This first week at Ambridge Junior High has been off to an exciting and promising start! We have several initiatives this year that will enhance the climate of the school and strengthen relationships among our staff and student body. Our theme this year at the Junior High is GRIT. GRIT stands for Gratitude, Respect, Integrity and Teamwork. Our staff and students have identified behaviors that demonstrate these four pillars of character. We are focusing on showing GRIT in the hallways and cafeteria this year. It has been wonderful hearing students talking about and showing enthusiasm for GRIT amongst themselves. Their introduction to GRIT kicked off with grade level assemblies where they got their first taste at brainstorming about GRIT – what the words mean and how it might look in the school. They learned that through the demonstration of GRIT, they can earn spots on the Principal’s 100 Club and that they’ll be recognized for their positive behaviors and given the chance to win mystery motivators.
This School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Program is an extension of the program they participated in at the elementary schools. In addition to our focus on increasing positive behavior and a sense of community in our school, we introduced a new academic initiative, iStation. This program will help our staff identify academic strengths and weaknesses of each student and customize online instruction to their individual needs. Students will work within this program consistently throughout the year. The program is highly engaging and interactive and we predict the students will enjoy their time working in it. Quarterly assessments will allow our staff to appropriately program for our students during the Intervention/Enrichment period. Junior High is a special time for our children. They are starting to increase their independence and sense of identity while still needing structure and our support. We believe that our School-wide Positive Behavior Support Program, that includes our theme of GRIT, will help our students make the connection between independence and responsibility. Working together, respecting differences, taking responsibility for our actions and words, and showing appreciation for our school, teachers and community, will improve the daily climate at the Junior High and continue to show that this is a great place to be!