Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Parent Education - December 08

The following are disciplinary techniques to consider from the book Getting it Right with Children written by Madelyn Swift.

Disciplinary consequences
- Consequences should be fair, reasonable, direct and related to the behavior.
- Don't ask, "Do you understand?" Instead, have them repeat what you said.
- Use words to help you get a point across. For example, say, "you need to pick things up" not "I need you to pick things up."

Direct child to remedy or amends
- "The paint is spilled on the floor. The sponges are in the cabinet."

Problem? Think!
- Help guide your kids through alternatives and problem solving. Do not abandon children who have not developed problem solving skills.

Take action
- Be sure to follow through on what you say. Discipline doesn't have to be damaging, but it has to be definite.

Use Humor
-Humor: either you have it or you must develop it. Humor is situational.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

8th grade Holiday World changed to St. Louis City Museum

The 8th grade Holiday World trip on May 20 is being changed. The 8th graders will now be going to the St. Louis City Museum. It is not your conventional museum but an entire building filled with caves, secret passage ways, climbing, seven story slides and more! We will leave early in the morning and return late evening (8pm). The following day is their last day and graduation. The students will love the museum. It will be a blast! Check out their website at

Merits vs. Demerits

I want to clear up the difference between merits and demerits in Renweb, as many parents have mistaken a merit for a demerit. I apologize for the confusion. Let me take a minute to explain the difference between the two. A demerit is a consequence for student behavior that is against the policies of ECS. A demerit accumulates for the year and removes them from the discipline free trip each quarter. In most cases a demerit is given, the parents are called to notify them of the incident that took place involving their child. A merit is simply a way for ECS to track student behavior. Every behavior incident entered in the computer is emailed to me. I then look at the child's history to check for patterns or issues. One child, for instance, might have gum in first, second, third and fourth periods (4 different incidences). Each teacher tells the student to get rid of it and logs it in as a merit. The teachers in periods 2-4 don't know that the student has already been warned by the previous teachers. In a case like this, gum is not the issue. The student is being disobedient. It is important to know that merits do not dismiss a child from the discipline free trip each quarter. Thank you for your patience with the new system. We are working very hard to make it as smooth as we can. I have heard mostly good things about it from you, the parents, and we believe it will only get better.