This year, as a part of a growth plan at Tecumseh Annex, staff at the school decided to focus on improving behavioral success for students, particularly during less structured, less supervised times and settings such as lunch and recess.
“As a staff we decided to re-examine our code of conduct by adopting a positive, proactive approach to supporting behavior through the direct teaching of pro-social skills in site-specific settings,” says Risha Golby, Vice-Principal at Tecumseh Annex.
This led to the development of the Tecumseh Annex R.O.C.K.s initiative where teachers and staff worked with all students to encourage them to R.O.C.K. with Respect, Open Minds, Community and Kindness.
Says Golby, “We discussed as a staff what R.O.C.K. looks like, feels like, sounds like in every location—what we would need to teach the kids so that they could demonstrate these qualities independently. For example, if we want the students to show respect on the playground equipment, we may need to take the class to the playground, teach, role model and practice what respect actually looks like.”
Every day for two weeks the teachers agreed to use classroom time to take the kids out to the playground setting and teach, role model and practice what it means to R.O.C.K. in those settings.
The supervising adults at lunch and recess worked to recognize students being successful and acknowledge them with a positive comment and add their name to the R.O.C.K. Star board.
“We set a goal for the students to earn 500 Rock Stars, which are earned for demonstrating these behaviors on the playground, around the school, the community and beyond,” says Golby.
In just over a month, the little school of 108 students reached 500 R.O.C.K. Stars. The whole school celebrated together with a dance party to acknowledge everyone’s dedication to building a positive community culture. A highlight of the celebration was the performance of an original song written by Tecumseh teacher Lora Bird and performed by students.
Staff measured the success of the program by comparing December's office referrals to January's office referrals. Not only did the students achieve their goal, but staff also noted an 80% reduction in office discipline referrals for the month of January as compared to December.
“What we see,” says Golby. “Is kids talking about Respect, having Open Minds, Community, and Kindness; adults having conversations with kids about what that looks like in every location; adults catching kids in the moment; community members asking what it is all about, asking if they can do it at home; and students proudly sharing our ROCK star board with their parents.”
Tecumseh Annex definitely R.O.C.Ks!
To read more about Tecumseh ROCKs on Risha Golby's blog CLICK HERE.