Double Diamond Elementary School has been an early adopter blazing the trail for the effective school intervention system, commonly known as “PBS” – Positive Behavior Interventions and Systems. Leadership of this program as I understand it has been; Dr. Kristell Moller, Performance Director for Zone 1 and Zone 2 for WCSD, Mrs. Michelle Cleveland, Assistant Principal, Double Diamond ES, and Trish Gilbert, WCSD School Counselor who not only have installed banners, but also an acknowledge system that tie’s into the school mascot of Coyotes to allow these little elementary school students to receive a ‘howl’ to reinforce behavior. These can be accumulated as an extrinsic motivator or ‘incentive’ for the students to be “Respectful, Responsible and Safe”. As a member of the Counseling Advisory Council, I can tell you that this team works hard to meet the national certification standards and work hard to ensure that they collaborate ideas across the regional schools. In fact, DDES has another great program called, the “Peace Pals,” which involves training upper elementary school students around conflict management and self confidence to advocate for peaceful resolution on the playground.
I did want to highlight a tactical recognition program for the 100 Howls collected for these Coyotes, that are the brain child of WCSD is Michelle Faulkner, who has created on a shoe string budget an enviable program that students are clamoring about. It’s called the Howl VIP Movie Premier Night. They have creatively branded it as “The Double Diamond Theater” which premiers a new movie. Think Hollywood! Well, uh hem… It’s really just a RedBox $1.00 movie rental – but it does involve a faux red carpet (red paper on the floor) for the kids to ‘walk on’ the carpet – and be part of a VIP experience. Oh yes, the students are encouraged to dress in their best attire, bring a friend and come hungry for appetizers and the movie premier. They announce the students who have accumulated 100 howls during lunch hour with the presentation of their ‘tickets’ which is a lanyard with their school ID photo and details for the event. Think Willy Wonka and the Golden TicketJ. Oh, and the program – well – lit rivals those of a $400 a seat program for a fundraiser. The cost to create you asks? The creativity and overtime of one uber committed employee who takes her job of ‘kids and education’ seriously. This school secretary is the wizard in all things Microsoft who can cut and paste photos, use publisher and uses fonts with the best of them. The children are interviewed by teachers as they ‘wait on the red carpet’ by a teacher with a ‘real microphone’ to reflect on their most memorable behavior and why they got the ‘howl’. One student had been saving up her howls since 2nd grade. It only took her 3 years to accumulate enough for the coveted VIP ticket – to experience the Diamond Theatre.
Thanks to these creative and courageous leaders at this school who are committed to using their competencies and creativity to create a best in class effective school-wide disciplinary practice.