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Student voices will help build positive culture at Metcalf Middle School

Student leaders at Metcalf Middle School recently gathered with new administrators at their school to share ideas and opinions about revising the school’s positive behaviors and interventions plan (PBIS).

“For you to take time to attend on a summer day speaks highly of you and your commitment to our school,” said Associate Principal Akram Osman. “We want to make Metcalf Middle School the best middle school in the country and we need your ideas to do that.”

This year, Osman (formerly dean of students at Burnsville High School), Principal Shannon McParland (formerly principal at Sioux Trail Elementary) and Dean of Students Leah Bourg, are all new to Metcalf and excited to join the school community.

“We want to learn more about the school – what students like currently and what they’d like to see changed,” said Osman.

So they invited incoming 7th and 8th graders, who serve as peer leaders at the school, to attend a meeting in July. Osman also contacted Metcalf’s four feeder schools – Rahn, William Byrne, Sioux Trail and Sky Oaks elementary schools – to receive names of student leaders for the incoming 6th grade class.

Among the things students said they like about Metcalf are “good teachers, the big library, 3-D printers and clean hallways.” The list of what they’d like to change includes more time outside, more passing time between classes, more use of the TVs in the lunchroom area, and less chicken in school lunches.

“I’d like to make it cool to get good grades, turn in homework and go to class,” commented a student.

The student leaders are also providing input into revising the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) system.

“We’re revising our PBIS system and students’ voices are key in this process,” said McParland. “We also want feedback from all staff members. They feel strongly that expectations are part of that work.”  

PBIS is a program that schools use to support positive behavior, improve school climate and increase the success of all students. Schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 customize their use of PBIS to meet the needs in their buildings.

The current theme for Metcalf’s PBIS program is PRIDE (Positivity, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Excellence).

This meeting was only the first of several that student leaders will be invited to attend.

“We’re relying on you as we make decisions in this school to be part of Metcalf’s PBIS support team,” McParland told students. “We need your ideas and feedback to create a positive school experience for all students.”

Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 16:05