The Bear Academy has been created to help new students feel welcome and immerse them into the culture of Chandler’s. This new academy is part of the Positive Behavior Intervention Supports that the school has implemented with success for over 10 years in helping to deter negative behavior and promote positive behavior in the school. Chandler’s celebrates students’ successes and acknowledges positive choices through several different forms of recognition. Included are, BEAR of the Month character trait words where one student from each homeroom is selected by their peers or teacher and announced during our Morning Meeting where all K-8th grade meet on Friday mornings. These students are then a part of an award celebration that is held for the 9 weeks they earn their BEAR of the Month certificate. Other recognition comes in attendance drawings, Pawsitive Slips that are given to students for going above and beyond the Chandler’s School expectations and are mailed home to parents/guardians.
The idea for the Bear Academy originated from data from the 18-19 school year that showed many minor behavior incidents were accumulating with new students who had been to Chandler’s School less than a year. Mrs. Spears stated, “ We knew we needed a program that would allow students new to Chandler’s to feel welcome and provide support with what our school is about as a whole. Coming to a new school can cause anxiety and trying to fit in at any age, can be hard when being in a new place.”
Any new student that enters the doors at Chandler’s is a part of this new support system. Parents receive a letter home explaining what the Bear Academy is and what the goal of their child participating will be. One student said, “ I feel like by being a part of this here at Chandler’s I had a support system, and knew I could ask questions.” Mrs. Spears said, “ we work to lessen anxiety, participate in team building activities, teach about our school goals and expectations, but our ultimate goal is to make our children feel welcome at our school.” The BEAR Academy also focuses on our goals for a successful school career at Chandler’s School. Students met twice a month through the end of October, and then will meet once a month through April. The school’s hope is that they can build relationships, trust, and help to be proactive in making new students feel welcome and also help to promote positive behavior.
Bear Academy Students for the Month of October created “Bootiful” Bags for someone that had been kind to them at Chandler’s and then delivered it to that individual.
Bear Academy students participated in a school scavenger hunt in September. They had a list of 20 people, rooms, or school items they had to locate. Students had spent the previous meeting discussing polite interactions and conversations.