Behavior & The 8 Keys of Excellence

 Classroom Guidelines and Expectations

Dear Parents,

Let me thank you in advance for entrusting your precious child to my care. I will do my best to make sure your child is nurtured and stimulated to learn. I anticipate a very rewarding year full of memorable experiences. Together we can prepare your child for success throughout elementary school.

Students who follow classroom guidelines and expectations find it easier to succeed throughout the year. They receive the benefits of better study habits and an enjoyable learning environment. During each day students will be given verbal positive encouragement for following the classroom guidelines.

Kindergarten is a time of many “hands-on” activities involving crayons, glue, scissors, learning toys, etc. Your child will enjoy these materials more if they are in good condition. Also, if our materials are used appropriately, we will be able to spend future funds on additional materials, rather than replacement materials.

In our classroom, we will work together to set up classroom expectations. Each student begins the day with their clip on “The Great Me”. The Great Me is a student who makes good choices, one who is “living above the line”, which refers back to the county-wide effort to teach students the importance of making positive choices in all areas of life.

Throughout the day, I will give each student positive affirmations for making good choices. If a student breaks a class guideline, I will give a verbal reminder to make good choices. If the student continues to make poor choices, I will move his or her clip to “stop/shift/choose”. The student will take time to pause and refocus. I will ask your child questions and help direct him or her to make a better choice. If the student continues to make poor choices, the clip will be moved below the line to “I fix my mistakes”. The student will have the rest of the day to move back through the stages in an effort to redeem himself/herself.

The goal is to create a positive environment in which students will have opportunities to make good choices and to be affirmed for those positive choices.

Solve problems with words. Listen when someone else is talking. Follow directions the first time they are given. Take care of classroom materials.

The encouragement you give your child and the support you give to the discipline program is essential and greatly appreciated. I anticipate a very productive and enjoyable year with each kindergartener.

8 Keys of Excellence
In 2008, Sumner County Schools instituted a positive behavior program.  The idea of the program is to teach our children to "live above the line" in all areas of their lives.  This includes being polite, following directions and rules, being honest, doing your best.  As a foundation for communication and personal interaction, Living Above the Line highlights and puts into practive one of the 8 "keys" we teach during the school year. Students learn there are two ways to live: Above the Line or Below the Line. 

Those who Live Above the Line and take responsibility for their actions have greater control - and therefore greater personal and academic success - because they take ownership for their current situation. They take ownership of their education, of their relationships, and of their attitudes, affecting all areas of their lives and in the process improving their self confidence.

Living Below the Line is about laying blame, justifying, denying, and quitting, none of which contribute to building self confidence or achieving success.
 The 8 Keys of Excellence:

Integrity: Conduct yourself with authenticity, sincerity and wholeness.
Your values and behavior are aligned.

Failure Leads to Success: Understand that failures simply provide you with
the information you need to succeed. There are no failures, only outcomes
and feedback. Everything can be useful if you know how to find the gift.

Speak with Good Purpose: Speak in a positive sense, and be responsible for
honest and direct communication. Avoid gossip and harmful communication.

This is it: focus your attention on the present moment, and make the most
of it. Give each task your best effort.

Commitment: Follow through on your promises and obligations; live your
vision. Do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Ownership: Take responsibility and be accountable for your actions.

Flexibility: Be open to change or a new approach when it helps you get the
outcome you desire.

Balance: Keep your mind, body and spirit in alignment. Spend time
developing and maintaining these three areas.