Kendall Elementary School principal Tony Ditrio says the changes he is bringing to his school are about "doing what the whole child needs."
The new school year will bring a new teaching approach to Kendall. Ditrio calls it a "brain-friendly" method that goes beyond the classroom.
"We need to do something so they are better prepared to learn," he says.
Ditrio plans to install all-encompassing programs -- more than just students knowing their fractions.
"We will have a boot camp -- exercise in the morning from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.," Ditrio says. "We will follow that with a healthy breakfast."
Ditrio says he is also working on partnering with local organizations so that emotional support and family support is always available to Kendall students and parents.
"If student don't have hope, if they're upset, they are not able to function academically," says fourth grade teacher Rose Bernheim.
"There are a lot of things to teach besides 6x7=42," Ditrio says. "If you don't teach them all the other things, they are not going to learn 6x7=42."
The ideas come from Eric Jensen, an international speaker and teacher developer. Ditrio attended one of his workshops over the summer.
Jensen's "brain-friendly" methods suggest focusing on factors outside the classroom translates to better success in it.
"We wonder why a kid behaves the way he does, and we think he might just have an evil streak in him or something like that," Ditrio says. "No. Maybe they just haven't learned the right thing to do; they haven't been exposed to it."
Bernheim says outside factors can impact a student. She and Ditrio agree taking care of out-of-school factors can make a difference once a student gets to school.
"We know that if we do certain things, we can improve the way the brain works," Ditrio says.
"Changing little things in the way we teach and the way we present things can really impact kids in a positive way," Bernheim says.