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Capturing Kids' Hearts NEW

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“If you have a child’s HEART, you have a child’s MIND.
Flip Flippen (Founder and CEO of the Flippen Group)

Goddard Public Schools is a Capturing Kids’ Hearts District. The Capturing Kids’ Hearts process is currently implemented in nine of twelve schools in the district with future implementation plans for the remaining three schools.

The Capturing Kids’ Hearts process aims at strengthening students’ connectedness to others through enhancing healthy bonds with teachers and establishing consistent rules of conduct.

Amelia Earhart Elementary School

Apollo Elementary School

Clark Davidson School

Oak Street Elementary School

Challenger Intermediate School

Goddard Middle School

Goddard High School

Goddard Academy

These schools have been recognized with the National Showcase School honor for an exemplary recognition of excellence.


What is Capturing Kids’ Hearts?

The Capturing Kids’ Hearts process assists schools in building a culture that is founded on relationships and addresses the social-emotional needs of students and educators.  Research has proven that when students feel connected to teachers and school, there is a positive transformational correlation to the 5 Key Indicators of School Performance: 

  1. Increased student achievement
  2. Increased student attendance
  3. Decreased discipline referrals
  4. Increased graduation rates
  5. Increased teacher satisfaction and retention


What does Capturing Kids’ Hearts look like in my
child’s school?

A few of the key routines and processes implemented in Capturing Hearts’ Schools include social contracts, good things, affirmations, daily greetings, and the EXCEL teaching  model.

Capturing Kids' Hearts Routines & Processes

  • Social contracts serve as the agreement for behavioral expectations in each classroom and should be adhered to by staff, students, and classroom visitors in accordance with the following four questions:

    1. How do you want to be treated by me?

    2. How do you want to be treated by each other?

    3. How do you think I want to be treated by you?

    4. How do you want to treat each other when there is conflict? 

    By creating this agreement together as a class, students are able to feel confident and empowered in the classroom, knowing what they can expect from the teacher and each other. 

  • Affirmations give students the opportunity to build each other up through positive statements about their peers.   Affirmations can be given via written or spoken words.  Staff members often join in by giving affirmations to students as well as colleagues.  

  • Good Things give students an opportunity to share something they are excited or passionate about in their own life.  This allows positive connections to be made amongst students and between students and teachers. 


  • Daily Greetings may occur through a simple hello, handshake, high five, smile, etc. to welcome students into the teacher’s classroom each day.  This short interaction helps to build meaningful connections between teachers and students. 

  • The EXCEL Teaching Model provides teachers with additional tools to assist them in building meaningful relationships with students, providing safe learning environments, and developing a collaborative classroom culture. 

    E - Engage 

    X - X-plore 

    C - Communicate 

    E - Empower 

    L - Launch

    Engage: Each class begins with staff members personally greeting each student. 

    X-plore: Teachers and staff provide opportunities for students to listen, engage, and talk with other students regarding their thoughts and feelings.  Students may share Good Things to celebrate the experiences taking place in their lives. 

    Communicate: Teachers strive to build a classroom community where dialogue amongst students exists and the teacher takes on the role of facilitator of student learning.   Classroom lessons are often discussed in relation to the real-world relevance to show students the importance of education in their lives. 

    Empower: Students are empowered by teachers and staff to engage more with peers, and are equipped to self-manage their own behaviors.  In addition, students learn about problem-solving and accountability for their own actions. 

    Launch: Each class ends with an intentional effort to share a positive thought, quote, video, etc which serves to provide closure for the day and inspire hope for each student. 

What impact is Capturing Kids’ Hearts making for the students and staff of USD 265?

USD 265 - 4th Grade Teacher

“Capturing Kids' Hearts has made a huge impact in my classroom. I have always been the kind of teacher to put relationship building first, but with Capturing Kids' Hearts it has become the culture of our building. We see less behavior issues, and students are excited to be part of this community. CKH allows us to share common language and expectations throughout the building.” 

USD 265 - 5th Grade Student

"I feel like Capturing Kids' Hearts gives us students a chance to bond with our classmates and teachers. It shows us how we should act and behave and how to treat others. I think it is a good way for kids to learn what is kind and right. When teachers greet students in the morning, it tells us that we are cared about."

USD 265 - 5th Grade Teacher

“Teachers go into the profession because they love kids. CKH is a program that allows us to intentionally do what we do relationships. It is a program that teaches students life-long skills such as integrity and accountability as well as how to handle conflict. Since implementing CKH, I feel like our students are better equipped for life after school. “

USD 265 - Elementary Principal

“Capturing Kids' Hearts is embedded within all classrooms and throughout the building.  Capturing Kids Hearts supports the culture we are continuously building in our school community.  Since implementation, we have noticed staff, students, and families are more engaged in learning and growing.”

USD 265 - 5th Grade Student

"I like doing good things because it is fun to hear about what makes other people happy and to share what makes me happy. Greetings in the morning always brighten up my day. When I get an affirmation, it makes me happy especially because affirmations it have to be positive which brightens up my day."

USD 265 - Middle School Teacher

"Capturing Kids’ Hearts has had a profound and positive effect on our students here in Goddard. Students are learning how to interact with adults as well as with each other – even during conflict. Whenever an issue does arise, we have a process that is uniform and fair. Students recognize and appreciate that. Teachers in this district have been building relationships with students for years. This has just given us a more intentional approach to make sure that EVERY student is seen, heard, and cared for."

USD 265 - Intermediate Principal

"A student's heart isn't something you get handed, you have to earn it!! By intentionally following the Capturing Kids' Hearts processes in our building, we ensure that everyone has a voice. This encourages students and staff to hold each other accountable for their words and actions."

USD 265 - 7th Grade Student

"This is my first year going to Goddard. This class (Leadworthy) is helping me to make friends and helping me with my really big fear of public speaking."

USD 265 - 7th Grade Student

"I’ve had a lot of positive encounters with both the Leadworthy class and the Capturing Kids' Hearts program. It is amazing because I really see how the students and teachers come together to change things for the better."


Where can I learn more about Capturing Kids’ Hearts?

For more information about Capturing Kids’ Hearts, please visit:

For more information about Capturing Kids’ Hearts in USD 265, please contact your child’s school. 

Capturing Kids' Hearts





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Contact Information

Dr. Julie D. Cannizzo
Assistant Superintendent of Academic Affairs

Stephanie Basham
Curriculum Support Specialist

Valene Day
Curriculum Support Specialist

Tegan Perkins Ulmen
Curriculum Technology Specialist

Keri Reynolds
Administrative Assistant