CHSAA launches innovative leadership approach with We Are CHSAA

student leadership

Inclusion program includes Positive Coaching Alliance, You Can Play, Colorado!, Valuable Resource Bank

In Colorado, there are differences in the students that make up our schools, just like there are differences that make each community different from the next.

The Colorado High School Activities Association recognizes that each school has a different culture, whether it’s a large metropolitan high school, a school in the mountains, or on the eastern plains.

What isn’t different are students. In light of the one similarity that all schools share -- the natural leadership that participants in sports, music, speech and student leadership possess -- the Association has developed a program to bring out those natural abilities in students and create a positive, inclusive school culture.

We Are CHSAA: Promoting Positive Leadership

This is an inclusion project for all students in Colorado’s 343 high schools. It requires empowering the natural leadership qualities of our student participants to be more inclusive of their classmates, regardless of social standing, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any other perceived difference that might make a student feel excluded.

The main focus of the We Are CHSAA campaign will be on an overall training for student leaders and coaches, alike, to help use the people that already are in leadership position to be more tolerant and accepting – in essence, to be role models. It looks to combat all hazing and bullying for any reason and replace that activity with a positive approach to getting all students invested in their high school.

Beyond Sportsmanship: Positive Coaching Alliance

The CHSAA Sportsmanship Program has joined with Positive Coaching Alliance to bring a comprehensive curriculum to schools to help work on positive leadership and sportsmanship not only within the team but the entire school culture. This program will provide tools and resources for student-athletes, coaches, parents, officials, and school communities alike to take the lead in making their school a positive, learning environment where all students are invested in the learning process.

The PCA partnership also allows for work with coaches and parents to help bring the entire fabric of a community together in support of all students.

You Can Play, Colorado!

This piece of the CHSAA campaign centers on a statewide focus on accepting all students, regardless of gender, where their family is from, their race or sexual orientation. The message here is that each student is unique and has something to offer. All students have heart, talent and skill. If a student can player, he/she can play. This segment of the CHSAA campaign empowers students to be inclusive of all their teammates.

You Can Play, Colorado! is planning a video and have participation commitments from the Nuggets, Avalanche and the Rapids. Other professional sports are likely to join because they know they can be role models for You Can Play, Colorado! and We Are CHSAA.

We Are CHSAA has been embraced by a number of education organizations, including:

  • Colorado Association of School Boards
  • Colorado Association of School Executives
  • Colorado Education Association
  • Colorado League of Charter Schools
  • Charter School Institute
  • Colorado School Safety Resource Center
  • One Colorado Education Fund
  • Colorado Rural Caucus
  • Colorado BOCES Association
  • Positive Coaching Alliance

“We Are CHSAA” begins promoting its positive leadership campaign on October 22 with the launch of a special You Can Play, Colorado! video contest for all CHSAA member schools.