BSIC recognized for civic engagement

Staff Writer
Garden City Telegram
Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center has been recognized for the civic engagement activities it provides students. BSIC is one of nine schools in Kansas to receive the honor.

Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center is one of nine Kansas schools to be recognized by receiving the Civic Advocacy Network Award for the civic engagement opportunities they offer students. The award winners were announced by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson, during the Kansas State Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, August 14, in Topeka.

The Civic Advocacy Network (CAN) was established by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) in order to recognize schools that actively involve students in civic engagement opportunities and to help collect exemplary civic engagement practices to share with schools across the state. The ultimate goal of CAN is to promote civic engagement as part of all preK-12 students’ experiences.

Schools that meet the award criteria receive one of two designations – School of Excellence or School of Promising Practice.

Award applicants must show student engagement around the “Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning”:

- Instruction in government, history, law and democracy.

- Incorporation of discussion of current local, national and international issues, and events in the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives.

- Design and implement programs that provide students with opportunities to apply what they learn through performing community service that is linked to the formal curriculum and classroom instruction.

- Offer extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities.

- Encourage student participation in school governance.

- Encourage student participation in simulations of democratic processes and procedures.

Each award applicant also has to submit evidence that one or more of the following takes place around the six practices:

- Professional learning: Teachers and staff members have been provided training around civic engagement or a particular proven practice.

- Implementation of a curriculum: Schoolwide initiatives, national, state, local or corporate curriculum that address civic engagement or a particular proven practice.

- School participation in national, regional, state or corporate competitions and/or programs that address civic engagement or a particular practice.

- Student performance and recognition: Recognition of students or groups of students for success in civic engagement or a particular proven practice.

- School recognition: Recognition of the school by an agency outside of the district for work in civic engagement or a particular proven practice.

Schools named as Schools of Excellence are a part of CAN for three years. At the end of the three-year period, each school must reapply.

Schools that apply for the CAN award but aren’t named a School of Excellence have the opportunity to be named a School of Promising Practice. This award is given to schools that have a particularly innovative, effective or unique program that shows potential for impacting student engagement.

The CAN award winners are:

Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center, Garden City; Derby North Middle School, Derby; Fredonia Jr/Sr High School, Fredonia; Halstead High School, Halstead; Lakeside Elementary, Pittsburg; Maize High School, Maize;  North Fairview Elementary, Topeka; Prairie Ridge Elementary, Shawnee; and Winfield High School, Winfield.

Schools receiving Promising Practice Awards are:

Atchison County Jr./Sr. High School, Atchison; Derby High School, Derby; and Winfield Middle School, Winfield.