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Council Rock Receives International Habits of Mind School of Excellence Award

Mr. Tappon and Dr. Kallick

Council Rock Primary School became the first primary school in the United States to receive an International Habits of Mind School of Excellence Award on Wednesday, June 19. It’s also just one of 14 schools in the country to receive this honor. Dr. Bena Kallick, co-founder of the Institute for Habits of Mind, presented the award to Principal Matt Tappon at a special assembly.

The award recognizes schools that embrace the Habits of Mind throughout their community and have made a deep commitment to continuous learning and growth.

“We are so excited to be accepting this incredible award to become an International Habits of Mind School of Excellence; it means so much to us,” Mr. Tappon said. “I know there are so many people who have worked hard, all of the teachers and all of the students. For me, this has been just transformational. It has changed our school and our school's culture.”

Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan, members of the Board of Education, and other administrators attended the assembly to recognize the school. Students sang the Council Rock school song and a special song about the Habits of Mind.

Council Rock is committed to helping all children develop Habits of Mind, as the school believes these thinking dispositions lead to greater engagement in learning and greater success in all arenas. The Habits of Mind are knowing how to behave intelligently when you don't know the answer.

The 16 Habits of Mind include: Persisting; thinking and communicating with clarity and precision; managing impulsivity; gathering data through all senses; listening with understanding and empathy; creating, imagining, and innovating; thinking flexibly; responding with wonderment and awe; thinking about thinking (metacognition); taking responsible risks; striving for accuracy; finding humor; questioning and posing problems; thinking interdependently; applying past knowledge to new situations; and remaining open to continuous learning.

Council Rock celebrated the award throughout the day. Every student and staff member received a special T-shirt and students invited their families for presentations and lessons about the Habits of Mind.

Dr. Kallick and Dr. Art Costa created the Institute for Habits of Mind with the mission of transforming schools into learning communities where thinking and Habits of Mind are taught, practiced, valued, and infused into the culture. Dr. Kallick said Council Rock met every criteria necessary to receive the award. She spent time visiting classrooms at Council Rock to see how Habits of Mind are implemented in the school.

“One of the most moving things that I've been seeing is the music, the songs, and the wonderful ways that all the special teachers are doing this, like the music teacher, art teacher, and physical education teacher,” Dr. Kallick said. “I also learned that the special assistants to teachers are also very much involved and that Habits of Mind have just become a pervasive part of this atmosphere, so I love seeing that. Then there's such wonderful, clever, creative ideas too.”

Dr. Kallick said the award is a three-year certification because the Habits of Mind are a journey with continuous learning.


Lisa Button leads a song

Dr. Kallick visits a class

Mrs. Yawman shows student work to Dr. Kallick

Parents visit Ackerman/Rhodes classroom

Parent visit in a classroom

Parent Visit

Mr. Tappon accepts the award

Mr. Tappon accepts the award