Alan Sorensen Havre Daily News email@example.com
Havre Middle School staff are utilizing some new tactics this year to improve the behavior of their students, the Havre Public School Board of Trustees was told at its October meeting Tuesday at the middle school. Ann-Marie Sukut, representing a committee of 10 to 12 faculty, outlined the various activities geared toward eliminating bullying and encouraging students to mingle outside their peer groups. The year started, Sukut said, with a teachers’ skit during an assembly for STROLL and @LUNCH the first day of school. STROLL is an acronym for codes of behavior for students in the hallways and common areas: Stay to the right; Talk quietly; Respect others and their property; Open pathways; Litter in the garbage; Language appropriate for school. @LUNCH is an acronym to enhance student behavior in the cafeteria: @always follow directions the first time; Line up politely without cutting; Utensils and trays returned; Neatly clean your area; Communicate quietly and politely; Hands, feet, food and objects to yourself. Sukut said a poster with the @ LUNCH acronym and lunch rules was hung in the school and the STROLL guidelines were reviewed with the school news. During the first three weeks of school, teachers were asked to volunteer to sit with students during lunch. The purpose was to model and to work on appropriate behaviors. The committee also devised mixit- up at lunch days. On random days, a mix-it-up poster is displayed with guidelines for where students are to sit, whether by the color of the shirts they’re wearing that day, or by their first or last initials or by some other method. Students must then sit at the Appropriate tables rather than with their usual group of friends. The purpose is to get students to meet new friends. The school will also hold a postcard contest, Sukut said. Students will compete in an art competition aimed at designing postcards representing Havre Middle School. After selecting and printing postcards, the teachers will use them as a way of sending positive notes home to parents. The middle school has gone to an online bullying survey this year. Students will participate in the online survey on bullying and harassment. The results of the survey, Sukut said, will be utilized to facilitate anti-bullying activities and video selections during the advisory period. She said three teachers and a school counselor attended a bullying workshop, the Respect for All Project, in Great Falls. Through the workshop, the school acquired a video and activities designed to promote empathy and support for all racial, religious and socio-economic target groups. “It’s to encourage kids to be good influences, not just bystanders,” Sukut said. The faculty has also developed the Principal’s Club. Teachers are given tickets to distribute to students they see performing positive behaviors. The students enter the tickets into a drawing by placing them in a container in the office. When students turn in the tickets, a letter is sent home informing the parents that their children were caught “being good,” Sukut said. The principal then draws names at random times and the winners receive a mystery prize. A bulletin board called FaMustangs has been placed in the lobby, too, to specifically to show off the volunteer work performed by the student body. While the middle school staff explained the MBI program at the beginning of the meeting Tuesday, trustees got some good behavioral news concerning the district’s extra-curricular activities. In a letter dated Sept. 10, Mark Beckman, executive director of the Montana High School Association, commended Havre High School for having an ejection free year and exhibiting good sporting behaviors. Beckman suggested that it is possible for HHS build on its “noteworthy achievement.” “In fact, Havre High School is a perfect fit to participate in the recently announced MHSA/ US Bank Spo r t smanshi p Program,” he wrote. “This program will be implemented soon, and will consist of a variety of different features, including a local recognition program designed for each of your home contests, posters, a banner program, a Super Fan program and much more.” Later in the letter, Beckman said, “Your actions have spoken louder than words. Your administrators, coaches and players should be congratulated on achieving good sporting behaviors throughout each and every sports season during the past school year.” Debbie Vandeberg, executive director of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce also submitted a letter of appreciation to Havre High School. Vandeberg thanked the school for it's participation in the Havre Festival Days Parade through its band and other entries. The next school board meeting will be held at Havre Middle School at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 13.