Celebrating learning differences is at the heart of Stewarts Creek High School’s culture. Only six short years ago, Principal Dr. Clark Harrell opened SCHS with the mission of achieving academic excellence by fostering the belief that every child learns differently. He knew that many schools struggle with helping students learn the standards when educating them following the status quo. This rigid system didn’t align with Dr. Harrell’s vision and he knew there must be a better educational model available.
The summer prior to the school’s opening, the leadership team met with Danny Hill who introduced them to the Power of ICU. The book presented layers of support for positioning student differences as strengths and a focus on standards’ mastery, not grades. Applying the Power of ICU formula to Stewarts Creek High meant fostering a culture where students were served through daily individualized support by all faculty members from front office personnel to teachers, coaching staff to administrators. Last year, a visit from the Power of ICU team introduced the SCHS staff to Danny’s newest book, Grade Cleanse. This gave teachers the final piece of the formula needed to refine and develop quality practice that truly assesses learning and produces work that authentically reflects what students know, not how they behave. Principal Harrell contributes the school’s culture of excellence to the layers of support, positive student-teacher relationships, and a commitment to celebrating individual successes together as One Team. “Power of ICU has offered the school a systematic plan to build this culture, and SCHS has experienced positive changes in student attitudes toward learning every year since it’s adoption,” says Harrell.
Academic lifeguards, the ICU database, and notification messages keep parents informed of their child’s progress, an important component that is often missing after students transition into high school. SCHS families know that teachers and administrators are not going to let their students sink beneath the academic demand, but rather work along side them to meet rigorous expectations. Each year, Stewarts Creek High School has given 100% to build layers of support focused on every student succeeding. Acting as OneTeam, the staff has made ICU the backbone of their school culture and is all-in toward giving students every opportunity to complete every assignment everyday. In honor of their significant achievement and long-standing focus on personalized student learning by creating a unique, relational ICU school environment, Stewarts Creek High has earned the distinction as a Spotlight School.