Bright and early at 8:00 am on the first day of school the students of Leckie Elementary School were greeted by eleven strangers wearing the same uniform. The students learned new power greetings and started to release some of their anxiety that first day. Instantly connections were made between the students and corps members that are getting stronger with each day. While observing the interaction between students and corps members, parents were taking pictures and videos of what was happening before their eyes.
New to the school, City Year has made a great first impression. It has been over a month at Leckie and already City Year is getting highly involved. The City Year corps members have already arranged a staff appreciation breakfast where teachers, administrators, custodians and other staff in the school came to enjoy a great spread of food, coffee, and a little jazz music. The relationships that have formed in this new partnership are off to a great start.
The principal of Leckie has adopted 20 essential rules from the master educator Ron Clark. With these essential rules, the goal is that behavior issues within the school will be a thing of the past. To help encourage positive growth and development for the students the school uses Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) along with a house program.
Another method that Leckie has adopted from Ron Clark is a house system that is based off of the Harry Potter series. The 3rd-5th graders have been divided into four teams. Valiente, Alturistico, Yume, and Ambise. Each house is assigned one of these words which promote positive behavior. The students have an opportunity to earn tickets for excellent behavior to score points for their house. At the end of every month there is a ceremony with competitions to determine which house is the ultimate winner of the month and most importantly determines which students earn the grand prize!
So I know what you are wondering…. How has City Year injected their culture into the school? During the final house meeting of every month the students in grades 3rd-5th will perform P.T. in front of their classmates and a panel of judges. Eventually students will be given the opportunity to develop their own personal P.T. moves. Whichever house performs with the most excellence will be awarded points for their team to help them win the grand prize.
As the year continues the City Year corps members have high hopes and aspirations for their school and community. We have started off on the right foot and look forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of others each and every day.
This post was written my Mike Rosenthal. Mike is a corps member on The Acacia Group Team serving at Leckie Elementary School.