The 8 Keys of Excellence
As part of a new program at Brook Forest this year, called the Eight Keys of Excellence, students are taught skills to navigate their lives. This month, the school focused on the key of integrity and celebrated with an-all-school assembly. During the assembly, integrity was reviewed and celebrated when a few students shared their moments of living in Integrity and the benefits that came with their positive choices. The whole school then participated a game of Freeze Dance as well as an impromptu Mannequin Challenge. “The 8 Keys of Excellence.” developed by Quantum Learning Network, uses the latest research on the highest achieving individuals in the country, and distills them into a guidance system of 8 principles or keys. That framework gives students the skills to achieve success in school and their personal lives. The program will expand to Butler Junior High next year. “Our students are academically talented but every child encounters a difficult time,” said Brook Forest Principal Jason Bednar, whether it’s a rocky relationship, bullying, or a tough assignment. “Just like math or reading, they need resiliency to guide their lives,” he said. The 8 Keys of Excellence provide students with a powerful guidance system, providing them with concrete tools to integrate grit, resilience, focus, three boys sitting on the floor and smilingperseverance and strength into their lives. “Kids are constantly trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be,” said Advanced Learning Teacher Brittany Kuethe. “During challenging moments, kids now have these 8 principles to help guide their decisions and to help them persevere, to feel secure in themselves, and to help them earn the respect and trust of others. These keys build strong leaders.” Students were first taught the keys in an interactive assembly and each month one key is highlighted. Teachers are modeling the keys and embedding them into their teaching. “It’s becoming part of everything we do,” said Assistant Principal Lisa Owen. Indeed, the goal is to provide positive life strategies. “This program helps all of us to become aware of our environment and decisions and make improvements in ourselves,” Owen said. At a recent Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Heidi Wennstrom praised the program and its leadership. “It’s been exceptionally well received and is energizing to the students and staff. It reflects our vision for developing resilience and leadership,” she said.