North Royalton Schools pilot strengths-based leadership and learning

North Royalton City Schools is partnering with The Strengths Center and the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center to join the Ohio Strengths Collaborative. This new partnership is piloting the effective use of strengths-based leadership and learning for students in Ohio and those who support them.

Strengths-based education is based on the belief that every child has the potential to learn and that the best way to grow their learning is through a positive lens. Schools are often seen as a place of learning, but they are also a place for connection, encouragement, and personal growth.

“Our students are growing up in a culture fixated on self-help and how to improve things that are wrong or broken,” shares Dr. Jim Mahoney, founder of the Strengths Center. “Don Clifton, creator of the CliftonStrengths assessment, took a different stance, asking, ‘What would happen if we studied what is right with people versus what is wrong with people?’ Gallup research proves that when we know our unique strengths, we are empowered to succeed by doing what we naturally do best.”

Superintendent Michael Laub said participating in the pilot program helps the district “to expand and connect our efforts around community and career connected learning, staff and student well-being, and personalized learning.”

“We see a direct correlation to utilizing staff and student strengths to prepare students for internships, job shadowing, and ultimately, the workforce, which provides students with meaningful, real-world learning opportunities,” Laub said.

North Royalton City Schools is receiving professional learning opportunities, resources, assessments, and one-on-one coaching from strengths development experts.

“By focusing on what students do best, educators can better individualize learning, support well-being, and prepare students for the workplaces of tomorrow,” said Laub. “We look forward to sharing more about our work to pilot strengths-based leadership and learning with the Ohio Strengths Collaborative.”

Work is happening at the administrative level currently and will include staff by the end of this school year.  Students will be included beginning next school year, he added. 

“The model used with our administrators and teachers will be the model also used by students,” said Laub. “We identify strengths, learn more about those strengths, and explore how best to capitalize on those strengths.  In the process, we learn how to value the strengths of others and to understand that everyone has something to contribute.”