Positive Behavior the First Lesson of 2012-13 at Grant Middle School
Students spend first two days learning expectations and how to SOAR.
August 20, 2012
Grant Middle School hit the ground running in the continuation of its School-Wide Positive Behavior Program. Students spent the first two days of school last week covering behavior expectations and participating in team-building activities led by student ambassadors.
Students walked the campus to talk about what’s expected in different areas. Invoking Grant’s mascot, the school has adopted the Eagles SOAR program (Safe; Own it; Achieve; Respect). It covers how students should act outside, on the bus and in the hallways, classrooms, restrooms and the cafeteria. They walked the hallways, for example, because new sixth-graders don’t understand the flow of traffic. APS Student Transportation Services provided two buses so that positive behavior could be illustrated.
“There’s an assumption that kids know everything about how they’re supposed to behave in school,” said Grant assistant principal Rebekah Floryance, who spearheaded this orientation for the second straight year. “But, they really need to be taught and re-taught.”
For exhibiting good behavior, students receive Eagle Bucks, which can be redeemed for a visit to the Eagle’s Nest. Supported in part by the local YMCA and the YDI-Elev8 program, the Eagle’s Nest is a student lounge where they can hang out, play games or listen to music, or use their “bucks” to buy pens, pencils or small candies. There are “black boxes” around the school where students can report if they or their friends are having problems at school.
It’s not a fast or easy process, but the school’s administration believes in the change positive behavior support can bring.
“We’re trying to create a climate of positive behavior, where students and staff treat each other with respect. That doesn’t happen overnight,” Principal Paul Roney said. He added that that he’s pleased with the way teachers have stepped up and become more involved in the program.
Grant started its student ambassadors program last winter. Intended to serve as peer mentors and role models, ambassadors are trained to work with other students to solve—or even prevent—problems at school. Trained teacher-sponsors meet with them regularly to discuss what their seeing in hallways and classrooms.
“The ambassadors are helping other kids and helping create a climate of safety in the school,” Roney said.