THE NEW BRUNSWICK PROJECT
Life, college and career advisory (lcca)
In 2013, New Brunswick Middle School recognized the need for a curriculum that would strengthen social emotional skills and build character. They collaboratively created the Life, College, and Career Advisory (LCCA), a daily, school-wide curriculum designed to empower staff and students to take ownership of their school, and to increase school connectedness and positive purpose beyond the metric of test scores.
A hallmark of the LCCA is the Student Ambassador, a role that enables students to act as leaders in the school community. Student Ambassadors are elected representatives who facilitate weekly discussions with their peers and engage in cooperative problem solving to improve their school environment.
Character.org recognized New Brunswick Middle School's efforts on the LCCA with a Promising Practice Award in 2015.
All too often, students and staff alike feel disempowered and disconnected from their school community. As a result, opportunities to foster students' social and emotional growth are missed.
Since 2012, the Rutgers SECD Lab has partnered New Brunswick Public Schools to combat this lack of connectedness and empowerment by promoting a positive school climate for all. Through cooperative collaboration between the Lab and New Brunswick administrators, staff and students, significant gains have been made. Staff morale and student engagement have increased, behavioral issues have declined, and academic outcomes have improved.
School Culture and Climate Committee (SCC)
School Culture and Climate (SCC) committees are teams of faculty and administrators who work together to implement social-emotional learning curricula, plan community-wide character-building events, and activley monitor and enhance the school's culture and climate.
SCC's are active in New Brunswick Middle School and in all eight New Brunswick elementary schools. Representatives from each school meet monthly with each other and with the Rutgers team for collaboration, training, consultation, and support. They hone their skills and bring new energy back to their home schools.
The SCC is one of many positive practices that led character.org to recognize New Brunswick Middle School as a National School of Character in 2017.