Lakeway focuses on respect at pep rally

Some Lakeway sixth graders used a vigorous cheer to help fellow students visualize the central lesson instilled at the pep rally, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The morning’s activities were part the school’s longtime interest in the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Darin Wipperman/The Littleton Courier. (click for larger version)
January 16, 2013
LITTLETON — With an energy stemming from the high school pep band and the stomping feet of students, Lakeway Elementary had two assemblies last Wednesday morning. There was singing, positive feelings, and a focus on respecting others.

The event was part of the school's emphasis on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The program is a proactive approach for school personnel to maximize students' academic and social outcomes.

Superintendent Keith Pfeifer sees PBIS as a vital tool for educators. The program "provides essential information about our student management process and behavior profiles," he said.

Prior to the assemblies, Assistant Principal Sally Russell provided information on how Lakeway implements the principles of PBIS. "Kids come through for us," she said, when they are taught the types of behaviors expected of them.

Music and audience participation are a way to get kids involved in the important lessons PBIS hopes to instill. Regarding the event, Russell said, "In essence, it becomes a pep rally." Respect was the focus of Wednesday's event.

The morning's first assembly was for students in third through sixth grade. Kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders had an assembly after that.

Behavior Coach Mike Strauch spoke at the start of each assembly. He reminded students about "The Three Bees." These basic rules are the focus of Lakeway's philosophy: Be safe, be responsible, be respectful.

Correctly predicting the tone for the morning, Strauch told the students, "Get your excitement caps on!"

Principal Rick Bidgood also had remarks for both groups of students. He repeated the importance of "The Three Bees." He noted that they are "our recipe to make learning happen at Lakeway."

Although learning is the reason to go to school, Bidgood said that no one can really learn "if we don't have all three of those." He concluded, "You need to treat each other with respect. That's what this is all about."

The students were very receptive to the statements from Strauch and Bidgood. They also clearly enjoyed music that the pep band provided. They clapped with the beat and sang along in parts. Showing appreciation for the day's theme, both student groups gave a hearty round of applause to thank the band for the morning's music.

A group cheer was another way to instill the message. Some sixth graders led both assemblies by spelling "respect" with big letters. When asked, "What do we have at Lakeway?", students replied with "RESPECT!"

A song that Lakeway students wrote was another way to stress "The Three Bees." The song is called, "Walking Around the Hallways." The song opens with the words, "Walking around the hallways at the joyful Lakeway school. Excellent behavior all around. Respect the teachers, too."

After the song was played once, all the students were asked to sing along as the positive message was played again.

Students clearly had a lot of fun at the assemblies. There were smiles, strong enthusiasm, and lots of participation. Respect was something more than a concept of the moment. Students seemed eager to take the morning's lesson forward into the rest of the day and beyond.

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