At Re-2, students are continually learning to become good citizens | PostIndependent.com
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At Re-2, students are continually learning to become good citizens

Re-2 NewsTheresa HamiltonGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Re-2 NewsTheresa HamiltonGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Reading, writing and arithmetic are not the only things that schools focus on while instructing their students. In order to be successful readers, writers and mathematicians, students need to feel support and feel safe. They need to develop not only their academic and study skills, but also social skills to help them navigate friendships, conflict, and change.The Garfield School District Re-2 begins the process of helping our students become good citizens in kindergarten and at the elementary level with character education programs. Themes including respect, responsibility, honesty, cooperation and acceptance are emphasized. Instructional activities and writing contests focus on the theme of the month. This is the level where the Safe School Ambassador program begins. Through this program, key student leaders are provided an awareness to notice cruelty and violence, are given the skills to intervene with their friends to prevent or stop it, and the courage to give voice to their values. Through the SSA program, students have the opportunity to hone their skills through high school.At all levels, schools have positive, proactive programs in place where students are rewarded for positive behavior. For example, at Wamsley Elementary, students who have been caught doing good things are given the opportunity to have a pizza party with the principal. All of the Garfield Re-2 secondary schools have a positive program where good deeds of students are honored.Students learn more about conflict resolution, cultural awareness, friendship skills, and how to handle grief in middle school. This is done both through the classroom and through small group pullout programs. The counselors at both Riverside and Rifle middle schools are in the classrooms regularly, teaching students and helping them become healthy, productive citizens, and trying to remove any barriers they may have to learning.

While in high school, these skills are again reinforced through advisory programs. Advisory breaks students into smaller groups of approximately 20 students and they meet regularly with one staff member. This staff member monitors their grades, facilitates discussions about issues that may be occurring in school, and contacts parents to both celebrate success and voice concern when necessary. It is a safe place for students to talk to someone that they know cares about them. The Breaking Down the Walls program continues to be a staple for high school students to understand the similarities of all students. Students work with a cross section of their peers and learn they are not isolated from, but rather a part of a community that needs each other to be fully successful. Students begin to grasp a good understanding about the consequences of their choices, and this is assisted through educational opportunities, which school resource officers provide. Our students continually talk to the administration about situations that they see or hear about, which then leads to resolution, or potentially averts negative consequences.And of course, at the district level, the policies of the district reflect the values of the community. There is no tolerance for racism, guns, or violence in the schools; and the comprehensive student code of conduct emphasizes this as well.



In large part, these policies, programs, and philosophies are just another means to help our students succeed once they leave school. The skills employers seek most include things like honesty, integrity, adaptability, flexibility, work ethic and the ability to work together. Character education and conflict resolution are vital to developing those skills.The final component of Garfield Re-2’s effort to provide our students with life skills, both in and out of the classroom, is the open doors of our administrators. It takes a team effort of school, parents and community to help our students become great citizens. Parents or community members with concerns are always welcome to discuss those with our administrators at both the building and the district levels.If you have further questions or want additional information about anything occurring in Garfield Re-2 schools, please contact Theresa Hamilton at 625-7621.


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