From visual improvements to policy changes, there have been many new additions added to the school this year. One such thing that has had a major impact is the PRIDE program.
PRIDE was implemented in order to improve students’ behavior, and so far it has been quite successful.
“In terms of the expectations with PRIDE, I think it has decreased the amount of incidents in our school, and it also has increased ownership of all of our students,” said Principal Nicole Malinoski.
Since implementing the program, the number of detentions that teachers gave out went from 40 detentions last September to only 17 this September.
“That’s what we want because we have great kids here at Cedar Crest,” said Malinoski. “We want to model the expectations and make sure everyone rises to those expectations and reward students for doing so.”
In addition to reducing behavioral incidents, PRIDE has also increased the amount of students engaging in positive behavior.
“I see more students helping others. I see more students just picking up a random piece of trash,” said Malinoski. “I think we see more students just doing what they need to do to be great Falcons.”
As of Sept. 25, a total of 508 Wings of Praise were awarded, and dozens more have been given out since.
“My favorite time of the day is to walk through the cafeteria, and the students stop [me], holding their Wings of Praise up,” said Malinoski. “Recognizing why they received their Wings of Praise and congratulating them is the best part for me as a principal.”
This focus on positive rather than negative reinforcement is likely a major factor in the PRIDE’s success thus far.
“All of us, we’re human beings and we love to be rewarded for good things,” said Malinoski. “I think that our students have responded well to PRIDE and to receiving Wings of Praise just because they like to be thanked and congratulated for good behavior.”
Another factor associated with the program’s success is the support and participation of teachers.
“Teachers are supposed to model the behavior and reward when students go above and beyond that behavior,” said Malinoski. “I think [PRIDE’s] success is because of our teachers embracing that model and promoting it inside their classrooms.”
Regardless of the cause of its effectiveness, PRIDE undoubtedly provides a positive new aspect to the school as a whole.
“I just think a lot of the things we are doing here at Cedar Crest just all play into each other from our hallways being painted to the signs we are putting on our doors,” said Malinoski. “Yes, the idea is part of school safety, but it is also part of getting to know your fellow Falcons, so I do think PRIDE has been a great addition to our school.”