Principal: CIP focus includes environment, relationships

Published 2:13 am Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A project to replace the columns at AHS is almost completed, Superintendent Ted Watson said Monday.

A project to replace the columns at AHS is almost completed, Superintendent Ted Watson said Monday.

Long before it became the trend of the moment to sit through the national anthem, teachers at Andalusia Junior High School noticed that some of their students hadn’t been taught the tradition of standing and saluting the flag while the music was playing.

Last year, they set out to teach the tradition. Recently, when representatives of Safe and Civil Schools were visiting, educators piped “The Star-Spangled Banner” into the lunchroom. As if on cue, Superintendent Ted Watson said, the students stood, placed their hands over their hearts, and did exactly what they were supposed to do.

It’s just one example of how the school’s Continuous Improvement Plan is working. Dr. Daniel Shakespeare told board members the school’s plan addresses environment, and has set as goals for AHS and AJS, fewer discipline referrals and a reduction in the number of days in in school suspension.

Faculty members are implementing the Safe and Civil Schools plan by Randy Sprick, and using Positive Behavior Incentive Program (PBIS). The idea, he said, is to provide more positive feedback than negative throughout each school day to reinforce positive actions and behaviors.

AHS and AJHS teachers also are working to build relationships so that each student has at least one adult who knows him/her well, makes sure his/her learning needs are met, and encourages him/her to make good choices while planning for the future.

“Every kid on this campus has at least one adult he can reach out to,” Shakespeare said. “We can’t control everything, but we can control what happens to kids when they get to school.”

Shakespeare said faculty members believe that focusing on and improving school culture ultimately will help with the academic goals of closing the achievement gaps between the school’s top and lower performers.