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Dormick Park Elementary Launch School-Wide Social Skills Program

December 7, 2023

Dormick Park Elementary has recently introduced an innovative school-wide social skills program uniquely designed to align with the school's four core values: Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. This program marks a significant stride in its commitment to fostering positive and nurturing learning environments. In November, the school spotlighted the value of kindness, marking the first of a series of monthly themes to support key social skills among students.

The program, rooted in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) principles, employs strategies that balance academic teaching with behavioural education. Key to this approach is a mix of regular reinforcement of school-wide expectations, positive feedback with a higher ratio of praise to correction, and respectful, engaging communication with students. These methods are not just theoretical but actively practiced in classrooms to encourage a positive learning climate.

"Kindness is a choice, and it's one we want our students to make every day. By doing so, we create a school environment full of laughter, friendship, and love," said Andrea Wildeman, Principal of Dormick Park Elementary. "This sentiment resonates with the school's vision of cultivating an environment where positive behaviour is the norm, and every student feels valued and respected."

In the past weeks, the focus on Kindness has led to a noticeable change in the school atmosphere. Students have been enthusiastically participating, earning "Gotchas" for acts of kindness observed around the school. These recognitions are part of the school's effort to visibly acknowledge and reward positive behaviour.

The highlight of this initiative was an assembly at the end of November, where the school celebrated kindness by distributing unique Kindness brag tags to 50 "Gotcha" recipients. Additionally, the assembly served as a platform to introduce the next social skill theme, safety, keeping up the program's momentum.

Complementing these efforts is a Kindness video created by one of Dormick Park's dedicated teachers, which is available on the school’s website. The video highlights kindness and offers practical ways for students to actively participate in and embody this value within the school setting.