In March, Milwaukie High School received the Vision in Action Whole Child Award from the ASCD, an international education leadership association.

The award was presented at a national conference in Chicago. Now the school and ASCD have planned a local celebration of the honor, with students, staff, parents, school partners and community members attending.

The event, open to the public, is planned for Thursday, May 16, at 3:30 p.m. in the Milwaukie High auditorium, 11300 S.E. 23rd Ave.

“Milwaukie’s staff works tirelessly to improve their students’ academic, social, and emotional growth; to expand their educational practices; and sharpen the administration’s focus on staff professional development, all to meet the needs of the whole child,” said ASCD CEO Dr. Gene Carter. “Their efforts and results are impressive, and we salute them for this tremendous accomplishment.”

At Milwaukie High, teams of staff meet once a week with a group of school counselors, mental and physical health providers, social workers, and administrators to discuss ways to support at-risk students. During these meetings, participants collaborate to build individual intervention plans for these students. Since implementing these initiatives, the school has seen improvements in reading and math achievement in participating students, and its graduation rate has steadily improved beyond Oregon's state average.

Last August a 2,800-square-foot health center opened at MHS, funded by staff who helped raise more than $600,000. No district dollars were used to fund the center, whose medical sponsor, Outside In, provides physical, mental health, and dental health services free to all students.

"The staff at Milwaukie High believes that there is more to education than just to teach a student how to read, write and think critically,” said Principal Mark Pinder. “The physical and emotional well-being of student must be nurtured as a part of teaching and learning. Arts and enrichment must be provided. When the whole child is educated at Milwaukie High, we are guaranteeing that we will produce a graduate ready to participate as an active, contributing community member.”

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