Copperas Cove ISD administrators train in new character-based curriculum
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to the Leader-Press
Relational. Intentional. Transformational. Those are the top three words used to describe a new character-based curriculum for students that Copperas Cove ISD is implementing in the 2023-2024 school year.
Far from a time when formal education was executed only through instructional materials, Copperas Cove ISD also focuses on social-emotional wellbeing, student connectedness, and building relationship-driven campus cultures that have students feeling welcomed, safe, and ready to learn. The CCISD Board of Trustees approved an expenditure of $265,550 at its April board meeting to provide additional support to students through the implementation of Capturing Kids’ Hearts.
Copperas Cove High School Principal Jimmy Shuck says he is excited to have this framework for his staff to continue to cultivate relationships, improve school culture, and strengthen trust between students and staff.
“Having a solid foundation for staff will assist with consistency throughout CCHS from custodial staff to administration,” Shuck said. “CCHS remains committed to the development of a campus culture of dignity and respect which leads to high-quality, rigorous instruction, producing future-ready citizens.”
The program touts results that increase student achievement, increase school attendance rates, increase graduation rates, decrease discipline referrals, and increase teacher satisfaction. Secondary administrators and district leadership training in the Capturing Kids’ Hearts curriculum earlier this week.
Crossroads High School Counselor Audrey Trahan said the curriculum will benefit students by improving relationships with teachers, peers, and family members as well as improve the students’ academics.
“I learned how to become a better campus leader and learned about my own constraints, how those constraints can be a positive thing as well as a negative, and how I can work on those to better myself and my leadership skills to better support our students,” Trahan said.
CCISD board members, Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services Amanda Crawley, and secondary campus leadership attended flagship training in April. Administrators learned to make meaningful connections with students, the importance of body language, greeting students by name, empowering students to make positive choices, and appropriate responses when students do not make positive behavior choices.
“Although many great teachers already do these things and more, Capturing Kids’ Heart teaches us different ways to approach different students and make meaningful connections with all students,” Trahan said. “After all, students will not learn from someone who they don’t like, and they will not learn from someone who they think doesn’t like them. It all starts and ends with relationships. If we can model how to have appropriate, successful, meaningful, and beneficial relationships with our students, then they will start to build the same type of relationships in their own lives. We aren’t just educating students’ minds. We are educating the whole student.”