Sleepy Eye Public School families may start hearing their student come home, talking about being above or below the line and wonder what that means.

Sleepy Eye Public School families may start hearing their student come home, talking about being above or below the line and wonder what that means. This year, we are incorporating an exciting new way to learn about having Sleepy Eye Pride called Top 20. The name stems from the idea that out of 100 percent of all people, 20 percent are making 80 percent of the difference, while the other 80 percent are making 20 percent of the difference. This is not a bad thing, just the way it is. People who are seen as being in the Top 20 have an effective way of thinking, learning and communicating. As students learn about themselves through Top 20, they will be able to learn how they can all strengthen their thinking, learning and communicating.

As a school, we know that it is important to educate the whole student, which not only means academically, but also making sure our students know they are in a safe and trusting place. A main focus of Top 20 is learning about living above and below the line. This key idea focuses on becoming aware of our thinking so we know when it is (above) and is not (below) working in our best interest. When we are feeling above the line, we are feeling positive, hopeful and focused on what is important. When we are below the line, we are feeling negative, powerless and unfocused on what is important. Other topics that will be covered throughout the year include how we can see things differently, learning from mistakes, moving outside our comfort zone and eliminating roadblocks for success.

During workshop week, the entire SEPS staff was trained on Top 20 topics with a plan to incorporate monthly lessons to students. In January, the trainers from Top 20 will return to continue moving through more topics and ideas to help students be successful. In the future, we plan to become a Top 20 school, which will incorporate families and the community. We are very excited for our students to learn about becoming aware of the power they possess within themselves, so they are successful in school and the community.