A whole new large group of Lakers got exposed to the concept of E+R=O during the recent R-Factor/Family Game Night event at Indian Lake Elementary School.
More than 200 parents, local business leaders and interested community members gathered for a light meal and short presentation to explain the strategies for success that Indian Lake School leaders and educators have adopted district-wide over the past few years.
Members of the Indian Lake High School Laker Leadership Council and ILES staff volunteered to feed participating students and offer childcare for little ones so parents could partake in the educational portion of the night before the games began.
“The turnout was significantly larger than expected, which is a testament to the support we receive from our community and our parents’ commitment to educating the whole child,” remarked Indian Lake Superintendent Rob Underwood.
To begin, a student panel of fourth graders introduced the concept of E+R=O (Event plus Response equals Outcome) in their own words to the adults. Parents, like Natosha Frost, agreed with the idea.
“It’s true, you cannot control all the events that happen in life. But the one thing we can control, and kids can learn to control, is how they react,” she said.
Facilitator Derek Avera then led the presentation through R-Factor concepts, including pressing pause to think before responding, stepping up to make the right decisions, and adjusting and adapting to situations.
“The research continues to show it’s not just response and resilience,” he told the group.
“Those people, whether younger or older, who show that they can adapt to their situation, those are the people who are winning in life.”
R-Factor is just one of the many tools Indian Lake Schools use to improve culture throughout the district.
“First and foremost, we are committed to fostering the mental health and social emotional growth of our students,” Superintendent Underwood said. “We use an umbrella approach that we call The Lake Effect, which includes the R-Factor, the long-time ILES Laker Zone program and other strategies to reinforce and build positive behaviors that lead to success.”
A core group of Indian Lake educators received R-Factor training in late 2018 and developed a plan to train the entire staff and student body.
In 2020, educators began rolling out many of the concepts to students. Covid-19 disrupted the plan; however, it presented the perfect real-life opportunity to teach kids to respond to events out of their control. Now Indian Lake staff members present R-factor lessons to every grade level on “Lake Effect Days” the first Monday of each month.
During Avera’s visit to the district, he also spoke with middle and high school students, members of the ILHS Laker Leadership Council and the entire Indian Lake staff.
Avera reviewed R-Factor principles and highlighted the importance of attitude.
“We’re not going to let the way other people treat us affect the way we treat other people.”
And that’s a concept that Frost and many other parents enthusiastically embraced during the Family Game Night lesson.
“I think that not only can the kids apply these, but we as adults can apply everything that we learned tonight to our work lives, our home lives and support the school and the kids,” she said.
After the parent presentation, the families reunited to play games, make crafts and win prizes to conclude Family Game Night.