High 5, with support from C&S Wholesale Grocers, has partnered with the Keene School District to bring Edge of Leadership (EOL) to every school in the district. The impact of this public-private-nonprofit educational partnership has been significant and comes to life in the video here…
In 2012, High 5 began a pilot program in a single Keene elementary school. Now, eight years later, EOL has expanded district-wide, including some 1000 students and teachers in grades 5 – 12. Our EOL educators spend the school year in classrooms, and on the Challenge Course, working directly with students and helping teachers use EOL concepts to improve the learning environment and academic outcomes in their classrooms. EOL is a program combining leadership training, team development, and social and emotional learning. The program in Keene has become the ultimate demonstration of EOL’s success, showcasing the wide and growing application of EOL concepts in the educational experience.
The program undergoes professional evaluation every year, through analysis of outcomes in grades 5 – 7 and High School. Those outcomes have demonstrated the following changes:
- Growing levels of social intelligence, mature decision-making and self-awareness in students as noted by teachers
- Increase in teacher’s implementation of EOL learning in their instructional approaches
- Improvement in the teacher’s ability to shape a more positive learning environment
- Integration of EOL as a central organizing theme of whole-school culture at the Middle School, engaging everyone from students, teachers, administrators, and staff
During the past two years, High 5’s EOL educators have partnered with Keene State College to develop graduate-level courses and professional development workshops. These are designed to raise the level of understanding of social and emotional learning and leadership development in complementing and strengthening the educational experience. By way of further demonstration of EOL’s importance in Keene schools, EOL is now included in the School District’s curriculum map, making it an integral part of the educational experience for all students.
The EOL Elementary School program provides each student in grade 5 with 25-30 hours of program exposure including 2 Challenge Course experiences and monthly classroom sessions throughout the school year.
The EOL Middle School program provides each student in grades 6 and 7 with 15-20 hours of program exposure. For students in 7th grade, this includes 2 Challenge Course experiences and monthly classroom sessions throughout the school year. A new student leadership group was established in fall 2019 for students in grades 6 – 8.
The primary focus for EOL at Keene High School is to develop a core Student Leadership Team. Students on this team begin by attending the EOL Summer Program at High 5 Adventure in Brattleboro, VT. From there, the team sets goals and creates action plans for coordinating and facilitating community events throughout the year. The team meets regularly throughout the school year.