Thursday, August 9, 2012

Staying Above the Line at Petal Primary School

Good morning!!!
We are into our second day of the beginning of this school year, and it is so exciting to see the faces of our beautiful children. One more day, and then we will be ready for the "real deal" on Monday. Thanks to all of you for your support and especially for sharing your precious children with us at Petal Primary School.

In my very first blog entry, I shared that one of the goals of the "Standing Tall" blog will be to communicate with the families of our students. Today I have asked Kim Raulston, one of our awesome PPS Assistant Principals, to share her belief statements. In addition, Kim will also share  information about how we will be teaching boys and girls to learn self control and to show respect to one another.

We are off to a great start to what I feel will be a wonderful year.   I believe that our MISSION is POSSIBLE at Petal Primary!

Dede mentioned in an earlier blog that teachers and administrators spent time reflecting on our “bone deep beliefs” as we prepared for the new school year.  I would like to share my beliefs with you. 

1.      I believe that we learn by becoming a student of others.

2.      I believe that we must remain teachable in order to teach.

3.      I believe that empowering others makes a difference in me.

4.      I believe that for me to see what others see, I must feel what they feel.

5.      I believe that through struggles we gain strength.

6.      I believe that we must strive to understand others before being understood.

I would also like to share a quote with you from Abraham Lincoln:  “There is but one way to train up a child in the way he should go, and that is to travel it yourself.”

I love this quote!  Abraham Lincoln understood the importance of teaching young children guiding principles through modeling the desired behaviors for them. Our Petal Primary School Creed emphasizes the importance of these very important principles. 

PPS Creed

I am Petal Primary.

I will respect myself and others.

I will do what is right.

I will be the best that I can be.

I am Petal Primary.

In an effort to promote a safe and caring environment, where all students are taught the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior, we have implemented an “Above the Line” behavior plan. The plan will allow us to instill in each individual student an awareness of his /her importance and the need for cooperation among all members of our school family.  Clear expectations assist students in understanding how to relate in the classroom, hallways, on the playground, and in areas outside our school setting.

One of the components of our school wide behavior plan is the “Fix-It” plan.  The Fix-It Plan helps a student to identify the inappropriate behavior, assume responsibility for the behavior, and develop a method to repair the damage that was caused. 

Students will receive training and a lot of practice learning the “language” of the plan.  Pictures will be used to help our students understand what Above the Line and Below the Line behaviors look like. I’ve attached a copy of our Above the Line plan.   







At the beginning of the school year the teacher will spend time discussing the PPS Creed.



The teacher defines above the line/below the line/bottom line behaviors.



The teacher provides students with a clear understanding of appropriate and inappropriate behavior, focusing on teaching students to “live above the line”.



If a student makes an inappropriate behavior choice and falls “Below the Line”, the student will be responsible for developing a plan for “fixing” the problem.The teacher will assist the student with developing a “fix-it” plan.

Teacher & Student


If the “Fix-It” plan works, the student may go back above the line.

Teacher & Student


If the “Fix-It” plan does not work, a consequence that “fits the offense” is given.The teacher will notify the parent of the behavior,and when necessary schedule a parent conference.


Student & Parent


When a student’s behavior is considered “Bottom Line”, the student will be referred to the office.The assistant principal will determine the necessary action depending on the severity of the inappropriate behavior.Although “Bottom Line” behaviors automatically result in a consequence, the student is also expected to complete a “Fix-It” Plan.

Assistant Principal,

Teacher & Student


The teacher will notify the parent of bottom-line behaviors.A referral form will be sent home with the student explaining the behavior and the consequence.Parents will be asked to discuss the behavior with the student.The signed form must be returned to school the next day.

Assistant Principal,

Teacher & Student

We have an awesome group of students and faculty at Petal Primary. It is our hope that this plan will foster responsibility, accountability, and respect among our students.  Take a look at some of the pictures that we use to teach the students about above/below the line behaviors.

We appreciate your support and welcome your feedback.    

I hope that this information is helpful to you - don't be surprised if your student comes home and talks about the above/below the line behaviors. I shared with you in the very first post that we talk a lot about "Standing Tall" at Petal Primary. We will be learning the above the line behaviors so that we can truly Stand Tall at school AND in any other situations we may encounter.
Ms. Dede

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  1. I applaud the Standing Tall policy. I am more concerned with how the behavior system is utilized by the teacher especially when or comes to the child especially a kindergarden student. If you have a child who is very bright and capable but fidgits, talks and plays at times especially during independent work can be considered a issue of behavior when the child sees others not being disciplined accordingly. I also feel that certain words should not be used for 5 year old children to describe behavior such as lying at this age "telling a story" is more appropriate. If a child is doing tapping or fidgets unaware because they are used to doing and they respond that they weren't or didn't mean too you as an adult don't tell or call a child a liar. You explain to them that they were and you saw them.

    I also feel that if a student has constant focus issues or in need of redirecting at times but is doing well with the classwork that the child may either need more structure in class such as something to keep them occupied and if the child is grouped with others who are a distraction than maybe sit child alone sometimes. I understand putting them in groups based on academics but sometimes being with friends and can get you in trouble. In some cases, could be lack of experience with that age group for teacher or student-teacher relationship may not be cohesive. Some children need a seasoned teacher to provide more structure, consistency, and guidance that some young teachers lack as how they either being new to field or haven't been teaching certain grades.

    As a parent of a 5 year old and new to PPS, I was looking forward to the school year but at this point I can say I just don't know...... my baby loves school. Loves to say the pledge and the creed everyday. Attends everyday on time and knows right from wrong and etc...
    I like open communication and I feel that as a parent when I ask the teacher about my child I don't want a random and what you think i want to hear - BE HONEST- when there is a problem don't let it go until YOU are tired and then you as a teacher want to meet when the parent wanted to do so long before. Open and honest communication is the key to success for ALL. I consider that all apart of age and experience of the teacher.

    A concerned and very confused parent

    1. Good morning,
      Thank you for sharing your concerns. I would like to talk to you about these frustrations that you're having with your child and his/her classroom setting. Please give me a call so that we can schedule a time to discuss your concerns further. Your child is very important to us, and don't feel that you have to just "deal" with these frustrations on your own. Again, thank you for sharing these concerns, and I hope to hear from you soon.
      ms. dede