By Molly Moser
Clayton Ridge Middle School students have more opportunities for excitement outside the classroom than ever before. Picnics, hiking, movies, carnivals, ski trips – all of these adventures are made possible by a discipline plan that includes incentives for positive behavior.
Students who meet specific criteria are allowed to participate in monthly and semesterly merit activities. Monthly activities, which are a new addition this year, are done by grade level and are a half-day in length. They may take place at school, like the carnival held last October, or involve a trip to Osborne, Pikes Peak, or other nearby parks. Each semester, a large trip is organized for all grades.
“At the beginning of the year, kids go through each setting for training on expectations in that setting,” explained Stephanie Thomas, middle school guidance counselor. Students are walked through ways to be ready, respectful, responsible, and safe in each of 11 settings including classroom, hallway, office, nurse, field trips, lunch, bullying, and more.
“This is a big thing in the education world,” Thomas told The Press. Clayton Ridge Middle School has been recognized by the Iowa Department of Education on two occasions as a Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS) Banner School. The elementary has also been recognized for their efforts to teach expectations and use incentives.