Bright Spots

Shifting Mindsets in CUSD

The Possibility Fund March 2020
By Chris Barba
Mar 4, 2020

Our continued engagement with the Chester Upland School District continues to produce remarkable gains in academic achievement, student engagement, parental engagement, and school environment. Each breakthrough in these areas enables our collaborators at Toby Farms and STEM Academy to fulfill on their missions to transform education for their students. Underpinning these gains is a fundamental shift in thinking around purpose and possibility.

Below are some of the more poignant thoughts from teachers on how they’ve changed as a result of the Breakthrough Mindset Curriculum, and the new pathways for achievement and collaboration that have been created:

  • “What I have been trying to do is take the time and really see my kids. Sometimes I give them a little hug as opposed to yelling across the room.”
  • “I’m being more mindful of making positive phone calls to families.”
  • “Students feel confident enough in the classroom that they can make mistakes, and nobody is going to say anything.”
  • “I came in and had a different conversation. I asked the students, “What can I do to make our classroom environment better?”
  • “Everybody has strengths. We borrow everything and that makes us better.”
  • “I got to hear other teachers’ ideas and know people at a different level—not just passing them in the hallway.”
  • “Before we were just coming to work and trying to get through the school year. Having a breakthrough project gave me something to do and look forward to.”