes decreased discipline referrals, increased student achievement, better attendance, higher graduation rates and improved teacher satisfaction.

The Flippen Group is expanding its reach into Arizona, and later this month a workshop will be held to familiarize educators with the Capturing Kids’ Hearts program, Granger said.

The Capturing Kids’ Hearts program teaches students personal responsibility and a foundation of trust with each other and with educators which helps them want to go to school, stated the press release.

Through the National Showcase Schools awards, the Flippen Group “recognizes and celebrates schools that go the extra mile each day, building an environment where students are relationally connected and eager to learn.”

The program provides educators with skills needed to change the direction of the lives of students through openness, acceptance and a feeling of connectedness to the school to the extent they want to be in school learning.

Site visits will be done by the Flippen Group to interview students, teachers, administrators and parents. They will compile a matrix of key measurements from the campus observation and a selection committee will review results, said Granger.


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