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Chalker Elementary School
is located northeast of Metro Atlanta in Kennesaw, Georgia. It is one of sixty-seven elementary schools in the Cobb County School District. As a national demonstration site for Positive Discipline, the program has served as the school’s foundation for a nurturing a positive and safe learning environment for more than five years. With a student body of approximately nine hundred twenty students from various cultures and social economic backgrounds, the school’s goal is to create classrooms that enhance academic learning, cooperation, self discipline, conflict resolution, and responsibility. The Chalker staff has been trained to provide a nurturing environment by a Certified Positive Discipline Associate Bill Scott, the principal.
Teachers at Chalker schedule class meetings a minimum of three days a week. Class meetings help to create a sense of community. Not only are class meetings used for problem solving, but also to help emphasize the positive attributes of students, while providing positive criticism and support. A sense of community is evident when students feel part of a cooperative, friendly atmosphere where they are treated as valued and respected members of the group. While it often takes time for some students to feel comfortable expressing themselves in meetings, a safe trusting environment is the vehicle for promoting involvement.
Chalker consistently makes Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) due to the continuous efforts of the staff to provide a quality education. The school serves the educational needs for students in Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade with special education and gifted accommodations for those who qualify. The school provides after school tutoring during the second and third term for students who are experiencing academic difficulties that may prevent them from obtaining a passing score on the annual state assessment.
Chalker’s staff also provides students with a variety of after-school programs that enhance the curriculum. Teachers volunteer their time and talents to provide students with opportunities extra curricular programs such as Chalker chorus (music), Visions Art Club (art), Cheetah Dance Team (physical education), Battle of the Books (language arts), Rocket Club, Science Olympiad, just to name a few.
How We Do It
Daily the students at Chalker are surrounded by love and kindness. They are greeted by adults as they enter the school each morning with “Good Morning” and a smile. Many students stop to speak to the principal and share stories about their personal lives. The teachers greet the students as they enter the classroom where the daily procedures and routines are clearly stated.
Research shows that the optimum size for an elementary school is 300-400 students. Chalker has a student body of 920 students, yet we work hard to maintain those small school qualities that are beneficial for the success of all students. School size is not the only panacea for creating an intimate learning community, where teachers, students, and other community members feel valued and supported.
Positive Discipline helps our students to have a sense of belonging that is generally experienced only in small school settings. We celebrate learning in an atmosphere where people feel safe and cared for. By teaching responsibility, accountability, and problem solving, we help students to feel connected to each other as well as the faculty and staff. Our training and attention to pro-social development promote the positive climate we all enjoy.
As new students arrive to our school, they often lack understanding of the principles of Positive Discipline. It is not a problem because our students become the facilitators and ambassadors of classroom procedures and protocol. They typically enjoy the opportunity to practice newly acquired skills while building new relationships. Students learn to support teachers in creating and maintaining an atmosphere of mutual respect through their confidence and empowerment.
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