THE EVENT\ Classes: Everyone\Number of students: Approximately 1,200 in a year-round school\ Subject: Appropriate behavior\ Students caught Being Unusually Good get ticketed at Fox Hills, but the tickets are good news, not bad.
A BUG citation entitles them to a special lunch with Assistant Principal Lynda Siler - complete with flowers on the table and a special treat from her magical picnic basket. And they have an informal opportunity to talk in a small group with an interested adult about the things that mean the most to them - their families, their pets, their likes and dislikes.
When the Deseret News visited, about a dozen youngsters were enjoying the usual school lunch in the unusual privacy of the stage and drooling at the prospects of Snickers bars for extra dessert.
THE SCHOOL\ Location: 3775 W. 6020 South.
Students: Approximately 1,200, kindergarten through sixth grade\ Number of teachers: 45\ Principal: Varon Howell\ School district: Granite\ THE LESSON\ The teachers' objective: To make good behavior rewarding for children. Besides the weekly special lunch for a select few, chosen by teachers, Siler spends lunch time on Thursdays with all the children. Children at the lunch table judged by school cafeteria workers to be on their best behavior get to choose music, and the small cafeteria rocks, usually to rock `n roll, as an incentive to keep up the good work.
"It was my idea," said Siler. "Children earn the privilege by behaving very well, by not getting their names on the board for infractions, by performing above their usual work. Teachers choose the special lunch students and they try to pass the honor around so new children come each week." Positive reinforcement is an effective way to lessen bad behavior, she said.\ The children say:
Tiffany Sobel, talking about what she likes most, found herself with lots of company when she said, "Pizza."
"I got a BUG ticket by getting my work all done," said Michael Foulger, a third-grader. And Jenny Pendleton agreed that besides getting the weekly treat, the students also had the good feeling that comes when the work is done on time.
Lisa Storer said she had the BUG ticket in mind as she "worked hard all week. I tried hard all the time."
Chad Bailey "Just read good," got caught by his teacher and was enjoying his just reward. "Spelling is what I do best," he confided.
What happens next:
The program will continue through the summer as the year-round school goes into a new track, so all the school's students will have an opportunity to be BUG-ged.