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MMS promotes positive behavior

MMS promotes positive behavior
MMS promotes positive behavior | Positive behavior, Martin Middle School, Dory Ingram

Dory Ingram (right) organizes a soccer game during the No ODR party at Martin Middle School Friday afternoon.
At Martin Middle School, all students are offered the chance to be a celebrity.
They don’t earn their status through fame and fortune, but through exhibiting positive behavior in the normal routine of the school day.
The program officially began last school year, but it truly finding its fee this year and is continuing to progress.
“It’s a system used to encourage expectations,” Dory Ingram, a language teacher at MMS, explained. “Students are encouraged to meet behavior expectations in all areas of the school day and if they’re caught doing the right thing, they’re rewarded through the golden ticket system.”
“Doing the right thing” could be taking any action falling under the school’s official expectations list: Be responsible, be respectful, be safe, be kind.
Ten golden tickets are handed out a day and those 10 students are allowed to go to the celebrity lounge during seventh period study hall and partake of everything from video games to board games to all sorts of prizes and treats.
Golden tickets are given out daily, but at the end of every six weeks, No ODR parties are held. ODR stands for Office Discipline Referral.
This particular six weeks, students have been treated to a field day on the MMS football field. As they enjoy games and concessions, drawings are periodically made for gift certificates.
“We’ve really had a good beginning with this,” Ingram remarked.
“Lambuth University had the concept and we put it in place last year. We tweaked it, found out the weak points and came up with the celebrity lounge as an immediate reward.”
According to Ingram, the program is based on tiers. The first tier is made up of between 80 and 90 percent of the student body who respond in the right way.
The second tier includes the 10 to 20 percent of the student body who struggle with behavior issues.
The program at MMS is working on developing this tier this year and hopes to “redirect” and “reteach” those students. A third tier will be developed in the future as the program continues to branch out.
As the program grows, Ingram admits it will take help from the community to ensure that it is as good as it can be. With 50 students rewarded per week, expenses add up and donations in any form are always needed.
The school kicks this year off with a yard sale Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon in the parking lot circle around the school.
A variety of items will be offered for sale including prom dresses, televisions, furniture items, clothing and baby items.
Additionally, the program is in need of fresh and creative ideas for future ODR parties. No idea is too big or too small.
“The students are happy and excited each day. They have the chance to be a celebrity in their school. This increases their incentive, so we can have a better school,” Ingram said.
“They will have more opportunities and freedom as they learn positive behavior.
“We believe in this program. We want to help the kids. This sets the tone for the entire school.”  

WCP 9.29.11

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