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Our November spotlight:  

John Amesse Elementary School and the International School of Denver (ISD) are in their second year of PATHS� implementation.

Find out more about these two schools below.

A book recommendation by Jim McKenney and Dawn Jackson:              How full is your bucket? by Tom Rath

Through the story of a little boy named Felix, this charming book explains to children how being kind not only helps others, it helps them, too. As he goes about his day, Felix interacts with different people - his sister Anna, his grandfather, other family and friends. Some people are happy, but others are grumpy or sad. Using the metaphor of a bucket and dipper, Felix' grandfather explains why the happy people make Felix feel good, while the others leave him feeling bad - and how Felix himself is affecting others, whether he means to or not. This beautifully illustrated adaptation takes the original book's powerful message - that the way we relate to others has a profound effect on every aspect of our lives - and tailors it to a child's unique needs and level of understanding.

John Amesse Elementary  

Jim McKenney is a PATHS� coach at John Amesse Elementary School in Denver, CO.  Jim says that having worked for several years in the Bronx and Denver and across all elementary grade levels, he has come to believe that social-emotional learning is the missing piece in education. The PATHS� program gives students and teachers a common language to recognize and regulate their feelings while learning valuable problem solving strategies!



Dawn Jackson is a 5th grade teacher at John Amesse Elementary School.  She was part of the pilot year for the PATHS� program last year when she taught 3rd grade.  This year she wanted to take a more active role in ensuring the programs success at our school so she chose to become a PATHS� coach.  Coaching has allowed her to grow as a teacher and mentor in her school.  


Dawn and Jim were recently recognized by Steps to Success Montbello, the organization that helped bring the PATHS� program to their school. They received Positive Recognition Community Awards for their PATHS� leadership. 

Facts about John Amesse Elementary

 Denver, CO

Mascot:  The Roadrunners

Number of students:  590 students

Public or Private:  Public

Languages taught at school:  English and Spanish

Languages spoken by students:  English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Marshallese 

Observations from around John Amesse Elementary-The Power of PATHS

Art teacher, Pamela Rojas:   Personalizing the materials that PATHS� offers me is the main way I incorporate them into my pedagogy.  For example, the "Problem Page", I changed the name and have titled it-"Refocus Sheet".  I added lines for students to write their name and date.  Finally, I added a line for parents to sign their name, as an indication that we are on the same team, working out problems and creating next steps, while planning together.    My favorite part about this Refocus Sheet is that students end up with a visual demonstrating a resolution to a problem.  They may be at the "red" level, but after working on the problem, together; we expect students to demonstrate "green" behavior.

Gym teacher, Dave Kersten:  help students apply PATHS strategies as problems arise outside of the classroom.  In addition, I make a point of recognizing the PATHS Kid of the Day and allowing them to be an assistant during class.

Principal, Amy Bruce:  Since coming to John Amesse as a new principal this year, I have been delighted to have PATHS as a resource and to have a staff that embraces the social emotional development of students as well as their academic development.  Research tells us that achievement can be boosted when we prioritize both academics and social emotional learning but not all folks readily understand this.  The teachers at John Amesse are an exception to that.  They have participated in PATHS training enthusiastically and begun implementation of the PATHS curriculum with fidelity because they value what it provides for our students.  On any given week, a visitor to John Amesse would see PATHS lessons happening in our classrooms and PATHS kids proudly wearing their stickers and enjoying their compliments posters displayed at their classroom doors.   One would also see another tremendous asset that we have supporting our PATHS implementation at John Amesse.  That is our two teachers, Dawn Jackson and Jim McKenney,  who have been trained as coaches for the program.  It has been invaluable to have them in the building able to observe lessons, answer questions and lead our work to integrate PATHS into the fabric of our school.  We, of course, have much more to do as we work toward becoming a  model school and having Jim and Dawn as coaches is critical to our success.  Finally, it is definitely worth noting that although we have only just begun our PATHS implementation this school year, we can already see a difference in our students.  Discipline incidents have been reduced, student attendance has improved and our learning environment feels calm.  That is worth celebrating!

International School of Denver (ISD)

你好, hola, bonjour, and hello. I'm Kristin West, the Academic Coordinator
and PATHS Coach-in-training at International School of Denver (ISD).My favorite role of being a PATHS Coach is in watching the small changes in social interactions and emotional growth of our students, parents and staff. Additionally, I love growing in my leadership capacity. Contact Kristin at

Facts about the International School of Denver (ISD)



Location:  Denver, CO

Mascot:  The Dragons

Number of students:  647 students

Public or Private:  Private

Languages:  English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish

Fun fact #1:   ISD is located on an old air force base and has five buildings on 6.7 acres of land.  

Fun fact #2:  The school opened in 1977 and classes, in French, were taught in the basement of students' homes. 

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