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School focuses on success

Middle school can be a tough time for students, but Scotia-Glenville Middle School administrators are hoping to smooth the way with a plan called Check for Success.

School Principal Shari Keller presented the plan to the school board at Monday night's meeting. She said her staff discussed developing consistent expectations of students for the upcoming 2006-07 school year and came up with a way to focus on what students were doing right in addition to dealing with negative behavior.

"We feel the students will be very excited about the imple-mentation of this program. It will give them the motivation with things such as assemblies and field trips," said Keller.

The school administration is looking at possibly using a point system as a tool for measuring the students' success. Keller told the board that "success" is not necessarily determined by aca-demics, but rather citizenship.

"The main components for 'Check for Success' are being on time, being prepared for class, behaving appropriately, respecting people and property, doing your best and dressing appropriately," Keller said.

School board member Pam Carbone asked Keller if she thought teachers would be able to track the expected student standards. Keller said that teachers will have charts available that will help make the system easy and effective.

Board member John Crisafulli complimented Keller on her efforts.

"I think it is an encouraging program, and I specifically like the involvement of parents that will be required," said Crisafulli. "It's an excellent idea."

Parent involvement will increase through the program, including participation with homework agendas and discipline.

Keller said parents will be notified if their child is repeatedly in the "time out" room, either through a phone call or possibly an e-mail. She said chronic behavioral problems are always addressed by a phone call.

"The purpose of the program is not to dwell on negative behavior, but to promote a positive attitude through-out the school. Last year we had the 'adopt a hallway' program, which the students loved," said Keller. "We want to focus on work-ing together as a school by celebrating success."

Keller told the board that, at the middle school level, students need clear boundaries and goals. She said that "Check for Success" gives students and staff members a clear outline of what is expected and acceptable in school.

"We know there will be bumps in the road and we'll work through those, we are very excited about this," said Keller.

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