Elementary school in West Bloomfield nominated for national award

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 22, 2017

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A local school has been nominated for a national award for taking part in an initiative to make students safer at school.

Scotch Elementary School has been nominated for the Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase award for the 2017-18 school year. Scotch Elementary School Principal James Scrivo went before the West Bloomfield School District Board of Education to talk about the nomination.

“If you don’t take the time to make relationships with kids, their families and community members, it’s all for naught,” said Scrivo. “It’s really about building relationships.” 

“I know it takes a leader to enable the staff to embrace something, and we’re thankful for your leadership,” said Superintendent Gerald Hill. 

For three years, Scotch has taken part in the Capturing Kids’ Hearts initiative, a conscious effort to make the school an emotionally safe and connected place for students, staff and parents to come together.  

The school uses things like a social contract, in which students are held to a standard of behavior in order to learn the consequences for their actions, and affirmation stations, where teachers and students can give thoughtful notes to each other. 

The initiative hopes to bring kindness, caring and respect, and to create a positive environment in schools around the country.

The elementary school was nominated by the Flippen Group, the organization that started the Capturing Kids’ Hearts initiative. The group picked schools with high program engagement and impact for the award.

Capturing Kids’ Hearts has been in schools around the country since 1990. One hundred and thirty-four schools around the country are nominated for the award this year.

Flippen Group members will visit Scotch Elementary over the next several months to observe and decide whether the campus qualifies to be a recipient of this year’s award.

The National Showcase Schools awards recognize schools that go the extra mile with the initiative, the ones that build an environment where both students and staff feel connected to each other. 

Schools involved in the initiative are considered based on observation, level of implementation of the initiative by staff, and data demonstrating that the initiative has made improvements with students in the school. 

Students from Scotch Elementary joined Scrivo to talk about how much they like the program in their classrooms, and the Board of Education congratulated Scrivo for the nomination.

“Capturing Kids’ Hearts really does build a culture, and to see that culture right in front of us in these children, in your staff and with you, I’m just very impressed,” said board member Carol Finkelstein. “It’s a program I wholeheartedly believe in. I really want to see it go K-12. We’re giving life lessons to these kids very early on that will last them for their lifetimes.” 

For more information, visit www.wbsd.org/scotches.