Skelly Elementary School educators reward students demonstrating good behavior with a trip to camp — CHAMP Camp.
The 2016-2017 Skelly theme is camping, and teachers decorated their classrooms in camping-themed decorations. To go along with that, the positive behavior reward system uses an acronym: CHAMP stands for conversation, help, activities and attitude, movement and participation. CHAMP Camp occurs the last 30 minutes of the school day every other Wednesday, and students who have shown positive behavior for the previous two weeks attend.
“The idea is you would hope that the majority of the time good behavior is just an intrinsic thing, but it’s hard to make good choices all day long, especially when you’re (young),” Assistant Principal Trista Cuthbertson said. “It’s about rewarding the good behavior.”
Teachers and parents utilize an online reporting system called ClassDojo, which tracks students’ performance in school. Dojo includes a behavior tracking function that parents can monitor in live time. For a student to go to CHAMP Camp, 75-80 percent of their behavior markings must be positive.
“The goal is definitely attainable for every student,” Cuthbertson said. “It just always is you earn something instead of being taken away.”
At CHAMP Camp, students enjoy a planned, fun activity. Examples from the year have included watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” with accompanying Charlie Brown feats, enjoying music from the high school drumline and decorating sugar cookies.
“Our kids love CHAMP Camp,” third-grade teacher Misty Currier said.
Cuthbertson said being allowed to attend CHAMP Camp does encourage positive behaviors in the majority of Skelly students. Children struggling with positive behavior either work on additional schoolwork or learn about character during CHAMP Camp.
Cutherbertson said the staff has put a great deal of time into planning activities that are meaningful for students in all grades, kindergarten through fifth. She said students respond well to rewards versus punishments, and that every two weeks every student gets a new start.
“It’s always something you earn instead of something being taken away,” she said.