CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Getting sent to the principal’s office isn’t something that very many people look back on and say “Oh hey, that was a good time!”
Kimberly Ellis, the principal of Dawson Elementary School in Corpus Christi, is hoping to change that.
She came up with the positive office referral program in which teachers can send their student to her office if they have done something positive like behave well or be a leader in the classroom.
“The idea behind the positive office referral is actually to eliminate the negative stigma that sort of comes with visiting the office, especially the principal’s office; and so we’re implementing this in order to provide our students an opportunity to be recognized for making positive choices,” Ellis said.
Ellis is hoping the program will remain permanent.
Students get rewarded with a prize from the “treasure box”, a box full of fun things like stickers, stamps, candy, pencils, and pens.
So far, about 10 students have gotten sent to the principal office for this program and Serenity Bunton was the first student. She was sent for reading in class while her class was being loud after recess.
“It made me feel amazing because my mom had always told me that I was positive but I didn’t think that my positivity would get me a positive office referral,” Bunton said.
Bunton said she is hoping to inspire her fellow classmates to behave well so they can also take part in the program.
“I tell them that you just need to be on your best behavior all the time,” she said.
Her teacher, Veronica Hernandez, said she has noticed a difference in students’ behavior since the program was started.
“I really see a lot of positivity from it because once you select a certain student, I like to catch students doing the right thing and when that happens then everybody else wants to do the right thing,” Hernandez said.