SHELTER BUDDIES READING PROGRAM
Two problems existed in our area and one solution would address both issues. Students of all ages are not the biggest fans of reading aloud in front of their piers, and overcrowding of the local animal shelter. The Shelter Buddies Reading program allows students to read to the animals in a pressure free environment to help improve literacy skills and advertise and promote the needed adoptions of the animals to which they read.
ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES/DJ CLUB
Students with specific physical limitations are often unable to participate in team sports yet they want to be involved in some capacity. The DJ Club was formed to allow students to learn skills needed in lighting and sound production and performances at school dances and sporting events. The skills they learn directly impact their ability to work in the entertainment industry and result in possible career opportunities.
PIZZA WITH THE PRINCIPAL
Students with outstanding behavior or improvement within the classroom are nominated by their teachers to have Pizza with the Principal once a month. A special table in the lunch room is decorated and each student selects their favorite pizza to eat. What gets recognized gets repeated.
PICNIC WITH THE PRINCIPAL
Students receiving positive referral cards (Road to Awesome Cards) were invited once a semester to participate in Picnic with the Principal. The administrators cooked burgers and hotdogs for those students.
HOMECOMING MOTORCYCLE RALLY
To add a new dimension to the spirit and excitement of the Homecoming Football Game I invited local motorcycle clubs to ride into the stadium and line the track with their bikes to welcome the players out onto the field. One of the bikes was carrying our guest performer of the National Anthem. Once she finished singing all the audience cheered and applauded and all sixty of the motorcycle rev’d their engines as the players took the field. It was a quite a sight to behold.
STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
At the beginning of the 2015-16 school year I proposed to the school district's Superintendent and Chief Information Officer of a district wide communication system. I saw a need for increased communication in a user friendly method that addressed the needs of the community, teachers, students, administrators and all stakeholders. I recommended using the SchoolWay app. It met our needs and allowed for multiple cross platform communication including; push notifications, text messaging, email, Facebook, and Twitter. Since the approval and implementation of this communication tool we now have 5,514 students using the app to keep up on all announcements, assignments, and emergency information at our schools. Bradlee has implemented this communication tool in two school districts with amazing results and improved stakehiolder communication.
DRESS UP DAYS
I believe it is important to create a culture and climate in school that allows students to know that their administration is not always an authoritarian or a disciplinarian. We are human and can indeed have fun when it is appropriate. That being said, I like to participate in the dress up days with the students. It surprises them and several join in and participate on the next one because they know I will be right there with them.
HALLWAY IMPROVEMENT PLAN
We wanted to create a new and improved school climate and culture. It had to start the moment students walked in the door. We need the school to look like "their" school. It should be a school for the students, by the students.
In my current and previous three school district I petitioned the district leadership to allow me to pilot the educational software provided by Google to show teachers how effective Google Classroom can be for students and teachers. After one year of using Google Classroom for my courses, collecting data from students and parents, and reporting my findings, the entire school district, secondary and elementary schools, all use Google Classroom.
STUDENT SAFETY AWARENESS
One of the main roles an administrator plays is keeping students safe. That safety also includes digital safety and educating our students on the harms that exist in the digital world. The need arose to discuss the issues at hand in regards to cyberbullying and sexting. This harmful practice can have life long ramifications; whether in the form of a student who was cyberbullied decided to take their own life or a student sent a inappropriate picture to a trusted significant other who sent it to another and now they are on the sex offender registry list for distributing child pornography. The dangers are real and our students needed the opportunity to gain more information and discuss their concerns in a safe environment.
TRANSPORTATION REQUEST PROCEDURES
In order to improve the process of how athletics and activities request, schedule, and are assigned buses and drivers I instituted a new approach that would allow the appropriate information to be disseminated to all stakeholders and increase the communication between building level organizations the transportation department on the district level.
A Behavior Matrix is often created by an administrator or in conjunction with a counselor or behavior intervention team. I wanted to involve more parties and created a completely new Behavior Matrix by working with all previously mentioned parties and a school resource officer. The end result was more aligned with best practices, fair to all students, and approved by a parent committee.
TEACHER FEATURE TUESDAY
One day each we select one to three teachers to feature. In front of their students we recognize their teachers and the great contributions. Each teacher is then featured on our website and social media sites. It is great to read the comments from the community and former students as they see their teachers being recognized.
For American Education Week we wanted to say thank you to our parents, support staff and bus drivers so we offered curbside service in the morning as they dropped of their students in front of the school. The high school jazz band was out in front of the school playing to welcome everyone to our building.
POSITIVE REFERRAL AND INCENTIVE CARDS
Road To Awesome is a high school rewards and recognition program promoting academic improvement to increase graduation rates and encourage post-secondary enrollment. The Road to Awesome program will begin during the 2015-2016 school year at Rock Springs High School with a goal to motivate, recognize and reward students. Additionally, Road To Awesome will partner with multiple local businesses and community leaders to offer additional incentives for students in improving their academic and attendance endeavors. Over 1400 students at the high school, their family and friends, all students in Sweetwater County School District #1, and the entire community of Sweetwater County. The norm in education is for teachers to write a referral for students who exhibit negative behavior.Lets change that by writing referrals for students who exhibit positive behaviors, academic or attendance improvement, or other noteworthy successes that deserve recognition.
MORNING MOMENT OF TRUTH
One of our amazing special needs students, Mason, is greeted at the front of the school as he gets of the bus. Each administrator opens one of the front doors and Mason is given the opportunity to choose whose door he will enter. This started out as something small and simple and has now turned into our favorite morning rituals. Starting your day seeing a student completely overcome with joy is the best way to begin. This has been a great opportunity to remember that what seem like a small deal to one person may indeed be a big deal to another.
HIGH FIVE FRIDAY
Each Friday of the school year the administration team greets all students at the front doors and welcomes them to school with a High Five.
In helping to aid in the fundraising towards this years wish recipient I volunteered to put together a student performance group for the event and if the student body reached a total of over $7,000 raised at one single event I would shave my head to match the other members of the administration team. In total for the two weeks of fundraising activities, we were able to raise over $64,000. During our 2019 Make-A-Wish Fundraising Drive, we raised a combined total of $75,000.
Being in rural school I wanted to open up the experiences and learning opportunities for my students to much larger scale. I created the hashtag #Interviewsday and began hosting professionals from various career fields as guest in my classroom via Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts. Some of our guests included; movie, video game and voice-over actors, poets, associate presidents of clothing line companies, lawyers, doctors, dentists, and television news anchors.
CAREER AND COLLEGE READINESS
In order to increase a student's odds of finding employment after high school, they need soft skills to go along with the hard skills they learned while in school. "Hard Skills will get you the interview, but Soft Skills will get you the job". Personally, I have been striving to move away from the term, "soft skills", as they are actually, "vital skills" for our students to gain in today's world.
160,000 STUDENTS SKIP SCHOOL EVERY DAY FOR FEAR OF BEING BULLIED. Knowing that we have students in our school that feel this same we invited students to accept Rachel's Challenge and create the Friends of Rachel Club. Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. But that was only the beginning of the story. After her death, many students that Rachel reached out to shared stories with the Scotts about the profound impact her simple acts of kindness had on their lives; even preventing one young man for taking his own life. \ Her vision to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion is the basis for our mission: Making schools safer, more connected places where bullying and violence are replaced with kindness and respect; and where learning and teaching are awakened to their fullest. The objectives of these programs are; to continue Rachel's legacy of kindness and compassion and to: Help schools and businesses become safer, more connected places to live and learn. Stimulate real culture change by actively involving the entire community in the process. Change lives by providing culturally relevant social/emotional training. Increase achievement and ensure results by engaging the participant's heart, head, and hands in a continuous improvement process. We are hopeful that you will decide to continue Rachel's legacy by helping us get her message to more students and adults.