Leader in Me | Letter to the Parents

  • Dear Parents and Caregivers,

    Palm Bay Academy intends to be a significant contributor in the preparation of our community’s children into tomorrow’s leaders. We must anticipate and fulfill the future needs of students so they are able to lead our community in the 21st century. No one can be sure what the future will bring, but if we make it our priority to instill the characteristics necessary for our students to become thinking, pro-active leaders, they will be able to meet and overcome these future challenges.

    To that end, Palm Bay Academy’s staff is excited to introduce our new program, “Leader In Me”, which we believe will have a profound effect on the entire school community! Starting this fall, we will be implementing The Leader in Me program as an introduction to personal leadership. PBA is the first school in Brevard to become a Leader In Me school. There are over 3600 Leader in Me schools in 50 countries. They are all committed to the cause of helping students develop the leadership and academic skills they need to survive and thrive in the 21st century. Our goal is no different. Applying this school-wide model, we intend to unleash each child’s full potential and find the leader in every child!

    The Leader in Me starts from a powerful premise—every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader. The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model and process, developed in partnership with educators. The process includes student participation in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led Conferences, leadership environments, and Leadership Events.

    First, an effective leadership culture is created. A leadership culture reinforces every member’s capabilities. It encourages exploration, inquiry, technology infusion, project-based learning, and experimentation within a safe, secure environment. A leadership culture actively engages students in their own learning; even the youngest students set goals, track progress, and establish personal-accountability systems. All students become active participants in the direction of the school and many of the decisions that are made. This shared  leadership increases engagement and enables students, staff, and families to be self-confident and self-reliant, work effectively with others, and make meaningful contributions. This environment empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is the foundation of the Leader In Me process. When merged with the universal, enduring principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, and renewal, these leadership principles create a common language and culture within the school. Another of the foundational principals of this culture is for members to find their voice (their unique gifts and talents), and to help others find theirs. Once students find their voice, they are inspired and motivated. Inspired and motivated students are intrinsically motivated to do the right thing.

    These principles are not taught as a curriculum, but instead are consistently modeled by all school personnel and incorporated into coursework, traditions, and existing systems. They serve as a foundational operating system for the school, improving relationships, transforming culture, and highly motivating staff and students.

    Next year’s students will embark on an exciting journey and our hope is that you will ask your student how he/she is doing along the way. Having your student re-teach the content to you will give him/her an even deeper understanding and will give both of you an opportunity to learn together! When taught and practiced in a school environment, these 7 habits have been proven to improve academic engagement, comprehension, and performance by strengthening individual work habits and improving social interactions. They help improve student performance and support school success by helping to foster the qualities of independence (goal-setting, organization, time management, and planning); interdependence (teamwork, conflict management, creativity, and analytical skills); and renewal (fun, desire to learn, and good health).

    The staff at Palm Bay Academy has made the commitment to model and implement, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in order to provide a caring and nurturing learning environment for our students. Through the teaching of the 7 habits, our staff will be working together with students to create a school that maintains the dignity of children through productive interactions while fostering positive relationships with parents and other community members.

    We invite you to join us for the 2018-2019 school year as we commit to the process of forging tomorrow’s leaders and stand together, becoming the lighthouse of the community, overcoming our future challenges.

    Madhu Longani, Director
    Palm Bay Academy, Inc.