Principal Shannon Hulsey, Rockmart Middle School, believes an important lesson is included in these words.
She said a review of the past year revealed that RMS had a 90/10 rule rather than the 80/20.
“We discovered that 10 percent of our kids were taking up 90 percent of our time and disrupting the instructional environment,” Hulsey said. “When 90 percent of the students are doing what is right you want to focus on them. Many times the good kids are punished along with those who are causing problems.”
At RMS, the school of thought is to teach students how to behave and understand the expectation of teachers and administrators through “Positive Behavior Support.”
During the past term, administrators visited Murray County to learn more about the 160-day calendar. While there, they discovered the impact of behavior intervention.
The idea was later discussed with teachers, who attended a local presentation by visitors from Gladden Middle School.
Since that time, Jacket Pride has been created at RMS. Posters emphasizing this idea will be placed throughout the school when school begins on Sept. 7.
Pride involves Being Prepared, Respectful, Involved, Disciplined and Excellent. Hulsey said this covers all behaviors whether in the classroom, hallways, lunchroom or gym.
During the first few weeks of school, 30 minutes of each day will be used to teach the students about expectations of teachers and administrators.
“We are bringing elementary ideas about behavior into the middle school,” Hulsey explained.
Bobby Renshaw, assistant principal, is working with a Positive Behavior Team, representing all grade levels – special education and connections. This group will meet on a regular basis throughout the 2010-2011 term. Team members will also meet with department or grade level teams.
Part of the planned intervention program is presenting “Buzz Bucks” to students who have exhibited positive behavior. These can be saved or spent.
A Buzz Buck can be awarded by a teacher or other adult at RMS that sees a student exhibiting positive behavior such as being kind to another individual or picking up paper.
One day each week, the student can go to the school store and turn in or spend their Buzz Bucks for items such as pencils or paper. They can save their awards to use for a special event like a football game, dance or other activity.
Hulsey said that results of the intervention program would be tracked to determine ways to improve or prevent problems on campus. The ultimate goal is to have students in the classroom that is engaged and learning.
“Instruction is the driving force of this program,” she said.
After the first four weeks of school, a mentoring program will begin at RMS. Each adult will have seven to 10 kids they will meet with each Friday.
“This is another way to let our students know that we care about them,” Renshaw said.
Parents of students at the middle school are also reminded of time changes. Classes will begin at 7:45 a.m. with the tardy bell at 7:55. If a student is late, a parent must enter the building and sign the student into class. A warning will be issued the first time. A second offense will bring after school detention and third, a work detail.
Theme for the new school term is “Wild About RMS” and will be used on the first day of school.
“We want the kids to be excited about our school and learning,” Hulsey said.