An elementary school principal is making a difference by using a new initiative to transform student behavior in the Kernville Union School District.
The "Leader in Me," approach is all about breading incentive for students to behave in class and to help give them the tools to be stronger leaders in the future workforce as well as the community.
23ABC had a chance to meet with both students and district faculty to see just how the new strategies are working and being used.
Woodrow Wallace Elementary School Principal, Brian Polston saw an area on school campus that he felt needed more attention, "Witnessing a lot of behaviors that are very concerning that our teachers struggle with, and we struggle with and really interfere with our academics," Polston said.
In March, Polston made it his priority to bring about change in student behavior, "A behavior grading system where students on a daily basis are receiving a grade that's based on attendance, their tardiness, behavior in the classroom that's determined by office referrals that they may receive for poor behavior," Polston said.
The office monitors the attendance and poor behavior referrals submitted by teachers, but that is not the only area of behavior Polston and staff are now monitoring, "So we've been having the teachers and the paraprofessionals over the last two months tally mark every time they see unwanted physical contact even if it's just a push," Polston said.
In just one week staff tallied roughly 1,200 unwanted physical contact interactions in different areas on campus and on the bus. Data showed it was mostly happening in lines, on the playground and on the bus.