By Belinda Vasquez

Prior to my arrival, Bluebonnet Elementary had attendance, discipline and academic issues, but I found a common problem was that students didn’t feel a part of something bigger. Students lacked confidence in themselves and in their school. My commitment to my teachers was, “We’re transforming this together.”

To build relationships among teachers, students and families, we needed a clear, unified vision. I strongly believe in social emotional learning, so together we developed our vision based on the 7 Mindsets:

  1. Everything is Possible
  2. Passion First
  3. We Are Connected
  4. 100% Accountable
  5. Attitude of Gratitude
  6. Live to Give and
  7. The Time is Now

Creating ‘Parent Partners’
We refer to our parents as “parent partners.” We host family informational sessions each fall where we share the 7 Mindsets with parents to help them understand what their kids are learning at school, allowing them to do the same at home.

Celebrating Data Improvements
Attendance data is shared with parent partners weekly. We celebrate the grade level with the highest attendance with “Attendance Champion” banners. We also celebrate individual attendance for students who haven’t missed school for a week or a month.

Putting Students Front and Center
Our assemblies are almost 100% student-led. Each grade level has a mindset, and we help them prepare to present to their schoolmates. Some kids are eager to present, while others prefer making a video. No matter what, this results in students recognizing other students. This has truly changed the culture: Our kids are kind and truly want to help each other.

View our school’s campus improvement plan, including SEL initiatives.

Learn more about 7 Mindsets.

Belinda Vasquez is the principal of Bluebonnet Elementary in Lockhart ISD and a TEPSA member.

TEPSA News, January/February 2020, Vol 77, No 1

Copyright © 2020 by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. No part of articles in TEPSA publications or on the website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.

The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA), whose hallmark is educational leaders learning with and from each other, has served Texas PK-8 school leaders since 1917. Member owned and member governed, TEPSA has more than 5,900 members who direct the activities of 3 million PK-8 school children. TEPSA is an affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

© Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association

Sign up to receive the latest news on Texas PK-8 school leadership.