Respect, Responsibility and Relationships in Action
Story & photos by Brenda Lentsch
The Commack Middle School Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) Team unveiled a new initiative with the motto, “Respect, Responsibility, and Relationships.” The PBIS Team, led by Paul Schmelter, Assistant Principal, are using the initiative to promote positive behaviors throughout the school.
From the very first day of school, when each bus was boarded by a staff member who introduced the bus driver to the students and welcomed the students to the start of a new school year, the 3Rs has been a success. Classroom teachers reinforce the school’s expectations for student behavior and provide “real school-world” examples of how positive character traits can be exemplified throughout the school day. When a student is “caught” demonstrating respectful and responsible behaviors, the sighting teacher might mail a “Leading the Way” postcard to the student to acknowledge him/her for leading the way with positive behavior. Hundreds of these cards have already been mailed to CMS students.
The Art Service Club supports the “Hospitality, Too” soup kitchen in Brentwood. Club advisor and art teacher Grace Barrett designates six meetings a year for students to prepare hot meals that are donated to the soup kitchen. The food used to create the meals comes from donations from the students and staff. The Leaders Club, under the direction of physical education teacher Theresa Bassett, allocates funds for the perishable items to be used in the meals such as cheeses for baked ziti and meat for frigadellas (a combination of meatballs and meatloaf). Family Consumer Science Teacher Angelina Napoli oversees the baking of seasonal cookies that are gift-wrapped and donated to the soup kitchen as well. In addition to the hot food and cookies, each sixth grade team volunteered to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at one of the meetings this year. The first meeting netted 352 sandwiches!
The students and staff members involved with this project accept the responsibility of preparing the meals, cookies, and sandwiches because they know the value of helping people who need help. New friendships and relationships are fostered as students from different grade levels work together for this very worthwhile cause.
Mr. Schmelter was so impressed by the efforts of these students that he and members of the PBIS Committee presented buttons that these students are proud to wear to inspire their peers and to promote “Respect, Responsibility, and Relationships.”