Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

At Liberty Elementary, we have learned that it is important to teach, imprint by modeling, and practice and praise appropriate behaviors in order for children to exhibit them. At our school we have chosen three expectations: We show integrity, We are respectful, and We think first. We feel it is better to have three expectations where we tell children what to do, instead of telling children what not to do. We feel these rules exemplify what we are "about" at our school.

We have posters of these expectations all over the school. We teach children what these behaviors look like, sound like, and feel like in all the areas of the school. The children learn what it looks like, sounds like and feels like to show integrity, be respectful, and think first in the classroom, cafeteria, hallway, and so on. The teachers imprint these behaviors by modeling them for the students after they teach them and then giving the students time to practice these skills. We praise these behaviors when we see them exhibited and give the students a slip of paper that identifies how they exemplified one of the behavior expectations. We call these slips of paper "spotchas."

Our spotchas are duplicates. One copy is given to the child to come home to you. The second copy is for the student to keep and save to purchase rewards like extra computer time or extra recess for the class. Once students cash-in their spotchas for rewards we keep them for drawings including a "Spotcha" Student of the Month and other special prizes.

When your child comes home with one of these spotchas, it is very important that you make a big deal out of their accomplishment and ask them to tell you how they earned the spotcha. We want the children to realize that these behavioral expectations are important everywhere—at home and school.

We appreciate you quizzing your students with questions like: What would it mean to show integrity in the hallway? Or, what would it mean to be respectful in the cafeteria? Also, whether your student brings home a spotcha or not in the evening, it would be very helpful to ask them to give you an example of how they were thinking first at recess, showing respect in the assembly, or other similar questions.

We appreciate your support as we strive to create an environment that is conducive to learning.

Liberty Teachers and Staff

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