Capron Elementary is one of four ‘Whole Brain Teach’ pilot schools

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Capron Elementary School has announced that it’s now officially a Whole Brain Teach Pilot School, bringing it national recognition as one of only four schools in the country to have a quarter of the teachers certified in the teaching methods pioneered by California teachers Chris Biffle, Jay Vanderfin and Chris Rekstad.

These methods, aptly named “Whole Brain Teaching” techniques, are designed to incorporate seeing, hearing, doing, speaking and feeling in order to make lessons more engaging for all students, and can be applied to any material from kindergarten through college.

“WBT rests upon the principle that teachers at every level share the same difficulties: students lack discipline, background knowledge and problem solving skills,” explains the WBT website, “From kindergarten to college, instructors face pupils who have difficulty with reading and writing. Nonetheless, our students respond to challenges, enjoy well-designed learning games, and can make, in the proper setting, astonishing educational progress.”

According to Dr. Allison Francis, principal of Capron Elementary, the school began using WBT methods in 2012. To become a pilot school for the program, each participating school had to have at least 25 percent of its educators complete four levels of Whole Brain certification program. The only other requirement is that each school check in with Biffle each week.

The other three schools in the country that have met the standards for WBT pilot schools are: Rhoads Elementary in Katy, Texas; Spring Grove School in Hollister, California; and Johnston Middle School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each school’s performance within the program is ranked first through last place by a scale of points.

The program awards four points to a school for each student who consistently exhibits model behavior such as raising his or her hand to speak, staying on task, and giving his or her best effort, three points for students who usually follow the lead of those doing well, two points for students who occasionally have behavior or performance issues, one point for challenging students, and zero for students who are a threat to classroom safety.

Currently Capron is tied  with Spring Grove for second place with 99 points, and Rhoads Elementary is in first place with 100 points.

But Francis isn’t satisfied with staying in second place indefinitely and intends to have more teachers complete the training before the pilot program ends.

“The joy of this is by the time we’re finished with the pilot program, all our teachers will be whole brain certified and we’ll be a model for other schools,” she said.