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Mill Creek High School & Duluth High School

A Growing Leaders Case Study

Teaching Students the Value of Leading Themselves and Their School

Two different high school were seeing the same recurring problems. Disengaged, disinterested students weren’t showing respect to adults, and teachers had poor connections and relationships with their students. Principal Jason Lane decided to implement Habitudes in both these schools, and the difference the program made was remarkable. He shared the following reflections on that decision:

"I have worked in K-12 education throughout my career starting as a teacher and coach, and then in administrative positions. Since 2008, I have served as a principal at two different high schools. In both of these schools, I saw similar issues:

  • Disengaged students who were not respectful to adults, did not respond well to instruction, and seemed uninterested in school.
  • Teachers who had poor connections and relationships with students.

These issues needed to change in order for our students, teachers, and school to succeed. We needed to teach students about the importance of character, leadership and healthy communication with adults. I wanted our students to graduate from high school able to make wise decisions based on self-respect and a vision for their future.

After hearing about Habitudes and learning how it has benefited other schools, we decided to implement the program. Within a short amount of time, I began to notice a difference. Conversations that happened in the classroom and in the hallways literally went from students having disrespectful behavior to see them opening doors for each other and their teachers as well as saying “thank-you” and “please”. It was a light switch that flipped on for them. Habitudes has been an invaluable tool to help reframe the conversations we have with our students on leading themselves, leading in school and what is expected from them."

Jason Lane reports several measurable results from using Habitudes including:

  • At Duluth High School
    • Increased 9th grade retention rate in one year from 20% of students dropping out to 10%.
  • At Mill Creek High School:
    • Student leadership team grew from 30 students to over 100 in 3 months.

One of the biggest things that Habitudes has helped with is preparing our students to be career and college ready upon graduation. Habitudes helped each student become a better person and have a big picture perspective. The benefit to teachers has been significant as well. They consistently tell me they are having more conversations with students that are meaningful and have impact. Habitudes has been a game changer.