Thursday, May 29, 2008


As a member of the Stark County Schools' 21st Century Action Team (School Design Committee), yours truly was privy to a presentation by the Canton Local Schools of its 5 R's Academy.

5 R's? Rigor, Relevance, Respect, Responsibility, Relationships make up the 5R's.

This program which was started in 2007 with 50 freshmen, will eventually grow to 180 to 200 students by 2010.

The STARK POLITICAL REPORT - EDUCATION (Stark Education Report) is pleased to recognize this very promising program.

Character development is what jumps out to an observer as to the essence of the academy which is a "community school" sponsored by Canton Local Schools (CLS).

A key to the Academy's success? Students taking ownership of their learning.

The Stark Education Report buys into the personal development philosophy of Stephen Covey of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey makes the point that personal development is "inside-out." In other words, it is the internal qualities of a human being which determine the effectiveness of the person.

Commitment is another key to the CLS approach. Branching out from there, one hears terms/expressions like "listening," "befriending," "this is a goal I believe I can attain," as the language of student participants. Moreover, each 5 Rs class member has to complete 50 hours of community service each year.

5 Rs Academy demonstrates in results living examples of a changed student approach to learning.

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