School culture: 06M209

This collection of resources, from Hamilton Grange Middle School, lays out the school's approach to colaborative problem solving and a school culture that creates opportunities for students to grow both academically and socially. The resources detail how the school creates a positive school culture through the development of traits known as Hamilton Habits, the Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) model, and extracurricular clubs, as well as how arts and sports clubs and CPS improve student-teacher relationships. Educators can use these resources to inform how they go about improving their own school culture and design clubs and other structuers to support students' social, emotional, and academic development.

Included Resources

This packet, created by the Hamilton Grange School, contains resources and guidance for implementing the Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) approach in a school setting. The packet includes assessment and planning tools to support school staff in having "Plan B" conversations with students, tracking the next steps for both adults and students, and tools for assessing students lagging skills that may be contributing to their challenging behavior. Educators can use these resources to build or expand their own CPR strategies and structures in their work.

This resource, developed by Hamilton Grange School, illustrates the different literacy-based clubs that the school engages in during the Strategic Reading Period (SRP). It includes descriptions of each of the clubs that the school offers, information about the year-long scope of one of the clubs, an example of how the school promoted the clubs within the school building, and the survey that the students used to indicate their preference of clubs. Educators can use these tools as a model for how to communicate and solicit student interest in activities during the SRP.

This article, written by Schaubman, Stetson, and Plog, summarizes how implementing the Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) approach in a school setting can reduce teacher stress. It was published in 2011 in the School Social Work Journal. This resource includes the first eight pages of the 22-page article. Educators can use this article to understand more about the benefits to teachers of implementing the CPS approach, as well as provide evidence of the value of this process to administrators considering the CPS approach.

This packet, created by the Hamilton Grange School, includes a year-long seventh grade science curriculum map and a unit map for the first science unit. These planning tools illustrate how the Hamilton Habits are integrated into year-long planning, as well as daily lesson plans, in all subject areas. Educators can use this tool as a model for how the core values of a school can be integrated into the daily lesson planning of each teacher, in all subject areas across the school, in an authentic and meaningful way.

This resource, developed by the Literacy Team at the Hamilton Grange School, is a template for teacher discussion and reflection. The template focuses on reflecting on text choice and reading identity, specifically why student choice is important in literacy development. Educators can use this template as a source of discussion during team meetings that focus on student engagement in literacy instruction. This template can also be used for an individual teacher to reflect independently. 

This resource, created by the Literacy team at the Hamilton Grange School, was created to support students with choosing a book club to join. It is a list of 30 different high-interest books for middle-school children. The cover of each book is displayed, along with a synopsis of the text. Educators can use this resource to give students a summary of each book, along with an attractive, colorful photograph of the book in order to aid students in making an informed decision when choosing their own book clubs. 

This article, from English Leadership Quarterly, highlights the top five reasons why the authors give students choice in reading. The reading highlights the independence, empowerment, and accountability that student choice can foster, as well as the impact that student choice can have on the teacher. Educators can use this article to plan choice-based literacy instruction for students.

This packet, created by the Hamilton Grange School, contains a discussion and facilitation guide for schools to use when discussing the first chapter of Dr. Ross Greene's book, Lost at School. Educators can use this guide to discuss and reflect on what discipline means to them and to their school, and what effect this concept has on students of all abilities. The facilitation guide can be used to deepen the conversation around discipline at their school, specifically considering how students with difficulty controlling their behavior can be best supported by the adults in the building.