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posted: 11/6/2013 2:19 PM

Canadian educators visit Palatine HS to observe positive behavior program

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  • Visiting educators from Canada from left, Shelley Martsch-Litt, Pam Graham and Denise Emery are given a tour by Palatine High School principal Gary Steiger to learn about the school's Commit to the Pirate program.

       Visiting educators from Canada from left, Shelley Martsch-Litt, Pam Graham and Denise Emery are given a tour by Palatine High School principal Gary Steiger to learn about the school's Commit to the Pirate program.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine High School principal Gary Steiger gives a tour of the lunchroom for visiting educators from Canada from left, Shelley Martsch-Litt, Pam Graham and Denise Emery. The visitors were at the school to learn about its Commit to the Pirate program.

       Palatine High School principal Gary Steiger gives a tour of the lunchroom for visiting educators from Canada from left, Shelley Martsch-Litt, Pam Graham and Denise Emery. The visitors were at the school to learn about its Commit to the Pirate program.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

A group of Canadian educators visited Palatine High School Monday to take a look at the school's Commit to the Pirate program, which supports positive behavior through the creation of uniform expectations and rewards for students.

Three representatives from Lambton Kent District School Board in Ontario, Canada, toured the school and spoke with teachers, counselors and administrators who helped start the program.

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"You could see commitment the minute you walked in the door, and Palatine has a welcoming, open environment," Denise Emery, consultant for PBS for Lambton Kent District School Board, said in a statement.

The program was recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education's Those Who Excel awards program two years ago. It works to decrease office discipline referrals while teaching students what behaviors are expected of them in the classroom.

Staff members from a variety of areas in the school make up the Commit to the Pirate team. They underwent eight months of training before the program launched.

Through the program, a recognition system is in place that results in students getting issued red tickets if they are caught "being good." The tickets can be entered into drawings for rewards like prom tickets, pizza parties and front-row parking.

Rewards are announced over the public address system and a group of teachers and administrators known as "the prize patrol" visit students in their classrooms to award the prizes.

District officials say the climate in the hallways has been more respectful and in one year, there was a 60 percent reduction of bullying, battery and theft from the prior year.

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