New rewards planned for Eagleview students
BREEZY POINT — When Eagleview Elementary School students return to school they will be greeted by a new principal and a new program that will reward them for good behavior.
Students will attend a pep rally Thursday afternoon, the first day of school at Eagleview, and learn more about the Patriot Pride program, a PBIS project, which stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Support.
The goal of the program is to create a school culture that encourages positive behaviors and interactions. School staff hope this will lead to a more safe environment, where students are not only successful in the classroom but build positive relationships with each other and adults.
It essentially rewards students who are “caught” doing good.
On Thursday ,students will each receive a silicone bracelet. Throughout the first six weeks of school, all staff, including teachers, custodians, bus drivers and teachers’ aides, will be looking for and rewarding positive behavior by giving students charms that can be added to the bracelets. The goal is that every student in the building will have a full charm bracelet by MEA weekend in October.
Megan Zierden, an Eagleview kindergarten teacher, said the three key values that will remain constant throughout the building is that everyone at Eagleview is respectful, responsible and safe. These messages are displayed on posters and banners throughout the elementary school.
Zierden and several other staff members, including fifth-grade teacher Nikki McCarthy and Title I and second-grade teacher Julie Benson, served on a committee that designed the program. A similar program was implemented at the middle and high school a few years ago.
“I think it’ll be fun walking around the building and finding random kids who are doing things right,” said Benson.
These positive intervention programs can drive down student referrals to the principal’s office by 60 percent, said Principal Dave Endicott.
“It’s creating that culture of expectations,” said Endicott. “Our goal is that everyone feels safe. And when you are in the office, you’re not in the classroom learning. We want kids to feel this is the place they want to be.”
McCarthy said often teachers like herself spend too much time focusing on one child’s negative behavior, or the “squeaky wheel” in the classroom. The children who are behaving and doing their work can be overlooked. This program will hopefully turn that around.
The Pequot Lakes PTA, the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point Lions Club and Landis Gyr of Breezy Point financially helped support the program so the committee could purchase 1,000 bracelets and 6,000 charms.
Endicott said students also will participate in a new candlelight ceremony during Thursday’s assembly. One student from each grade will come to the front of the gym and light a candle that represents that grade and all the learning that will go on in that grade. Then a larger unity candle will be light to represent all the learning that will go on at Eagleview this school year.
Endicott is looking forward to his position as principal at Eagleview. He said the school has 55 new students this school year; 30 students have left with a net gain of 25 students. But those numbers change every day.
“It’s a good problem,” Endicott said, of the growing enrollment.
Endicott moved to the area from Mora. He previously taught for 10 years in Mora as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher and also coached basketball and softball. He most recently spent two years as a teacher and coach in the Anoka-Hennepin School District and for the past two years he served as superintendent and elementary principal in the Ogilvie School District. He’s spent a total of 18 years working in education.
Endicott’s wife, Esther, is a Pequot Lakes High School graduate. When Don Lenzen retired last spring as Eagleview principal, Endicott said the opening was an opportunity for his family to move closer to his wife’s family. He and his wife have two daughters, Rachel, 21, who attends college in Iowa and is now studying abroad in Nicaragua, and Emma, 15, who chose to remain in Mora to attend high school this year and live with her grandmother.
“This is a dream job, it really is for me,” said Endicott. “I’ve really enjoyed it here. The staff have been excellent and very welcoming. The parents are wonderful.”
Endicott said he and his wife hosted a barbecue for his staff recently, an opportunity for him to grill. Endicott enjoys grilling and has even competed in barbecue competitions with his brother. He and his brother took second place in a competition held on Lake Mille Lacs.
“My barbecued beans are my claim to fame,” Endicott said with a smile. “I love being with my family and I enjoy cooking.”
Endicott said he enjoys camping, biking and being outdoors — and the Pequot Lakes area seemed like a wonderful place to work and live. He also sang in a classic rock band in Mora, the Mid Life Crises. The band included two other teachers and a school board member.
“I sing but I have no talent,” Endicott joked.
Eagleview students will have individual conferences with teachers and parents Tuesday and Wednesday while middle and high school students start school Tuesday.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.