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Keeseville School spotlights character education

KEESEVILLEStar students are getting recognition at Keeseville Elementary School through a new character education program. In January, the school started a Star Character program, which offers an awards for positive behavior. Blank stars which cite students and their actions are filled out when a teacher or staff member sees a student doing something right. Were trying to catch kids being good, which reinforces it so they do it more, said school counselor Linda Goslin. This is teaching (students) what you expect of them, rather than what you want to stop. Goslin said early indicators were that the program was having an effect, with discipline referrals decreasing. Along with having stars available in classrooms, theyre placed around the hallways. The program stresses responsibility, honesty, respect, tolerance and citizenship. Awards have been given for helping friends, voluntarily giving extra effort to keep the classroom clean, and sharing. School psychologist Michelle Diehl said sometimes it was easy to take positive behavior for granted. By showing concrete examples of good behavior, it helps teach respect. She added that the students had been responding enthusiastically to the program. At the end of the week, the stars are collected. Three randomly selected awards are announced over the loudspeakers on Mondays, and receive a prize. All the stars are displayed in the front of the building in the glass display case. Every award winner has a letter from Principal Kevin Hurlburt sent home to their parents, highlighting the achievement.

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