What is Foundations of Leadership?

August 1, 2018

Hello, my name is Travis Patocka and I have been teaching with Lexington Public Schools for over 17 years in a variety of subject areas.  I also happen to be one of 12 teachers at the high school that teaches the all-freshmen Foundations of Leadership class.

Foundations of Leadership (FOL), is unlike any class that I have ever taught before.  While there are many elements of teaching that are similar in my Spanish, Computer Science and FOL classes, FOL is very unique in its content and what the ultimate mission is for our 9thgraders.

The curriculum for FOL has its origins in the Passageworks Institute based out of Boulder, Colorado founded by the late Rachael Kessler and her research in the world of social and emotional learning.  Other core components of the FOL curriculum include Mindfulness as well as Cultural Responsiveness.  Other areas that are emphasized in FOL include communication, listening, post-secondary school planning as well as community advocacy.

A freshman entering any of the FOL classes can expect a curriculum and program that will help them grow emotionally and form strong bonds with their classmates.  Many of the activities in class emphasize communication and expression in both a written and verbal form.

Students also have the opportunity to learn and feel what it is like to become servant leaders in their community with both community service projects over the course of the year, as well as our high school spring cultural fair which will give them an opportunity to educate younger students about culture and life in other countries with music, fun, games, and dance. 

In the end, the ultimate goal is to have an LHS student that will be a self-advocate who can communicate, listen well, and is motivated to succeed, but also care for her/his community and fellow classmates.